The Trawool Estate

It takes some serious imagination and no small amount of bravery to look at a property between two small-ish regional centres in an albeit idyllic valley, and transform it into a destination restaurant. It seems to be that when you apply imagination and bravery, along with no small amounts of skill and doggedness, that no amount of hither-to unknown-ness of a location will impede the success of a venture. Apply this to the small valley between Yea and Seymour, and you have The Trawool Estate.

Transforming this property between Yea and Seymour on the Melba Highway was no small task. All the accommodation was gutted and refitted along with the restaurant. The business is entirely renewed. Food could be described as sophisticated regional, but that would do both descriptors a disservice. It’s sophistication is not pretentious, but lies squarely in the treatment of the outstanding produce. The commitment to regional comes from understanding where the property sits – squarely in one of the most productive and beautiful parts of regional Victoria.

Details are everything, or so the old saying alludes. These are not lost on the folks at The Trawool Estate. The little pre-mixed cocktails that kept those in-the-know satiated during lockdown are now served in those very same single serve bottles to guests in the rooms. The cocktail list is as extensive as the wine list is considered, and again local producers are to the fore. Speaking of cocktails, if you’re up for it, don’t miss the master-classes – definitely a stay-over event.

Make sure you follow the social media pages – The Trawool Estate runs some fairly astonishing events, with many planned ahead.

Seville Estate welcomes a cool new container bar

Images Supplied

For those who want to combine an easy-breezy winery experience with an edgy inner-city bar vibe, this Yarra Valley destination is for you.

Introducing Container Bar, a new venue launched by the legends over at Seville Estate Winery. Nestled in the Phillip Johnson native garden on the edge of Seville Estate, the wine bar features everything you’d expect from the crew; exceptional wine, seasonal produce and a chill atmosphere in which to enjoy the views.

Open on the weekends between 11am and 5pm, punters can either walk-in or plan ahead with bookings for up to ten people. Whether you’re popping by to sample some of the stellar tipples from Seville Estate, or fancy a full day of drinks, cheese and oysters, this is your one-stop shop.

The good news doesn’t stop there though. In preparation for end of year festivities, the crew has launched a series of exclusive dining experiences, tailored specifically for groups. Hosted in their lush outdoor patio, guests can expect a three-course luncheon – kicked off at 11:30am and in the container bar, of course – designed to share and reconnect. It’s COVID-safe, scrumptious and makes for the perfect Christmas party.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate the end of 2020 and we’re finding it hard to imagine a more relaxing, nourishing way to do it than at one of these killer venues. Knocking back some Chardonnay in an industrial-style container with the summer breeze on your skin; laughing with friends over oysters and experiencing the best service in the Yarra Valley… Well, let’s just say we’ll see you there.


THE DETAILS
WHAT: Container Bar
WHERE: 65 Linwood Road, Seville
WHEN: Weekends between 11am and 5pm
MORE INFO: Seville Estate Winery

Say ‘Hay’ to Fowles Wine’s new dining room

 Images Supplied

Fowles Wine is changing the game with a new outdoor dining space just in time for summer.

The winery, located in Avenel just 90minutes from Melbourne, has embraced the push for outdoor dining with plenty of creativity. With the help of some creative friends and some hay bales, the team quickly built some outdoor hay bale ‘dining rooms’.

The hay bale dining rooms, set on the winery’s sprawling lawns, are in addition to existing outdoor spaces including the picturesque 50m long Feasting Arbour, covered with flowering wisteria vines. Each bay of the arbour has a picnic table with umbrellas for the ideal alfresco lunch, before moving to the lawns for a post-lunch laydown.

The Terrace offers more al fresco dining options amongst the herb garden that provides flavour and freshness for kitchen.

Outdoor lovers have plenty to love at Fowles Wine with an expansive native garden, designed by Philip Johnson. Wander through the banksias, flowering gums and bottle trees, or take the kids to the sheep paddock to feed the hand-reared lambs.

“I wanted to create a haven for diners to safely escape and reconnect,” Matt Fowles said. “It was important for me to make it easy for people to enjoy nature while indulging in beautiful food and wine.”

