Gales Brewery

When people talk about visiting a “local brewery”, it’s easy to imagine they’ve got a place just like Gales Brewery in mind.

The warehouse venue is off the beaten track but still easy to get to, it’s industrial while remaining welcoming, the beer is made right next to where you’re sat, there’s a good chance the brewer is pouring you a beer, and, more likely than not, they’ve tweaked the recipe just a little bit from the last batch.

Unsurprisingly, the brewery’s home is in Brunswick East’s Gale Street where, like many quiet streets in this part of Melbourne, you'll find both ageing weatherboards and old warehouses. It makes for a particularly appealing location for such a venture; despite being just a block east of Lygon Street, it’s the sort of street you’re unlikely to head down unless you live or work there.

That all changed midway through 2022, however, when Gales opened their doors. Two mates who’d worked together as electronic engineers for years realised their expertise had become outdated. So, faced with the prospect of re-skilling, they decided to change tack entirely, with one focusing on the reimagining of the warehouse from electronics workshop to brewery venue and the other bringing decades of homebrewing nous to bear in the brewhouse.

Indeed, while the first Gales beers were only poured for paying customers in 2022, Dave Williamson had spent years considering going pro, with his skills as a homebrewer making him a particularly popular neighbour. He’d studied brewing at Ballarat’s uni and, by 2018, discussions about breathing new life into the warehouse got serious.

They've done a seriously good job too; from the moment you walk inside 28 Gale you can tell they understood how to make the space work both as a brewery and a venue.

Strip it to its bones and Gales Brewery is unmistakably a brutalist and industrial space: a roller door, polished concrete, high walls, and steel columns greet you as you walk in. But such a description doesn’t come close to capturing how well the team have achieved their aim of adding femininity to the venue the way nature does when it over-runs an abandoned space.

The large windows that open onto the street fill the place with soft, warm light, while the timber and wallpaper combine to soften the ambience. Plants hanging from the roof, the rusted steel, and a fern-filled, decaying concrete structure that feels more like an artwork than part of a venue all add to that welcoming vibe. Each of those touches serves as a reminder that nature will take over long after we’re gone while ensuring Gales stands apart as a unique taproom in a city that’s bursting with them.

Little wonder, then, that Brunswick East locals quickly embraced the brewery or that it regularly fills with friends, families and their dogs, all eager to catch up over a beer. They’re brewed on a 500-litre system that hugs one side of the venue; as a longtime homebrewer, Dave’s always eager to explore a variety of beer styles, tweak recipes and look to bring something new to the classics.

More often than not, Dave’s also the person pouring you beer from one of the ten taps while talking you through how he’s made it and why. Although Gales doesn’t have a kitchen, its proximity to Lygon Street means the food options are countless, and you’ll sometimes find food trucks parked in the driveway.

It leaves the Gales crew free to focus on providing beer and hospitality at what is very much a local brewery. And one that, even in a city now boasting them at all points of the compass, managed to have its own distinct personality.

It does so while still telling a story old enough to have been lost under moss: lovingly crafted drinks served in a space designed to bring friends, old and new, together as part of a community.

Will Ziebell

Gales Brewery

28 Gale Street
Brunswick East
VIC 3057

Open Hours

Thursday: 5pm to 10pm
Friday: 4pm to 11pm Saturday: midday to 11pm
Sunday: midday to 8pm

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Gales Brewery Regulars

Gales Brewery Gale Street Lager

Brunswick has a long history of manufacturing and industry and, while many of those large production sites are now apartments, many small warehouses remain (and given the number of coffee roasteries and breweries that call the suburb home, it's safe to say manufacturing is alive and well in this part of the world too). Gale Street itself is one of those classic Brunswick spots that's made up of roughly half homes and half warehouses, a combination that creates quite a captive audience for Gales Brewery… Read more

Gales Brewery Gales Wheat Beer

Wheat beers are a bit of a rarity in Australia’s craft beer industry but Gales Brewery’s Dave Williams is a big believer in the style. That said, when you own a brewery, you can't just make beer for yourself, so he's fortunate that his patrons are fans of Gales Wheat too. He says it's rarely the first beer people order, and is the one that just makes it onto a paddle, yet is often the beer that's ordered again. It feels like a reminder that some beers still need to be sold so they can win over… Read more
Wheat Beer

Gales Brewery 3057 Ale

It’s unsurprising given the brewery’s name, but Gales are particularly proud of their locale. 3057 Ale pays tribute to the Brunswick East postcode and is the kind of beer you'd expect regulars to turn to often. That's thanks to the beer being a classic American pale that brings together a slight biscuity sweetness from the malt with hop flavours of grapefruit, orange and passionfruit, all of which is washed away by a substantial bitterness. Will Ziebell… Read more
American Pale Ale

Gales Brewery Rusty IPA

Rusty IPA is a beer that connects a few different crafty eras. Leaning towards the earlier days is the the fact the beer pours with an orange hue and provides rich underlying flavours of caramel and toffee alongside a firm bitterness. But it’s on the hops front where worlds really collide, with Rusty giving off a mix of classic West Coast aromas and flavours of resin and pine. If you stopped reading at this point, you might wonder where the modernity comes in, but keep reading and drinking and… Read more

Gales Brewery Pint Of Porter

“Can I have a pint of porter please?” “A pint or a pot?” “Wait, what’s going on?” OK, so it might be a confusing name on the one hand but, on the other, Gales Brewery's choice of name just makes sense. Porters fundamentally feel like the kind of beer destined to be enjoyed by the pint and this one works particularly well thanks to a lingering dryness that balances out the beer’s rich swell of milk chocolate, herbal and roasted notes. Will Ziebell… Read more