There's a special reason Grant Morley loves pouring beers at Nice Guys, his new brewery and bar at the river end of Victoria Street in Richmond.
Morley used to be a scientist developing an Alzheimer's drug but he became disillusioned with the success rate of pharmaceuticals.
"Ninety-eight per cent of drugs fail clinical trials," he says. "I got jaded. Beer is different: I make it, I hand it to someone and they smile or frown. I get instantaneous feedback."
Morley was a keen home brewer, winning a swag of awards for his garage beers until deciding to turn pro. Nice Guys is the result, a welcoming brewpub with a dog-friendly front yard and a retro futuristic 1970s aesthetic in vibrant teal and orange, with archways, macrame plant-hangers and vintage lampshades.
Brewing takes place on site and beer is tapped directly from 1900-litre tanks. "Removing the step of transferring to a keg means a fresher, tastier beer," says Morley.
There are eight beers on tap at the moment including a hazy tropical-toned New England IPA, vanilla porter and a dry-hopped pilsner. Small-batch wines and spirits are on hand, too.
A food menu will come soon but in the meantime customers are welcome to order in from local restaurants.
Morley is relishing the switch from lab to bar. "My friends didn't think I'd be a hospitality person but I'm just so happy," he says. "I get around and talk to people, we are very chilled out, I am loving it."
306 Victoria Street, Richmond, 03 9428 8793, niceguys.com.au