BYO Bottle: Shopping for No Plastic and Zero Waste Beer & Wine in Melbourne

5 June 2015
I have completed my first year living zero waste (yay!) and next month I will be celebrating two years of living plastic free (double yay!). When I tell people about my lifestyle I like to express that it's more about reducing because I find the words zero and plastic free to be a bit full on and I don't want to sound like a crazy lady who consumes nothing because that seems to be the first response I get when people learn about my choices. Because I do consume but it's just done with careful thought and consideration.

The latest packaging I have been able to reduce is my beer and wine. Yes, No Plastic and Zero Waste Beer and Wine in Melbourne.


Our (myself and the builder) contribution to the recycling bins in our house has reduced dramatically in the last year. The main items we add would be beer and wine bottles and after that paper. I love my stouts, the Builder enjoys an IPA or a cider, and we both love ginger beer. It's not to say I don't like recycling – but reducing and reusing is the ultimate goal because a lot of energy and resources go into recycling.

Most of the used wine bottles we have emptied from over the year are used to collect vinegar's and cleaning products like castile soap when I need to top up our supplies. And the rest are put aside to refill with new wine from ReWine located at the Preston and Vic Markets.

I discovered ReWine on the Bulk App last year. At the time the Builder signed up for one of those wine clubs where you get an assortment of wine delivered. So I decided to wait until our stocks ran low and had empty wine bottles I could reuse. But by the time that happened the loyal Essendon supporter that my boyfriend is came home with boxes of a Dustin Fletcher commemorative Cabernet Sauvignon and some other box of Essendon club wine. As the supply finally diminished it was time for me to visit ReWine and take advantage of their refill options.

I took our empty bottles and the friendly staff filled them with new wines. Basically how it used to be done not that long ago. Our bottles are not fancy with simple aluminium screw top lids. I can get Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Fortified wine, Pino, Shiraz, Merlot, preservative free, organic and even sparkling. I can taste the wine before I get a bottle refilled too. No more buying wine that I don't like. You can only refill with your own bottles at the Preston location. If you are closer to the Vic Markets then you must buy the bottles available and bring those ones back.

Lately I discovered BeerMash, a brick and mortar store similar to ReWine that has opened up in Collingwood. I took the Builder with me to check it out. While they have beer for sale in regular bottles the biggest draw card is the beers on tap that can be bought in growlers and squealers also for sale.

We invested in a growler for $12 and walked out with a cider for the Builder. We got to taste the beers first – very handy because the last thing you want to do is buy a beer and get home to discover that it is not that nice and I am really picky about my beer, way more than wine! They also offer two wines on tap, but I'll be going back for the stout. It's safe to say we will be regulars at BeerMash.

For a list of refilling beer stations in Australia visit Crafty Pint.

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