The ability to be un-apologetic and do what you want at your workplace is something not many of us can claim.
While it may seem like a fantasy, Ed and Fiona Nolle are proving this can be be reality. The husband and wife tag-team are working their hardest to produce something truly unique that they love.
The couple are the proud owners and operators of Dollar Bill Brewing, an Invermay based blendery specialising in sour beer and cider.
Their property is entirely off the grid, with all their electricity coming via solar panels and water from rain-water tanks.
When asked why they got into making their bespoke beverages, Ed gave a fairly concise and poetic response.
“It’s what I like to drink,” he said.
After brewing for the majority of his life, Mr Nolle and his partner put the wheels in motion to start a business four years ago.
“It's been something that's slowly taking over more and more of the house,” Fiona laughed.
“Eventually I just told him why don't you just do it? We used to have things all around the bedroom, there was just beer everywhere so it grew very organically.”
Sour beer is not a particularly common type of beer, nor is it particularly easy to make.
After brewing their beer at Stomping Ground Brewery in Collingwood, it is transferred up to their Dollar Bill’s blendery. Ed explained how the process differs to regular beer.
“We do mixed ferments and wild ferments, regular beer is made with just straight saccharomyces (a fungus known as brewers yeast) which converts sugars to ethanol. We use different bacteria and wild yeast to create different flavours and different profiles in our beer.”
They use a natural barrel fermentation process to create their products, however leaving it up to nature can sometimes prove frustrating.
“A lot of wineries will use killer yeast and sulfur to knock out the yeast and bacteria, we use a more natural method where we don't interfere with it.
“If it doesn't work out get rid of it. We do lose a lot of product but that's just the game you know.”
Fiona believes this give and take method is the perfect example of why running the business without shareholder interference is perfect for them.
“We've grown in such a way where we would never be forced to make an accountants beer, where we had to put something out because we have to pay the bills.”
We've been able to set ourselves up so we didn't have to compromise and do something we didn't have to.Ed Nolle, Co-owner of Dollar Bill Brewing
Not having to compromise is huge for Ed in the blending process.
“It's extremely important, it's difficult because the capital isn't there especially when you have to put stuff away for two to four years. This is by no means a get rich quick scheme.”
Looking further into 2019, the Nolle’s are preparing to make their product even more available to the public after the construction of their blendery comes to a close.
“We want to have a bar in here and basically open once a month people can come out and see what we do,” Fiona said.
“Our plans are hopefully by around June-July to be ready to have some industry people over and open to the public in November. It would just be a daytime thing, nothing outrageous, I'm getting to old for that.”
Ed compared it to a wine cellar like atmosphere.
“People can sample what we have and hopefully buy a couple of bottles if they like it. The bledery gives us a sense of place, that's the biggest thing. Breweries and blenderies without a location struggle with maintaining an identity.”
When thinking what’s next for Dollar Bill Brewing, a foray into other drinks could possibly be on the cards.
“I’ve got some friends that are doing some really cool stuff with rum and gin, it’s in the back of my mind,” said Ed.
“That’s where I hope it stays,” laughed Fiona.