The Mornington Peninsula is becoming quite the craft beer destination. Where once Red Hill were the lone representatives, today you'll find a growing number of breweries and venues and bottleshops supporting them – as well as more of all three dotting the route to the Peninsula from Melbourne. The ranks are swelling again as new kids on the block Mr Banks Brewing Co set up shop in Seaford.
Chris and Penny Farmer have set up a brewery with an eye for a good-looking can and both their pale ale and an oatmeal stout are already on shelves. Here they are in our latest Who Brews…? feature, telling us about the inspiration behind the name, the classic Australian craft beer that set them on the brewing path, and which beers are currently taking up space in their fridge.
Who are you?
Chris and Penny Farmer. I’ve spent the previous ten years managing my old man’s business and finally decided I wanted to start something of my own that I love and can really pour my heart into. Penny is an accountant (who also loves beer) so that helps out quite a lot.
Where do you brew?
We brew out of our brewery we built in Seaford. We use some purpose built and some unconventional equipment like a few other Victorian breweries; it’s definitely had its challenges.
On the whole, we are really happy with the beer it’s producing and think the area is great, especially being at the entry to the Mornington Peninsula and all it has to offer.
Why do you brew?
I became completely obsessed with brewing and all things beer, and for the first time in my life I really enjoyed learning about something other than sports. If we can get our beer to people and get them feeling the way we feel about beer, or the excitement of opening that new beer they’ve heard about for the first time, then our job is done.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
We named the brewery after our dog Banks. He was named after a character from the 90s films The Mighty Ducks.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
I’d say the first beer that really made me rethink beer was Little Creatures Pale Ale – I couldn’t believe the flavour.
Then spending summers in Bright with friends in my early 20s visiting the Bright Brewery made me really think this is something I would love to do one day.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
Mr Banks Pale, Oatmeal Stout and some test batches, as well as Dainton Brunch Stout, Pirate Life IIPA, and Wolf of the Willows XPA.
What would be your desert island beer?
The beer I can’t get enough of recently is the Almanac IPA. It’s hard enough for me to get in Melbourne let alone on a desert island though, so good luck to Almanac if I ever make it to the island.
If your brewery was a band, what band would it be?
Early Blink 182. Definitely a buck short, young, and trying to get our beer into a rapidly growing market while having as much fun as possible along the way.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
We hope people are still loving our beers and we are producing better beer each year. Much larger distribution and a team to help out would also be great. We’d love to be able to run traineeships for budding brewers or people wanting to be involved in the industry that can’t start their own.
Where can people find your beers?
Our kegs can be found on rotation at:
- Grape & Grain
- Beer Mash
- TRU BRU
- Mr Paul’s Beer & Wine
- The Epicurean
- Brother Burger
- The Metropolitan Hotel
- Rose GPO
Cans have been rolling out over the last few weeks and you can find them via the Find Beer section of our website.
Previous Who Brews...? features on young Aussie brewing companies can be found here.