thelab's blog

The Lab's Blog

Hi folks, here's where you can come to keep up with the latest from The Laboratory. Initailly we will be placing updates of our progress on the build. Later, once we are close to being open, we'll be keeping you privy to our experiments in beer, delectable food and upcoming events.

Turning the first sod party

After 3 years of battling with red tape, we weren't going to surrender to a norwest gale, flying polystyrene and threat of southerly rain, oh no!  Our Turning The First Sod party went ahead as planned on Sunday 25 May and a fair few intrepid beer lovers came down to West Belt to help us celebrate.  'Twas a 'Beer with no Pub', but hey, we're working on that.  Cheers to all our friends, family and future regulars!

Trusses on their way

After three years languishing in our yard at home, the trusses reclaimed from the Wards Brewery demolished on corner of Kilmore/Fitzgerald Ave are on their way to 17 West Belt to be cleaned up ready to form the backbone of The Laboratory.

Setting to on the windows

Passed our first Council Inspection.   According to the building schedule it's only 6 weeks before they install the windows.  Time to set to on our motley collection of old windows, sanding/priming/refitting new sash cords - that's the reality of using recycled materials - and the charm!


First pour of the concrete pad.  Toilets front right of photo, function room front left.  Courtyard area beyond that (not a concrete foundation) then the bar area and West Belt frontage in the distance

History of our bricks

The bricks have a "W" stamped in the frog.  This tells us they were made by Wigram Bros, a firm established by HF later Sir Henry Wigram in 1886. These Woolston based brickworks could produce 100,000 bricks per month, and 170,000 were produced at their Heathcote works where they also ran malthouses. What a wonderful story - these bricks were destined for The Laboratory for sure!  Here's a shot of the extraction site.

Meet Tayleur and Craig

Another milestone is reached, 15,500 clean red bricks have been lovingly extracted from the soil (ONE by ONE), loaded onto a trailer and stacked beautifully on pallets at the site by superheroes Craig and Tayleur Barnard.  1000 bricks a weekend for the last few months - awesome effort thanks so much you two.


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