The outdoor menu has been designed for a casual fine dining experience with fare from the open-air kitchen. Use the contact-less ordering system on your mobile to order a serve of brochettes, skewers that combine local ingredients in new ways. The culinary team source ingredients from their own and nearby farms, weaving the seasonal, local produce into ideal pairings to enjoy with a glass or two of Fowles Wine. The indoor kitchen and dining room follow a similar philosophy that favours local produce and a nose-to-tail ethos.

If you’re heading to the Strathbogie Ranges this summer, don’t forget to say ‘hay’ at Fowles Wines.


THE DETAILS
WHAT: Fowles Wines
WHERE: Corner Hume Fwy and Lambing Gully Rd, Avenel VIC 3664
WHEN: Now
MORE INFO: Fowles Wines

Attica is coming to the Yarra Valley

Image via @Australia

Ben Shewry, the genius behind the three-hatted restaurant (and national treasure) Attica, is going regional. Just yesterday, the chef-extraordinaire announced a brand new outdoor restaurant settled amongst the lush vineyards of the Yarra Valley – just in time for summer.

Attica Summer Camp is set to open right before Christmas and will give Victorian’s a fresh, more low-key take on the exceptional eats Attica is famous for. Think party-friendly shaded space overlooking undulating vines, seasonal produce with a sustainability focus, and Shewry’s signature creative flair.

It’s taken several months for Shewry to find the ideal location for his latest venture, teaming up with Healesville winemaker Mac Forbes to get the local down-low. They sifted through around 10 different sites and eventually settled on the former Lillydale Estate winery in Seville, whose hexagon pavilion is the perfect spot to get creative.

Inspired by his rural upbringing in North Taranaki, New Zealand, Shewry’s goal is to create a relaxed, joy-filled restaurant; somewhat the antithesis of his Ripponlea restaurant, which is well known to host high-profile guests and its eye-watering price tag.

In contrast, Summer Camp is about festival vibes, good tunes and delicious eats for everyone during the five-month residency. Guests can expect tastefully curated fun, starting with a poppin’ playlist by Adam Briggs and the Avalanches. It’s a sure bet to wash away the isolation blues. 

It’s been a long and challenging winter, especially for those in the hospitality industry. But as spring yawns towards summer and the state gets back into action, Attica Summer Camp is set to be the sweetest spot to celebrate.

THE DETAILS
WHAT: Attica Summer Camp
WHERE: 45 Davross Court, Seville, Victoria
WHEN: December 2020
MORE INFO: Attica

Bouncing back: four chefs reflect on the lockdown and their journey towards reopening

Words by Richard Cornish 
Images Supplied

With the ‘Ring of Steel’ dismantled, the 25km rule dropped, and our favourite destinations open for business we’re ready to head for the hills, beach, or valleys to celebrate our newfound freedom. There is a palpable energy in the air both in the city with people looking forward to a road trip, and in the regions, with kitchen crews preparing to welcome back long separated city guests. 

We spoke to some of our top chef/owners in regions around the state about their COVID19 lockdown, what they did to survive, and what they plan to serve up to us when we arrive to dine with them. 

Tedesca Osteria

Mornington Peninsula #onehourout

Tedesca Osteria RestaurantBrigitte Hafner baked us our daily tarts and made us our daily vitello tonnato when she and Jamie Broadway ran Gertrude Street Enoteca in Fitzroy. It closed forever over winter, preceded, thankfully, by the opening of the bucolic dream that is Tedesca Osteria. Perched on the spine of Main Ridge on the Mornington Peninsula, overlooking flowing creeks, stringybark forest and vineyards beyond, Tedesca Osteria is reminiscent of those classic European Michelin star restaurants with set menu dining.

When we spoke, Brigitte had just finished her second service since reopening after lockdown. “We were a bit anxious,” says Brigitte. ‘But what happened during lockdown was that we became a team. We only opened in March and did not have time, really to prepare,” she says.

With lockdown, she and her team, including Broadway, went to work preparing food boxes each week to keep Tedesca afloat. They contained comfort food, including bread and baked goods,  her German mother’s strudel and Eccles cakes with cheddar cheese. “We were able to keep most of our team, including our visa holders, together except one, who got a job as a nurse,” says Brigitte cheerily. “We all worked chopping wood, gardening, preparing the food. Skills that we learned and shared. I now have a great orchard planted with amazing citrus and nut trees.” Being in a beautiful part of the world made it easier for Brigitte and her crew, with daily walks along deserted country lanes and long strolls along the beaches of Westernport. “We were also able to have a smokehouse built in which we will smoke our smallgoods when we start getting our whole pigs in from a local farmer.”

