For many people, the prospect of brewing at home, while exciting, can also be daunting. The need to ensure you have the right equipment, follow the right instructions and use the right ingredients may scare some people. And that's where new Aussie operation BrewBox hopes to step in
The brainchild of 4 Pines brewers Henry Tier (above left) and Dylan Kelly (above right), BrewBox provides the majority of the equipment needed for at-home craft brewing as well as detailed instructions, making the process as easy to follow as any beer extract kit you could find at the supermarket.
The idea for the business started to fully take shape in early 2020 as Henry, head brewer at 4 Pines’ Welcome to Brunswick venue in Melbourne, drove back to Victoria from a trip to Sydney.
“On the ten hour drive back to Melbourne, I thought a little more seriously about it,” he says. “Over the trip, I really got a good idea about what the business aspects would be and started to feel confident.”
Once back in Melbourne, Henry floated the idea by close friend Dylan, who he'd met during their time together at 4 Pines in Sydney. And he found Dylan not in the least bit surprised at his vision.
“I fully expected something like this from Henry; he’s always pushing new ideas so this was nothing new,” Dylan says, laughing. “As we spoke about it, it really started to make sense and form into something I was interested in and wanted to be a part of.”
As they moved forward to turn the idea into reality, the primary goal of BrewBox became more and more clear: make craft brewing at home more accessible. Henry believes for people aiming to get into craft brewing there can be so much information available online that it can be easy to become overwhelmed.
“There’s so much information out there, it’s easy to get lost,” he says. “It can be confusing about how to start and what equipment you need.
"We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to have a go at all-grain brewing and have a go at this awesome hobby.”
Dylan adds that, while there are already a number of at-home brewing and extract kits available, providing a specific craft brewing kit is important to meet the demand of a growing group of craft beer lovers across the nation. Up until the start of COVID-19, Melbourne's BrewSmith filled such a role, before the husband and wife team closed their operation.
“Obviously, there are a bunch of other recipe kits out there,” Dylan says. “With the craft beer movement, a lot more people are deeply interested in the beer process. They are learning new styles, developing different tastes, so to present the process in the way we do is really important to make the process accessible.”
At time of writing, BrewBox had six different beer kits up for sale, ranging from the bright and summery Tropical XPA to the darker Coconut Stout. Henry says he and Dylan will continue to add new varieties around once a month to keep people experimenting at home.
“We’ll make sure we’ve always got a good range but the plan is to rotate one beer in and out each month just to try and get people brewing as many different varieties as they can.”
Looking at the business in the long term, the duo hope they will help people grow their love for craft brewing and potentially act as the catalyst to inspire people to get into the industry.
“When you ask people in the industry how they got their start, a lot will say from an extract kit from the supermarket,” Henry says.
“In five or ten years time, if we could have some people saying, ‘The first kit I started with was a BrewBox kit’ that would mean a lot.
“We just want to get as many people comfortable with the process and get people giving brewing a go.”
Have a look at what Henry and Dylan are doing with BrewBox here.