A pommy immigrant with limited brewing or business experience. An inner-city dilapidated metal workshop premises that had been vacant for years. A collection of brewing vessels bought on an online auction site. And a dogged determination to bring it all together. In 2015, when Steve Drissell opened his fledgling operation in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Glebe, the odds were stacked against him.
Fortunately, he surrounded himself with passionate, knowledgeable people, and from the start committed themselves to bringing a sophisticated, diverse selection of craft beers to the area. Five years, multiple awards, and a whole lot of stories later, the Staves team celebrate brewing dozens of exceptional beers for their adventurous and discerning customers.
Founder Steve Drissell incorporates in 2011. It takes him four years of lease negotiations, red tape, and building fit out to finally open the bar in October 2015, curated with beer from several local craft breweries!
It wasn't until mid-2016 that brewer Liam Jackson, recently returned from brewing in Canada, comes on board with a wealth of experience from larger breweries. Together, with brand new fermenting vessels, they bring the brewery online and serve the first (eight!) Staves beers on tap. It's not long after, Staves bags it's first medals including Gold for the Oatmeal Stout, and launches the inaugural Winter Solstice Dark Beer Tap Takeover with all beers brewed on site.
Brewer Liam decides to take a tree change to regional New South Wales, and in comes new brewer Zac Pauling with bags of enthusiasm and ideas. New larger fermentation vessels are squeezed into the tiny space effectively doubling brewing capacity and taps are increased to ten, all pouring beer brewed on site. Zac reveals a hidden creative talent and our beers finally get decals!
Our Pale Ale takes the 2019 Royal Sydney Beer and Cider 'Best in Show' title and 2020 Indies 'Gold' medal, but the tap room is forced to temporarily close the tap room due to COVID-19 restrictions. A very difficult time for Staves, a change in business model sees the launch of packaged products which are well received and soon available in bottle shops both NSW and interstate.
An advantage of the location picked for the brewery is that it is near the city AND has no nearby residential neighbours. Which means Staves can and does make some noise. Founder Steve who also play drums, was keen to provide a platform for performing artists which has happened from near the beginning. The upstairs 'Malt Room' has hosted hundreds of arttists from Stand Up Comedy, Burlesque, Blues Jams, Magicians, Open Mics, Bands, Theatre Sports, and Art Classes. Some of the highlights have been 'Birds of Tokyo' recording their single 'Greatest Mistakes' in the bar (check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9hEh8PME6E
) and Rhys Nicholson headlining the inaugural Powerbomb Comedy show.