This week she has been serving dolmades made with her own preserved vine leaves, mud crab with fresh pasta, tarragon, and garden peas. There is also Great Ocean Road Duck with chickpeas, spinach, and west Indian limes and a Paris-brest to finish. “We learned so much over lockdown about being a team,” says Brigitte. “Now it’s time to put those skills to work.”

Check out Tedeaca here.

Brae

Birregurra #twohoursout

Dan Hunter Brae Restaurant“We are here, and we are open,” says Dan Hunter of Brae at Birregurra. The internationally acclaimed chef has worked around the world and has watched as the pandemic raged through the places in Europe where he worked in his earlier years. “The international imagery of hospitals in Italy and Spain was devastating,” says Dan. “There are worse places being in lockdown than here,” he says of the masterfully converted farm cottage perched on a farmlet, surrounded by acres of orchard and kitchen garden.

“In early April, I looked around and saw a vegetable garden full of late summer produce, and it gave us a feeling of safety. We were comforted being out of the city on a rural property surrounded by produce that could feed the family,” says Dan. “We have the skills to grow the vegetables to feed us.” Dan and his team harvested fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden and sold them to the local community. This connection with the local people continued with a series of international-themed dinners that took residents to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and beyond. “We also made picnic boxes with our bread and terrines so people could take themselves away,” says Dan. Dan and his family were able to escape to the seaside area of Skenes Creek near Apollo Bay. “Spending time with the family was so important,” says Dan.

After good spring rains, the dams are full, and the surrounding countryside is verdant with lush pasture that Dan describes as ‘money paddocks’ for the local graziers; Dan looks to his gardens for inspiration for his late spring menu: asparagus, peas, broad beans, lettuce and radicchio to cook dishes like “rainbow trout and broad beans from this season and last, anise myrtle, roe and citrus, radicchio brushed with treacle and black garlic.” With customers back, Dan and his wife Julianne wrestle customer expectations and government COVID capacity rules. “You know what gave me great joy this spring?” asks Dan rhetorically. “The black swans who came to stay on the dam and the evening chorus of frogs. Simple things.” 

Head here to take a look at Brae.

Provenance

Beechworth #threehoursout 

Michael Ryan Provence Restaurant Beechworth“From here in Beechworth, I knew just how devastating the lockdown was for the industry,” says Michael Ryan. He speaks from Provenance, based in a solid-granite, former bank in the heart of historic Beechworth, where Michael cooks his unique Japanese influenced style of cuisine.

“When it first started, it was the unknown. And that is terrifying,” he says. Michael and his team suffered the triple whammy, first the fires over summer, then lockdown one, a brief awakening, then lockdown two. “In the first lockdown I tapped the bounty of the season and made sugo, chestnut jam and lime marmalade and some amazing grenadine,” says Michael. “I pulped 60kg of pomegranates for that grenadine. Not something I need to do again in a hurry.” It was a mild winter in the North East, and Michael spent hours on his pushbike, walking the dog around Lake Samball and time with his wife and daughter. “The biggest decision I had to make every day was what to make for dinner,” he says with a laugh.

Michael also received funding to explore making sake and delved into the arcane art of making amaro, the bitter Italian style digestive. He has extracted over 90 different botanicals. He will soon get his licence so he can buy alcohol and make, he hopes, three different styles of amaro early next year. “But now it is so green, so lush,” says Michael. “The days are long and warm and the nights cool. His garden is amok with shiso, the fragrant Japanese herb almost becoming a weed. He salts it down for six months, ready for the autumn menu.” He is currently serving a set menu of a four-course meal made of 18 small dishes. He is particularly proud of his lup cheong pork sausages he made in the first lockdown and potato chips cooked in beef tallow dusted with a little seaweed salt. He also takes great pride in a dish of cauliflower slow-cooked in lots of butter served with white fish floss and coloured pink with beetroot juice and served with cherry tomatoes marinated in sweet dashi. Off the grill comes flat iron steak, served with miso butter and braised onions. “Delightful with a local Beechworth Gamay,” he adds.

