It’s a fact steeped in delicious irony that Melbourne-based independent brewery Deeds started life in 2012 as Quiet Deeds.
“The name resonated with us because at the time all the big breweries were making huge claims in their advertising like ‘Australia’s most refreshing beer’ and we just wanted our beers to speak for themselves,” says Patrick Alé (yes, that’s his real name). “But then we were making these huge, high-ABV, heavily hopped beers. They were some of the shoutiest beers in Australia, so we decided to drop the ‘quiet’ part.”
Alé and Dave Milstein met as engineering students but realised they’d prefer to spend their professional lives making beer rather than bridges. They kickstarted the Deeds beer label using other breweries’ equipment before opening their own craft brewery in suburban Glen Iris in 2018. “It took years to get planning permission because it used to be a dry area and there was a bit of pushback,” says Alé about their Melbourne brewery. “But now we’re here, the locals know what we’re doing, and they’ve really embraced us.”
The once-derelict mechanics’ workshop is now a saw-roofed design showpiece, with a brewery and taproom showcasing the core range as well as some of the more out-there creations.
“We make the kind of beer we like to drink – it’s as simple as that,” says Alé. “We love experimentation and innovation and to push the flavour of what beer can be. Some of the IPAs are like a tropical fruit salad explosion in the mouth and we make some incredible dark beers as well with our bourbon barrel-ageing program.”
Newcomers to the Deeds name ought to head to the standard bearer for the brewery’s big-flavoured tropical pale ales, the Deeds Double Time Hazy Pale. Then there’s the Deeds Half Time Pale Ale, which Alé describes as “its little sibling, with only 3.5 per cent ABV so you can go the distance.” Another worthy member of the five-strong core Australian craft beer range, the Deeds Draught is a lager made with maize to add a balanced creaminess to its crisp finish.
You might also encounter some of the wilder experiments of one of Melbourne’s favourite independent breweries, with the gold medals to show for it. “One really bizarre one was the Vanilla Slice,” laughs Alé. “We tried to make a super sweet beer with lactose. Let’s just say it was very polarising.”
Don’t worry about taking the car. Deeds Brewing is situated so close to Glen Iris train station, commuters can look into the moody and magnificent Deeds taproom from Platform One. It’s not difficult to imagine someone impulsively skipping work to spend a lazy afternoon or evening exploring the offerings from 28 taps, ensconced in a booth on the mezzanine or close to the action chatting to the bartenders.
There’s backup from a menu that goes the extra mile by incorporating the Glen Iris brewery’s output in clever ways. You’ll find a wagyu blade fillet with beef butter and ale glaze, for instance, while there are few better ways to end a meal than an imperial stout brownie.