Past & present: New brewery to instill Dunedin history into beer-making

Caledonia Brewing, the latest addition to the Dunedin craft beer community, is close to opening.

click to enlarge Illuminated blue growlers, made by owner Dave Dally and a friend, hang as pendant lights over Caledonia Brewing's coming-soon bar. - Ryan Ballogg
Ryan Ballogg
Illuminated blue growlers, made by owner Dave Dally and a friend, hang as pendant lights over Caledonia Brewing's coming-soon bar.

A one-of-a-kind addition to Dunedin’s flourishing craft beer community is very close to opening.

At 587 Main St. in the old Dunedin Printing Company building, Caledonia Brewing, which CL briefly mentioned last month, is nearing the end of renovations that have taken more than a year. Owner Dave Dally says he hopes to have a soft launch in late February.

Caledonia, the romantic Roman namesake for Scotland, is an ode to Dunedin’s prominent Celtic heritage. The beers and décor of the brewery will follow suit. According to Dally, the new brewery will be a good place to gather with friends and family — and even catch a soccer game.

The owner, who’s been homebrewing for over six years, first considered opening his own brewery about three years ago. After finding an opportunity to acquire the downtown property, he approached his family to get on board as partners, as well as his friends Hollie and Jeff Parker.

Dally started out with extract brewing, a process favored by many beginning brewers that uses malt extract instead of the more intensive process of mashing grains. From there he expanded to all-grain brewing, learning to make and develop recipes for stouts, saisons, hefeweizens and ales. Today, he’s tried brewing just about every style.

“I’m not a purist,” he said of his brewing style. “I like to experiment.”

Beers that Caledonia will open with include Hop Ness Monster, a double IPA (and Dave’s favorite); Heavy Bevvy, a Scotch ale; a chocolate oatmeal stout; IPA; and other brews to be announced. The plan is to debut with at least eight original beers on tap, eventually increasing to around 15. The remaining taps will feature guest breweries, wine and at least one cider.

click to enlarge The brewery, located in the old Dunedin Printing Company building, is nearing the end of renovations. - Ryan Ballogg
Ryan Ballogg
The brewery, located in the old Dunedin Printing Company building, is nearing the end of renovations.



The building that Caledonia calls home is a piece of local history in the midst of being updated to its former image. Built in 1925, the location originally housed the Dunedin Times, then began sharing the building with the Dunedin Printing Company in the ’40s. Dally has befriended the family that owned the printing company, and obtained copies of old photos of the property. From these, he and his partners will restore the front of the building as closely as possible, including recreating the recessed entryway.

Inside, partially removed crumbling plaster reveals original terracotta block, which puts layers of yesteryear on display. The ceiling has been opened back up, exposing aged beams. The wall behind the bar will feature wood shelving crafted from salvaged pieces of Clearwater’s Belleview Biltmore Hotel, which was mostly demolished in 2015. And illuminated blue growlers crafted by Dally and another friend, Mike Straub, hang as pendant lights over the bar.

A wall separating an addition to the building in the 1950s with offices and storefronts has also been removed, making space for more seating in front of two full windows that look out over downtown. The newly connected sections of the building are on two different levels, so an electric lift for patrons in wheelchairs was incorporated. And there will be an outdoor seating area as well.

Dally is passionate about the building and being in Dunedin. He can even see the hospital where he was born in 1971 from the brewery.

Residents and passersby seem excited, too.

“We have people stopping by or peeping in to see what’s going on all the time,” Dally said.

Hollie Parker added: “Everybody walks in and says, ‘Wow.’ They seem to like what we’re doing with the place.”

click to enlarge Dally adopted the idea for individualized fermenting coolers from Trinity's Escape Brewing Company. - Ryan Ballogg
Ryan Ballogg
Dally adopted the idea for individualized fermenting coolers from Trinity's Escape Brewing Company.

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