Now he is looking forward to the berry and cherry season. “Cherries for the extracts for the amaro,” says Michael. “And with the raspberries, I will make some old school sable, some yuzu cream, and finish it with some fresh lychees.” He pauses. And says, “You know what, that lockdown will be the long service leave I was never going to get.” 

Check here to find out more about Provenance.

Stefano’s Cantina

Mildura #fourhoursout 

Stefano de Pieri Stefano's Cantina Restaurant Mildura“Mildura went quiet,” says Stefano de Pieri from Stefano’s Cantina at the Grand Hotel, Mildura. “The city went eerily quiet during lockdown. But we were ringed by a hive of activity because the farming never stopped. COVID or no COVID, Australian agriculture never stops. The trucks kept on taking food down to Melbourne,” he says with his usual energy.

Stefano spent a lot of his lockdown walking along the locks of the Murray River. “It is so beautiful, so tranquil, there are so many birds. It all helps me to contemplate where I am in my life. I realised I will be 80 in 15 years! I can not think of that many chefs still behind the stove at my age,” he says. “So I raged against the ‘dimming of the light’ by renovating the dining rooms,” says Stefano with a laugh. He also successfully campaigned to become a Mildura City councilor, hosted the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show, made 22 Youtube episodes of a children’s cooking show, and shot a ten-part food television series with SBS. “So, as you can see, I have not been idle,” says Stefano.

He has also been working on his menu, freshening it up, putting on more seafood and vegetable dishes. “What I cook reflects what is grown here as much as possible. So this has been the season for asparagus and artichokes. We have been making our own ricotta, which I use with bullhorn peppers stuffed with smoked eggplant.” Stefano has also got his hands on some locally made ‘nduja, which he is serving with baby calamari. “It is 35°C outside each day,” says Stefano. “We need to serve food that reflects the climate, not just the season.” 

Visit Stefano’s here.

Yarra Valley Garden Party

Words by Amanda Kennedy Images supplied 

As we get closer and closer to being able to travel again, businesses of the Yarra Valley have been working away, getting the valley ready to welcome you back for a visit and we’re almost there. Until then you are officially invited to the Yarra Valley Garden Party virtual event October 2-4.  All you need to do is order the Garden Party Pack and create a spring garden party in your own home with family/friends/bubble buddy. 

So what’s in the pack?

Six of the region’s best wines, recipe cards to inspire your party, a Spotify soundtrack to reflect the valley in Spring, Diggers Club sweet pea seeds, iso-craft garland supplies and a list of spots throughout the region to pimp your Instagram (tulips bulbs to come in January.) With only a couple of clicks, support regional businesses and get it delivered to your door thanks to The Regional Pantry.

Whether it’s a succulent’s workshop, a guided wine tasting or a Four Pillars gin cocktail class, the Yarra Valley Garden Party has got you covered. With the entire event to be live-streamed online via visityarravalley.com.au as well as through the Facebook page, the Yarra Valley never been so accessible.

Saturday morning with yoga at Alowyn Gardens

Start your weekend off on the right note with a live-streamed yoga class from the picturesque Alowyn Gardens located in Yarra Glen. Restore balance and harmony to your day with an uplifting class designed for all age and fitness levels. Whether it’s the Parterre or the Edible garden that catches your eye, ‘downward dog’ will have you planning your next visit.

Sourdough skills – more than just an iso-hobby

Next up, it’s time to put on the Spotify soundtrack and get ready to flex your kneading skills. You’ve seen others get their sourdough game on during recent stay-at-home times; we’ve got all the tips and tricks for you to step up yours. This timeless bread-making technique fits in seamlessly to a modern lifestyle, especially if working from home. Wherever you are on your sourdough journey, there’s something in this session for you.

Dylan McMahon and Phillip Johnson at Seville Estate

4pm is officially wine o’clock so join Seville Estate winemaker, Dylan McMahon, and landscape designer, Phillip Johnson, as they wander the gardens of Seville Estate while talking all things wine and garden. Dylan’s dedication to low-intervention wine-making is reflected in the same approach to the estate’s garden program. In the months to come, the friendly winery staff will shift from pruning the vines to serving guests at their cellar door, restaurant and accommodation.

