While Mornington Peninsula has long been known as one of Australia’s leading wine regions, in the past couple years it has also become quite the hotspot for small breweries, with the pioneering Red Hill and other longstanding operations like Mornington Peninsula Brewery and Hix joined by many more.
In the final weeks of 2017, the Peninsula’s brewery collective was swollen by two new members with Jetty Road Brewery and St Andrews Beach Brewery both opening their doors for the first time.
Jetty Road is the work of six Mornington Peninsula locals and, while the brewery’s beers have been appearing across the state for close to a year, they now have a home in Dromana.
For now, Jetty Road's beers will still be contract brewed offsite, as the owners wait for their brewhouse to be installed later in 2018. But, with the beer hall and restaurant now open, head brewer Blake Bowden is here to tell us more in the latest in our Who Brews? series.
Jetty Road Brewery
Who are you?
I’m Blake Bowden (pictured above). The rest of the brewery team is Grant Rodgers, Shayne Bland, Simon Weir, Jonathan Pritchard and Nick O'Brien.
The directors are all mates with a shared vision to promote the Mornington Peninsula, a love of good beer and the art of sharing it.
Where do you brew?
We have just opened our beer hall down in Dromana. Our site will also be home to our brand new 25hL brewery in mid 2018. But currently we are contracting out of a few locations; Hawkers and KAIJU! to name a couple.
Why do you brew?
I love the creative process behind a good beer. And, more importantly, I love beer's ability to drag people’s attention away from their phones and technology. Beer is an accompaniment for face-to-face interaction, which unfortunately seems to be a dying art.
What beers have you released to date?
At the time of writing this we have released just one beer (our Pale Ale) to the commercial market. However, with the beer hall opening, we will have multiple beers rotating through our taps.
From there, we really just listen to what people want and put that out into keg and can.
What’s the inspiration behind the brewery name?
This is a contentious issue as we aren’t actually located on Jetty Road. In a previous life, I was a cabinet maker and my boss, who is also a partner in JRB, was an avid homebrewer. He lived on a little residential street in Dromana that is Jetty Road.
We called ourselves the Jetty Rd Brewers and that is where the name and my passion for craft beer was born.
Was there a beer or a moment that set you on the path to becoming a brewer?
It’s hard to nail down one specific moment. It’s been almost a chain reaction really. I remember drinking my first craft beer – 2 Brothers Taxi Pilsner – and immediately VB and Carlton were dead to me.
What beers are in your fridge right now?
A lot. I have a Beer Cartel advent calendar. There's always something Mornington Peninsula Brewery; the Brain Squeeze is tasting great.
What would be your desert island beer?
Easy. Rodenbach Grand Cru.
If your brewery was a band, who would it be?
The Peep Tempel. Raw but playful.
Where do you hope your brewery will be ten years from now?
Still in existence, haha!
Where can people find your beers?
Our Pale Ale kegs and cans are stocked in around 65 outlets locally on the Mornington Peninsula. Our beer hall and restaurant is located in Dromana, 12-14 Brasser Avenue, and has a variety of our beers.
Photo at top of article (left to right): Grant Rodgers, Blake Bowden, Shayne Bland, Simon Weir, Jonathan Pritchard, Nick O'Brien.
You can check out past Who Brews features here. And if you run, or know of, a brewery we should be featuring here, get in touch.