The Early Days
The story starts with two very average blokes, Fil and Ryan. We met in the early 2000s, working in games studios. We were nerds for games. Then we got into home brewing, and we were nerds for beer, big time. We’d talk about it, read about it and argue about it. A lot.
Little Bang started in Fil’s garage in 2013. We’d been home brewing together for years, the hobby was now a proper obsession. That’s where the name came from, Fil and Ryan doing backyard science. By this time we both had jobs in or around the beer industry, and one day, after a few fine ales, we said to each other “Sure, yeah, let’s mess around in the beer biz. It’ll be fun.”
So we built a brewery in the garage. That took a LONG time. And we filled out all the paperwork and got all the permissions. That took a REALLY long time. But after about 18 months it was real.
The idea was this: We’d brew on the weekends. We’d make some silly stuff that no one else was really doing, like a Barleywine, a Saison, a Steam Ale. We’d throw it out there and we’d have a laugh, hopefully confuse people and raise a few eyebrows. We didn’t need to take it seriously, it was just a hobby.
What we didn’t count on was Little Bang going suddenly, unexpectedly, extremely well. Our tiny batches were getting pre-sold months in advance, it was impossible to keep up with demand, the hobby was seriously intruding on work and family time. We had to do it properly or let it go. The garage just wasn’t going to cut it.
So… Big boy time. We did what we had to do. We asked our wives for money.
Time to find a space
We got ourselves a neat little warehouse and put some much bigger tanks in it. We opened a little taproom bar in it. Slowly but surely we saved our pennies and expanded production. Slowly but surely we saw more and more people coming to our place every weekend. We doubled production, then doubled again, but still couldn’t keep up with demand. Every weekend was a crazy-ass party. It was fun as hell, it was freakin’ hectic.
There was no way we could handle this thing ourselves. The Little Bang beast absorbed our wives too, and our friends. The warehouse was getting very, very crowded. The parties were getting craaaazy.
In 2018, with a solid little team in place, we worked up the courage to move to a much, much bigger place. With the help of our remarkable friends we spent a year cutting concrete, laying pipes, digging, filling, building, sanding, painting, welding, wiring, tiling… AND brewing beer, and selling beer, and ALL the damn paperwork. Every. Single. Day.
And all of a sudden, somehow, we weren’t just two people mucking around in the shed any more. We had a crew of amazing, talented people (and Ryan and Fil). We’d brew and package thousands of litres on site every week, we’d distribute all over the country, we’d run tours and functions and events, and a commercial kitchen, we’d make our own wine and gin, and we’d host hundreds of people of all ages at our glorious 290 person capacity venue Wednesdays to Sundays. And we weren’t stopping there.
2022 and Beyond
After months of deliberation on what the next chapter of our story would look like, we decided to employ some help from the big boys. Enter the Duxton Pub Group.
Little Bang Brewing Company was acquired by one of South Australia’s largest and most-renowned Pub Groups, expanding its footprint both in SA and nationally.
This quickly led to plans to build our second venue in the Tonsley Innovation District, because nothing breeds innovation better than a couple of crafty ales. Read more about our Tonsley Tap Room here.
Along with the acquisition came some switching up at the helm, with co-founder Fil stepping away from the operation and moving to Western Australia with his family, where he now grows an abundance of organic Yuzu in his spare time.
This opened up an opportunity for Oscar Matthews to join the team as Head Brewer. With our second venue in the works and never-ending ideas for new, delicious/ridiculous brews – we look forward to you joining the journey in 2023 and beyond. Cheers!