For now, all you need to do is grab the glasses and pour a glass of their barrel-fermented 2017 Estate Riesling, which Dylan describes as a textural wine, well-balanced by acidity and notes of lime. It ticks a lot of boxes for ardent Riesling fans while also being a great entry point for those just discovering the varietal.

Pencil this one into your calendar.

Wake up and discover flavour with Silva Coffee

Okay, it’s Sunday morning and by now you need a coffee. Local roasters, Silva Coffee, will help demystify your morning brew with their Coffee Tasting class. Experience four coffees from different regions, each with their unique flavours and aromas. Cleo and Wayne began roasting coffee from their Wesburn home in 2010. Graduating from farmers markets to now supplying a raft of venues and homes across Victoria, they’ve not wavered from their dedication to community and sustainability. Byo boiling water.

Yarra Valley Pasta’s Lisa Giffard with cook and author Julia Busuttil Nishimura 

Join Lisa and Julia in casual conversation as they discuss subjects dear to all our hearts – food, family and cooking. These two accomplished home cooks will draw on their robust family heritage to weave together stories and tips for simple, seasonal dishes.

With unfussy recipes from quick pastas to generous baked treats, it’s easy to see why Julia’s popular cookbooks have inspired so many. You’ll soon be drafting the menu for those long, leisurely lunches with family and friends we all miss.

Bringing together two of the valley’s foremost producers, Buxton Trout Farm and Yarra Valley Dairy, Lisa will prepare Yarra Valley Pasta’s smoked trout and goats cheese ravioli. Looks like it might be time to crack the Mac Forbes EB52 Rose.

This relaxing Sunday afternoon session is the ideal antidote for those dreaming of a plane ticket to Italy.

Not quite tiptoeing through the tulips

You’ve just finished the live guided tasting with Jess Nguyen, so settle back and enjoy the sounds of the Yarra Valley Opera Festival set to the visual spectacular of Tesselaar Tulips’ fabulous fields of blooms. And lucky you, your party pack bulbs will arrive in January. 

Flick through the tempting recipe cards created by Caroline Gray or be inspired by the winemakers’ favourite dishes, both perfect Sunday evening activities. Whatever you choose, sit back and toast your wise decision to celebrate Spring in the valley without ever leaving your armchair.


THE DETAILS:

WHAT: Yarra Valley Garden Party
WHERE: At home
WHEN: October 2-4
MORE INFO: Yarra Valley Garden Party

OHO In ISO: Sonia Anthony from Masons of Bendigo

Husband and wife chef team, Sonia and Nick Anthony have been managing Masons of Bendigo since 2012. The restaurant is a modern, sophisticated restaurant with a relaxed ambience. Their food and beverages menu is focused on sourcing the best Central Victoria artisanal produce.

What is happening with your business at this stage?

We have been closed since the forced shutdown of our industry on March 23rd. Our food style doesn’t translate into take-away and we felt there were enough businesses in town offering typical take-away offerings. We felt that it would have added pressure and an unwanted competitiveness with our industry peers that just didn’t sit well with us. Everyone’s doing it tough, there’s no need for that extra stress.

What has happened to your staff and how are they coping?

As we were closed and receiving no income, we qualified for JobKeeper assistance so we could ensure our team had a continued income which was important for us. Our team is such a big part of who we are. They’ve been keeping busy at home with their families, lots of cooking, cleaning and perhaps a few extra hours of gaming. We have a closed Facebook page for our team and I’ve been checking in online to see how they’ve been going.

What have you been hearing about your producers through this time?

I’m the President of the Bendigo Community Farmers Market and have been managing the social media and marketing over this period. Many of the producers who we have been supporting us over the last 8 years also sell through the market, so it’s been wonderful seeing how we’ve grown the number of shoppers to help them sell their produce on a retail level. They have seen a downturn in income and each producer has been impacted differently according to what they sell. Phone calls to check in have been as important for them as it has been for us.

