We’re a small, husband and wife team, making barrel-aged beer, inspired by the traditional beer-making of Belgium.
Like many, it started as a passion project back in 2015. We realised beer had a real stigma to it. But it’s so much more than the pale ales and lagers we all seem to grow up on in Australia.
So we started a brewery with the aim to break the stereotypes of the beer industry.
Our humble beginnings started with a handful of repurposed oak barrels. We patiently waited for our beer to ferment and our house culture to develop before launching our first two beers in 2019.
What we do takes time and respect for the fermentation process.
We strive to accentuate the interesting and complex flavours produced by the magic of fermentation through our blending process. What we end up with is a beer that blurs the lines between beer, wine and cider.
It’s elegant and complex, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Here for the act of gathering around a table with good company, good food and good drink.
Black Arts is the kind of beer you enjoy with people. Whether that be family, good friends, or a loved one. For those soul-filling moments in life where we remember to slow down and enjoy the company of others.
It's the perfect companion to any good picnic in the sunshine, for a dinner party that lasts till the early hours of the morning, or when visiting those you haven't seen in a while.
It's more than just a beer to us. It's the moments that are shared with it.
As Black Arts grows, we continue to strive to create a sustainable business that’s conscious of the impact it has on people and the planet. This is something we know we’re not perfect at, but will evolve as we do.
Currently we aim to:
• brew efficiently, reducing our use of energy and water, and our waste output
• send our waste product to feed animals or be turned into compost
• source ingredients from local, sustainable farmers.
Josh has always been intrigued by flavour. It started as a boy, helping his mum in the kitchen. As soon as he was legally old enough to work, he was running the local bakery. This, naturally, lead him to running numerous cafes and bars in his twenties.
He was introduced to the world of sours when he first tasted a Boon—Belgium’s father of wild ales. The complexity of the Gueuze was so deep compared to the local Pale Ales he was used to drinking. He was hooked. And from there he was on a mission to taste all things wild and sour.
In 2014, Josh opened and managed Fox in the Corn, a bar and restaurant in Footscray. Here he showcased how vast the world of beer can be. His extensive bottle list was strongly focused on sour and wild ales.
But his love for sours didn’t stop there. He started Black Arts in 2015 with a handful of oak barrels. In late 2016, he moved on from Fox to pursue his passion for good beer and give Black Arts the time it needed.
Having grown up on the Victorian coastline where communities are close, Josh has always been inspired by the act of gathering. For him, Black Arts is the perfect companion when spending time with close friends and family.
Chelsie is often found behind the lens, not in front of it.
She never sought out to own a brewery. Like any good partner, she supported Josh with his dream to open Black Arts. She happily joined him to tour brewery after brewery and be there to bounce ideas off.
But when the initial label designs came back nothing like Josh had envisioned, Chelsie took charge. What started as label designs turned into a website, product photography and socials. Suddenly she was much more involved than she had ever anticipated, and loving every minute of it.
Chelsie has worked in the marketing and communications space for over 10 years. She’s skilled in strategy, photography, design and writing, making her the perfect right-hand-woman to Josh’s wild dreams.
She’s deeply passionate about regenerative sustainability. Having completed a course in circular materials management and permaculture, she vows to never stop learning. She’s constantly looking for new ways Black Arts can be a better business for people and the planet.
She too, loves nothing more than gathering with friends and family over good food and good drink. After all, life’s too short for mediocre.