They may be questions you thought to ask, wished you had asked, or now you are just curious as to who the Head Brewer at Bojak Brewing is and what makes this legend tick.
Between cleaning fermenters and milling grain, I managed to sit down and have a chat with Dale Messina.
Is creating your own brewery from scratch different to what you had hoped or expected it to be?
Surprisingly it is what I expected it to be, you have an idea in your head and you hope that it all goes to plan and so far so good. But we are very new, so there is a long exciting road ahead
What is unique about the beer you create?
There a number of flavours and styles of beer that are being considered at the moment, some that work and some that don’t. I am a little more back to basics flavour wise but with a twist. Maybe the more I brew the more experimental I will become ,but at the moment I am happy to be producing quality tasting beer that isn’t too extreme.
How did you become a brewer?
My wife bought me a home brew kit for my birthday and since then I have just wanted more. That was seven years ago and now I get to produce beer for people to enjoy, it doesn’t get much better than that.
What’s the style most fun to brew?
Anything hop forward is fun. Hazy IPAs are fun because of all the different hop combinations, dry hop rates and timings you can do to create something different. I think because of this, it is one of the most popular craft beer styles at the moment What considerations do you have when deciding what a new beer will taste like?
I tend to brew beers that I like to drink. I consider the style of beer, and then try to look at how I want it to taste and smell and then by using hops, grain and any other additions I try to establish that taste as close as possible. Additionally, we are in the business of helping people enjoy beer, so of course we brew beer that people want or ask for as well.
What are the biggest reasons for the continual growth of craft beer?
Craft beer is just so broad with the number of styles, flavours and aromas it can offer. It is growing because of the wide number of people it can appeal to, it is becoming much more readily available and competitively priced. People like to try new things, as do brewers which means it always has room for more growth. How do you reach beyond the hard core beer drinkers and into the general public to sell your beer?
It will just take time. With new breweries opening frequently and the brewpub model becoming more and more popular this will bring more people to craft beer. Hopefully the brewpub can become like the local pub where people will frequent and catch up and have a beer. That is certainly what we have tried to achieve with our brewpub with a fresh dough pizza menu and bar snacks as well as a range of different alcohol from local producers.
What was the first craft beer you brewed? How did it turn out?
I tried to brew a Little Creatures Pale Ale clone. It was drinkable but tasted nothing like LCPA.
What are the biggest impediments to the growth of craft beer?
Probably tap contracts would be a big impediment to growth. If some of the big hospitality venues could support their local breweries I think that would allow craft beer to grow.
What are the biggest problems you run into in producing beer?
The initial outlay for equipment, stock and ingredients is probably the biggest problem. Setting up a brewery costs a lot of money.
You won a number of awards and competitions with your home brewing, are any of your home brew beers the same recipe for Bojak Brewing?
Our Trump Card APA is pretty much the same recipe I used as a home brewer. All other beers I have home brewed before but have tweaked to suit ingredients and their availability.
What efforts do you make to be environmentally friendly?
I think everyone in the back of their mind is conscious of their impact on the environment. Home brewing is one thing, but upscaling to larger volumes increases that impact.
We have installed a large number of solar panels, the water is tested to ensure it is neutral before being sent to sewer, our grain goes to help a local farmer and we are hoping to start canning our beer in the next few months and we are currently looking at a biodegradable can holder.
Which beer style is your favourite? And why
American Pale Ale is probably my favourite style. APA got me into craft beer with the likes of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Little Creatures Pale Ale. So I have a soft spot for this style.
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Check out Dales beer creations at
BOJAK BREWING - 5 Bennet Street Dandenong 3175
Open Thursday 3pm-9pm
Saturday and Sunday 12pm-6pm