Modus Operandi’s new brewery opened late last year in the beachside Newcastle suburb of Merewether.
Founders Grant and Jaz Wearin set up the brewery in Sydney’s Northern Beaches suburb of Mona Vale seven years ago – it continues to operate – but with Mr Wearin’s family hailing from the Newcastle area, the couple had been searching for their dream Merewether site for some time.
With plans approved in 2020, a team of Newcastle locals – from architect to the construction team – were enlisted to transform the space. Since completion it has been earmarked for architectural design awards and the site is powered entirely by green energy.
Three metre rammed earth walls, crafted with earth from bushfire ravaged regions, encapsulate the space and a nine metre high, glowing cube structure houses the brewery tanks. Two 10 metre long bars are also made of rammed earth and there is a pavilion space featuring six metre high sliding doors and mature trees.
Mr Wearin said, “Modus is a national beer brand which will now be headquartered and brewed in Newcastle. We will proudly be employing over 60 employees in the hospitality and manufacturing industries which have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“Newcastle is known for its manufacturing history and we are excited to now be part of its next chapter in industry. Brewing is usually hidden in industrial areas, but we wanted to be able to share this venue with the community, which is why we worked so hard at securing a site that everyone in Newcastle could easily access and not only see the brewing process unfold in front of them, but also to sit and enjoy a world class hospitality venue in an amazing location.”
With a capacity for close to 300 guests, there are brewery-fresh Modus beers poured from 36 frosty taps, including the core Modus range, as well as limited local-only releases ranging from sours to lagers, hazy hoppy IPA’s to dark beers. There are also cocktails, wines and spirits on offer.
Head of Production, Matt Hogan, said, “The new brewery has been fitted out with some pretty cool gear. It will be a fully automated brewhouse with the help of Fermecraft and will also feature an automated keg washer and filler system from Comac (for the beer nerds out there). It’s an impressive system that we are all excited about.”
“We’ll be able to brew more than 3 million litres per year which will take a lot of pressure off our original brewery in Mona Vale. The guys down at Mona Vale will focus on our innovative limited [expressions].”