Two Darwin friends have turned a passion for home-brewing into a flourishing craft beer business. 

Story by Kerry Sharp

Two Darwin mates with a long shared passion for home-brewing devised an ambitious plan a few years back to produce the Northern Territory’s first home-grown craft beer for sale on tap. Despite early hiccups, they’ve turned their thirst-quenching backyard hobby into a flourishing commercial enterprise. 

After years of painstaking experimentation to perfect their techniques, the owners of One Mile Brewing Co, Stuart Brown and Bardy Bayram, were on the cusp of officially unveiling their first tap beer at a popular local pub when a fermentation calamity stopped them in their tracks.“We had to pour our entire first batch of 2000 litres down the drain,” Stuart says. “We pushed it through the chiller too quickly and then, to add to that disaster, the power also went off and the temperature in the tanks skyrocketed. There was no saving the beer ... We could only supply six kegs for the widely promoted launch week and that ran out in three hours – but it hit the mark with local beer drinkers and we were on our way.”

One Mile had got its first big break when Bardy cornered the launch venue’s owner and convinced him to give them a go. “He said, ‘If you make the beer, I’ll sell it.’ So we had him on deck and he remains one of our most loyal supporters.” The homegrown microbrewery has since flourished on a wave of enthusiastic business inquiries, and is now selling on tap at a dozen Top End pubs and clubs.

Pharmacist Stuart and refrigeration mechanic and electrician Bardy became close mates while growing up in Darwin and later attending Charles Darwin University. They have invested heavily in advanced refrigeration and air-conditioning to guard against future heartbreaking hiccups. “Chilling to perfection – that’s the critical factor,” Bardy says. “We get a lot of home brewers asking what our most important tip for success is and we tell them you’ve got to control the fermentation temperature, otherwise you’re pretty much wasting your time.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #110

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2017