Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall, Collingwood

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MELBOURNE | Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall is the first full scale brewery to open in Collingwood in over 100 years and is owned by Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, who are well known to beer folk through their other projects, The Local Taphouse and Great Australian Beer Spectapular. The space is located in a converted warehouse that seats 250 people and has been designed by local designers Studio Y in a really appealing manner. Walk in through the entrance, which is located down a side street, and you’re faced with a large area full of tables and seats, brass, iron and brick. To one side, behind large glass floor to ceiling doors, is the working brewery, with all of the tanks and brewing equipment on display, while towards the centre of the venue is the bar, which has two service areas. One half faces the large area you enter through while the other half faces an area that features a retractable roof and a children’s play area complete with cubby house. In fact, the whole venue is very family friendly and fills a gap in this part of town as being somewhere you can happily bring the kids. There are even baby change facilities.

When it comes to the beer, there’s something for everyone across the venue’s 20 plus taps. Jeffares and Greenstone, along with head brewer Ashur Hall have created a core range of beers that cover the main styles along with rotating seasonal and one-off beers to appeal to the more seasoned and adventurous craft beer drinkers.  This isn’t a place just for craft beer heads, with the beer menu split into “Easier Drinking”, “Moderately Challenging”, and “More Challenging”. On one of the occasions that we visited the person next to us at the bar asked for something that was “like Carlton Draught”. Instead of attitude, or a snide comment which we’ve seen at other craft beer places when questions like this have been asked, the staff member at Stomping Ground responded by telling the customer why it is, from a flavour and beer style perspective, that they probably like Carlton Draught, and what a good beer for them to try here might be. Places like Stomping Ground are how you get people drinking locally owned, better tasting beer – beer education on a level that anyone can understand and accessible “gateway” beers.

There are three wines on tap and some spirits for non-beer drinkers, and the impressive dual cooling system means that all drinks on tap are served at the correct temperature.

Food is elevated pub food with wood fired pizzas/dishes coming soon once the wood fired oven is installed. Head chef Paul Karsten’s food is perfectly acceptable, tasty food and the menu is constantly evolving as the weeks go by. The crispy parsnip ribbons are a great side dish, while the beef short braised beef short ribs shows how beer can be used in cooking to great effect. The double beef cheek burger with its moist double patty and challah is tasty and filling and a bit different, although charging $4.00 extra for a side of fries when the burger is $17 already is a bit steep. The beer ice-cream and beer sorbet by Billy Van Creamery are both tasty and on-point, even if you’re not a beer fan.

The shoestring fries are quite inconsistent. We’ve ordered them about six times over four visits and the serving size has been as inconsistent as the taste. They’ve ranged from fantastically tasty, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside fries to something reminiscent of McDonald’s fries that have been left under the heat lamp for half an hour. It’s still early days so it’s only fair to give things a pass while everything comes together, but we’d expect something like this should be easy to sort out.

Speaking of teething problems, Stomping Ground has a few others. More often than not ordering a drink at the bar can feel like a return to your early clubbing days – cash or card in hand before ordering, extended out onto the bar, and repeated attempts at eye contact. On more than one occasion we’ve seen people who have arrived at the bar after us get their orders first, and several times have heard frustrated murmurings from the crowd about difficulty of ordering a drink. The numbering system for tables and food isn’t working smoothly either. Rather than giving out numbers, each table is numbered and you have to know what your table number is before you order, which you aren’t really aware of until you’re already at the bar and ordering. When a place is this busy, you don’t want to see bar staff and customers getting frustrated by confusingly looking at a seating map trying to figure out which table corresponds to where the customer is sitting.

Like we said before, it’s early days and hopefully these teething issues get sorted because Stomping Ground has all of the ingredients required to become a Collingwood favourite. In fact, despite the issues we’ve experienced we’ve already visited Stomping Ground four times, so they must be doing something right.

Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall

100 Gipps Street
Collingwood
Victoria 3066
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9415 1944
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://stompingground.beer/

Open
Sun – Thu: 11:30pm to 12:00am
Fri – Sat: 11:30pm to 1:00am

Stomping Ground Beer Hall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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