St Andrews Beach Brewery
Project NameSt Andrews Beach Brewery, Mornington Peninsula, by Ewert Leaf Architects
Photographer DetailsEwert Leaf
The large site unfolds over 38 hectares behind St Andrews Beach, in the small community of Fingal. The conversion itself spreads over 10 hectares and features a full scale brewery, cellar door, tasting rooms, bar and a variety of indoor and outdoor tables and booths for social gatherings, dining and large group functions.
The heritage and context of the site have been capitalised on by utilising existing structures such as the old stables, which have been converted into seating booths. Natural and raw materials, along with earthy tones and rough textures create a rich aesthetic that complements the rural location. The site is located a few kilometres inland from St Andrews Beach, granting it a unique geography of coastal and rural.
The idea was to create a sustainable, self-producing culinary retreat, that follows a paddock to plate, and beer tank to beer glass production line. The owners aim to supply 50% of their own produce within five years.
The newly built St Andrews Brewery occupies the site of a equine proving facility, famous for training multiple Melbourne Cup winners. The brewery design, by Ewert Leaf, references and preserves the history of the site by utilising elements of its former glory.
Materials were chosen carefully to complement the existing buildings on the site, and reimagine the sites former function. The brewery, restaurant, and supplementary buildings are all clad in Australian Ironbark timber. The unified exterior palette sits pleasantly and softly into the coastal landscape.
Over 8000 apple and pear trees were planted where the old racing tracks once stood. The property will eventually have a sea of orchards lining it, supplying the fruit for eventual cider production at the brewery.
Materials were salvaged from the old structure wherever possible. Recycled bricks were used to form the bulk of the bar, while a new titanium bar top balances out the rustic with a modern edge.
The former stables have been transformed into seating booths, and clad with salvaged timber from paddock fencing. The old fencing was also used to clad the entry gate, bench seating, and dining tables. The booths have been individually named after famed horses that have been trained at the site.
Rammed earth is another strong material in the mix, continuing the natural material selection. The earth provides a unity of texture both inside and out, and forms a strong relationship with the land. The rammed earth feature walls acts as a guide to a secret garden area, and provides a warm thermal mass for a winter friendly fireplace inside the complex. Locally sourcing materials was an important aspect of the sustainability process. Local stonework and locally sourced earth meant that materials traveled short distances, which reduced embodied energy.