Instead of paying $20,000 to knock down an old water tank, this clever couple created an amazing brewing station and entertainment room.
What do you do with an old water tank in your yard? Turn it into a brewery, of course.
“LIKE MOST PEOPLE AROUND HERE, we’re on rainwater, and these big, old concrete water tanks are just a part of the landscape. When ours started leaking we discovered that it couldn’t be repaired and we decided that if it was going to cost $20,000 to demolish we’d rather spend that money on renovating it. Initially, we thought it’d be the perfect place to set up Frederick’s brewery. Once we got inside, we realised that the space was far bigger than we’d pictured, almost nine metres across, so we decided to turn it into an entertainment room, too.
We did almost all of it ourselves, including the structural work, which was very physical labour. First, we had to cut a hole through almost 13cm of reinforced concrete just to get a look inside. We cut the door into the side closest to the house and linked them using stepping stones for a path. With only two windows, we put a lot of thought into the views they’d offer. From one, we can see the back paddock and bushland where the kangaroos and wallabies gather, and the other looks out over the dam and faces west to capture the sunset. We had louvre windows custom-made for $1100, which can be open even when it’s raining.
FLOOR TO FURNITURE
We loved the look and feel of the inside and decided that it needed cleaning up rather than redecorating. The original concrete floor was very cracked and rough, and after burning through a polishing blade we got my brother-inlaw to pour a new floor. Then the walls were cleaned with a high pressure washer. It took a layer off, and left a beautiful mix of aggregate, concrete and stone which we sealed.
The roof was a peaked circle of galvanised steel and we left it untouched. In the centre of the room was a rusty steel pole. I got to work with a drill-bit polishing pad, restored its shine and sealed it. We ran power to the tank, and hung pendant lights from the metre-round steel slab in the centre of the roof. Then we built a high, round bar table around the pole, using acacia wood.
The bar table is perfect for beer and nibbles and I bought crank stools to go around it. We also needed to seat more
people, so we joined two pieces of acacia wood on a matte black steel base and made a huge high table then added bar stools. We bought lounges, shelving, mock cowskin rugs and hide cushions to finish the look. There’s a gas heater to keep us warm in winter, and a whirlybird in the roof which ventilates the space.
BEERS ALL ROUND
We started work on Valentine’s Day and we finished it in time for my birthday in July. We invited a small group of close friends and they could not believe what we’d done. Everybody around here can work with their hands, but nobody would have thought to do something like this with a water tank.
I can’t believe how much of an impact it’s had on how we live. We thought it would just be a space for brewing and parties, but we’re out here all the time. Now we’re thinking about putting it on Airbnb or hosting beer-tasting tours. We’ve only just begun to explore the many ways we can use this space.”
“It was a labour of love, blood, sweat and lots of swearing!”
Heavy-duty steel shelves hold the ingredients for beer making and the finished product. Incorporating stainless-steel elements is a quick way to strike an industrial tone.
Setting the scene Mature trees and a lush lawn soften the harsh concrete exterior. AFTER
Labour of love Cutting holes through reinforced concrete was hard work.
Black spray paint and a round chopping board transform what was once a bright yellow side table.
Take the floor Furniture can be pushed out of the way to make more room for dancing.
Lounge about The third sitting area is a cosy spot with true country charm.
On the house A Keg King fridge lets Frederick keep three beers on tap.