3 Ravens Brewing Company
This microbrewery began operating from the basement of the successful Thornbury-based engineering company Zetkin and has proved to be an interesting diversion or sideline for the principal business. Some of the company directors fell in love with hand-pumped real ale, which was available for a brief period at The Brandon Hotel in North Carlton, brewed by the Victorian triumvirate of Mountain Goat, Holgate and Grand Ridge breweries. When the pub suddenly changed hands in 2002, the chaps were suddenly without their favoured drop, so they started their own craft brewery. Well, there are surely worse reasons for getting into the beer-making game. After testing their wings for a couple of years on a modest 3-hectolitre brewing plant, they commissioned a new 12-hectolitre microbrewery, built in Dunedin, New Zealand, and engaged full-time brewer Marcus Cox. In late 2005, the new brewing system came on-line and the 3 Ravens boys were flying in earnest. Along with Holgate Brewhouse in Woodend, they are one of the few Victorian craft beer-makers to keep the real ale dream alive. In recent times fully cask-conditioned 3 Ravens Bronze has been on handpump at Fitzroy’s Lambsgo Bar, while their bottled product is widely distributed around the city and beyond. As we go to press, the engineering side of the business has relocated to Parkville and the Thornbury building is being remodelled as the true home of 3 Ravens Brewery, with future plans for a brewery-door bar to be unveiled some time during 2009.
Another Victorian lager-free zone, the 3 Ravens house ales have evolved over a relatively short career, with the bottle product finally matching up to the hand-pumped ale experience.
3 Ravens Bronze (on hand-pump)
Behind the Label
You’ll never get a clear explanation of who came up with the brewery’s name or why (details have become as blurry as the long ale-drinking session which probably provided the necessary inspiration). Someone was apparently a fan of the Heckle & Jeckle comic strip, which featured a couple of black crows or ravens. Perhaps it was the trio of engineers who gathered for pints of real ale at The Brandon that inspired the triple ornithological connection.
1 Theobald Street, Thornbury 3071 Tours by appointment; takeaway sales; bar (opening sometime 2009)comments powered by Disqus