Trend alert: a flock of new brewery and distillery bars where you can blow the froth off a pint or sip a nip at the source are coming in hot.
On August 2, independent brewery Bodriggy, founded in 2016 by Jon Costello, Peter Walsh and Anthony Daniels, will open its 400-capacity brewery bar in Abbotsford. The old mechanics workshop is designed to be family-friendly by day, fun by night with 64 taps pouring Bodriggy alongside other craft brews, wines and cocktails, backed by tacos and other Latin-themed beer food and live entertainment.
Nearby, Nic Sandery, who started brewing his boutique Belgian and Japanese-style brews gypsy-style at other breweries, has opened Molly Rose, a brick-and-mortar drink-on-site brewery at 279 Wellington Street, Collingwood.
Both are large spaces, but nothing on the 12,000 square metre Preston facility team Moon Dog will open in September. The brewers, who started on the smell of an oily rag using converted dairy equipment, are building a facility that will up brewing capacity to 10 million litres annually and feature a 750-patron bar replete with an ornamental lagoon and river, like a revival of the late, great Smorgy's.
Spirit makers are also throwing open doors to punters. Patient Wolf, a local gin brand from Matt Argus and Dave Irwin, will move into a red brick warehouse on Market Street, Southbank, in September. The new venue will have a 1000-litre still, almost tripling their production. A 30-person bar will offer gin flights, one-off barrel-aged batches and cocktails from ex-Lily Blacks bartender Blake Hall.
And while a site has yet to be found, the brewers behind Preston's Tallboy and Moose plan to open a distillery in the coming year, using their beer wash to make gin from scratch (rather than adding botanicals to neutral spirit, as many Australian brands do).