READER REN­O­VA­TION

In­stead of pay­ing $20,000 to knock down an old wa­ter tank, this clever cou­ple cre­ated an amaz­ing brew­ing sta­tion and en­ter­tain­ment room.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

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

BE­FORE

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.

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