His tiny Aldinga Beach taphouse has a modest capacity of just 20 people, but Snapper Point Brewing’s Dave Peacock has big plans for his business which he reckons could be the smallest production brewery in Australia - for now.
When it comes to microbreweries, it doesn’t get any more micro than Snapper Point Brewing – the Aldinga Beach taphouse of local brewer Dave Peacock.
Dave opened his taphouse on The Esplanade in June 2022, next door to Jimmies Takeaway & Pizza, which looks directly across to the dunes that roll down to the beach and Snapper Point reef.
Open Saturdays and Sundays, Snapper Point Brewing offers takeaway 500ml cans as well as tap beers that can be enjoyed inside – if you can score a seat.
Formerly a cabinetmaker by trade, Dave has fit out the space with a man-cave aesthetic and homages to his hip-hop idols.
“What’s my point of difference? Well, there is the honey beer, but I think it’s just me,” says Dave.
“People come and chat and hang out with the brewer every day we’re open.
“This is like my loungeroom, it’s man-cave-style. I can only have 20 people in here, so it fills up pretty quick.
“Quite a few locals are enjoying it because they can walk here and they don’t have to get a taxi.”
The Snapper Juice – a juicy IPA – has been the best seller so far.
There’s also the Blonde Mullet, Snapper Point Pale Ale, Rural City Rodent and a Honey Haze which is brewed with honey from a local apiarist – Dave’s brother.
It’s a one-man operation with Dave brewing his beer at home – just around the corner – and canning by hand, rather than machine.
“A canning machine costs more than $20,000 so I just can them by hand instead,” he says.
Dave first began brewing in 2015, simply using Coopers brew kits in his kitchen. His obsession quickly grew into a more serious pursuit.
When he was made redundant from his job, Dave started brewing full-time and began selling Snapper Point Brewing cans to bottle shops.
“To make it worthwhile, I probably needed to supply 20 or 30 outlets, but I didn’t have enough beer to supply that many,” says Dave.
When a small space came up for rent in a group of shops on The Esplanade, Dave saw it as an opportunity to sell his beer direct to customers.
“Going retail with the taphouse was the best option and it’s working really well,” he says.
“Most breweries wouldn’t even have looked at a space like this because you can only have 20 people in here. I’ve gone the opposite way that most people would, but for me it’s a manageable space that I can handle.
“I feel like I’m the smallest production brewery in Australia.”
Dave still brews from home, albeit with much more sophisticated equipment than when he started, but still uses small 25-litre stainless steel tanks.
He will see how the taphouse fairs in its first summer and assess how to move forward in 2023.
“If you put up one brick a day, eventually you’ll have a wall,” he says.
“Aldinga is getting popular – last summer was the busiest I’ve ever seen it here, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the taphouse goes this summer.”
Words & image: Ben Kelly