During the goldrush, Castlemaine was home to over 20,000 diggers and some twenty breweries. By the early 20th century, all the breweries were gone, so were the diggers – and so was the gold.
A hundred or so years later, some crazies thought it was high time to bring beer back. Founder Michael Wolfe, quickly joined by partners Jacqueline Brodie-Hanns and Hunters and Collectors drummer, Doug Falconer, formed Castlemaine Brewing Company and set about quenching the thirst of locals and even some metro craft beer enthusiasts.
A site at the Mill precinct – the old Castlemaine Woollen Mills, now a tourist destination in its own right – was the logical place to establish brewing operations. Demand quickly grew and it became clear a handy outlet was required. A taproom in the brewery catered to the needs of locals and visitors alike.
In 2017 a large corporate (no names, no pack drill) came knocking, insisting it had exclusive use of the word ‘Castlemaine’, despite leaving town in 1874. The partners settled on a new name, in honour of Michael’s father’s notoriously feisty home brews. Shedshaker Brewing was (re)born.
The Shedshaker Brewing Taproom has become the go-to venue in Castlemaine. People are travelling from all over the country, as well as down the street, to sample the ten tasty brews on tap – all lovingly made in-house – as well as wines, ciders and soft drinks from other local providers.
And you’ll need a beer after visiting the other businesses on site, including a 125 stall vintage market, an upcycled furniture warehouse, the Austrian-themed Kaffeehaus, Ice Cream Social, Boomtown winery, and the famed Botanical Gardens across the road.
The Taproom features free music every Sunday and most Fridays and from Thursday to Sunday, you can appease the hunger gods with house-made pizza, widely considered the best in town and certainly the best value.
Where: 9 Walker St, Castlemaine
When: Tuesday – Friday from 3pm, Saturday – Sunday from noon
Phone: 0425 323 005