SOCIAL BANDIT BREWING
On the edge of Mansfield sits Social Bandit Brewing Co. The perfect year-round stop-off point between Melbourne and the ski fields and mountain bike trails of Mount Buller.
Owned by husband and wife duo Jeff and Jeanette Whyte, who are no strangers to the beer industry. They owned and operated Jamison Brewery for 14 years and sold up in 2013. After a few years off and a lot of searching later, they bought what is now Social Bandit Brewing Co. With enough space for a production brewery and brewpub, the couple was ready to create a welcomed new offering to the town of Mansfield.
What’s behind a name? Well, in Jeff’s case there was a lot of thought and meaning behind ‘Social Bandit’. A social bandit is an outlaw who operates in ways much to the disgust of the authorities. For Jeff, the name symbolises independent breweries uniting together and standing up to the big guys (e.g Carlton & United) to state their mark in the beer world.
With Social Bandit Brewing this can be seen in their values of keeping craft beer local and independent. Through their family-owned business which employs locals and supports local businesses. Even more so, sitting in the brewery you witness firsthand exactly where the beer is brewed.
For a relatively small brewery, it’s a pleasant surprise to see such a wide variety of beer on tap (12 to be precise). Ranging from an array of Kettle Sours to a Wet Hopped IPA to Porters and Stouts. For those who would prefer something other than beer, there is cider, local wine and spirits on offer. Make sure to grab a pizza too. They’ve become a hit with locals and visitors alike.
If you order a tasting paddles, you may think they look a little different to the norm. There’s a story behind this. In 2015 the Jamieson Post Office had its roof repaired and Jeff decided instead of letting them go to waste, he would repurpose them into his tasting paddles. The history of these slates goes back a little further. Dating back as far as the early 1850s, the slates came from a Welsh slate mine which were shipped over on some of the first settlers’ ships to Australia.
It’s not just the slates that have been repurposed either. Jeff and Jeanette have gone out of their way to bring things back to life. All of the furniture throughout the brewery has come from old hotels and chalets nearby.
A 10,000 PIECE PUZZLE
Most brewery owners have had hurdles thrown into their path along the way. Jeffs was a little more unexpected than usual. The brewing equipment was shipped from Japan in early 2015 however, it arrived in 10,000 pieces with instructions only in Japanese and German. Jeff painstakingly put the brewery together himself, piece by piece, without using the instructions. This is a true testament to his commitment to building his brewery.
SOCIAL BANDIT BREWING CO BEERS
Triggered Pale Ale
Jackie Brown Ale
- Passive Aggressive
Poets Day Lager
- The Heff
SOCIAL BANDIT BREWING CO
223 Mount Buller Rd
(03) 5775 3281
Thurs – Sun 5-8pm