With the assistance of COGB staff, we’ve also been able to link producers to their customers via the Open Food Network which is a website designed for farmers to sell directly to customers. We’re developing a ‘Bendigo Community Farmers Market’ page which will show our regular producers and stallholders in the one virtual space making shopping easier. Think of it like a physical market but online.

What are your plans as restrictions ease?

We’re super excited to be launching a more refined menu when we re-open. Sharing is no longer an option for us so we’re offering a number of set-menu options for diners; really focusing on building on our Masons experience that people have come to love. We want diners to come in and have a fabulous time enjoying the flavours of our food, enjoying local wine, with incredible service.

Any great iso cooking adventures happening at your place?

I can’t lie, it’s been great having Nick at home each night! He’s been doing a lot of recipe testing for the new menus and producing super delicious meals based on our Farmers Market shop. The market now runs weekly so we’ve been enjoying as an example; 96-hour slow-cooked Warialda Beef brisket, Great Ocean Ducks confit leg with mushroom risotto and I’ve loved that we’ve been eating more vegetables than ever before. There’s been plenty of bread testing and baked goodies, not sure how myself and our kids will cope now we are re-open.  Although I am looking forward to going in and dining with friends at Masons sometime soon, it’s something I’ve really missed.


The Details:

Masons of Bendigo opened their doors again on Tuesday 2nd June and will be offering dinner Tuesdays to Saturdays and lunch from Thursdays to Saturdays. Due to the restrictions on guest numbers, they are currently only taking bookings via phone or email. You will find them at 25, Queen Street, Bendigo.

OHO in ISO: Mauro Callegari from The Independent, Gembrook

Images supplied

At The Independent Gembrook, Mauro has designed a modern Argentinian menu. He honed his skills working world-wide in kitchens in Melbourne, London and Buenos Aires and was part of the opening team of Conran’s Almeida Restaurant in London. Closer to home he’s worked in the kitchens of some of Melbourne’s most respected chefs including Marcus Moore at Sofitel and Raymond Capaldi at Fenix.

What is happening with the restaurant at this stage?

At this stage, the restaurant is selling ‘Ready to Heat at Home Meals’. We are delivering to local suburbs, Thursday to Sunday, and to some surrounding suburbs on alternating days. People can also arrange to collect from the restaurant Thursday to Sunday 11am-4pm. We are currently working on launching ‘Ready to Eat Meals’ on the weekend, where customers can pick up our dishes hot or receive them by delivery if they are local. 

How are your staff going?

Our staff are all well. Whilst remaining positive and in good spirits, we are all concerned about the current situation and what the future will look like. 

There are twelve staff involved in the restaurant operation at the moment. Together we are prepping, packing and delivering meals as far as Beaconsfield and Belgrave and most suburbs in between. 

I am keeping in contact with staff through our Facebook staff group page. I also check in with them by phoning them, sending text messages and having meetings at the restaurant. 

What’s the feeling around Gembrook at the moment?

From the very beginning we were all concerned about how we are all going to come out on the other side of this. This situation has placed so much strain on our business. It has affected us personally and emotionally but the community is sticking together. They are popping in to say hello, that in itself is support. They are buying our products, sharing our posts on social media and spreading the word that we are now trading with our ‘Ready to Heat at Home Meals’ available to purchase online. 

The week we closed our landlord contacted us and offered their help. Neighbours, suppliers, local groups, staff and our families are all working with us to support us. 

What changes are you considering for the business once restrictions are downgraded?

We are currently making a lot of changes in regards to service and our offerings. We review our profit and loss statement daily to see where we can cut unnecessary costs. We are also working towards a new marketing plan. Everyone is also involved in doing small projects that are difficult to do when the restaurant is in operation such as maintenance, filing, cleaning and gardening. 

What have you been watching or reading in lockdown?

I’ve been reading a book called ‘Where Dreams Come From’. I’ve also been spending my time cooking at home and going for walks with my son. I’ve been watching ‘That 70’s Show’, it’s a good laugh when you need to relax. 


THE DETAILS:

The Independent Gembrook
79  Main Street, Gembrook

Pierrepoint Wines

Andrew and Jenny are the kind of family hosts you expect from a little cellar door on a private property. They love what they do, though like most growers and makers, they question their own sanity. We didn’t have any further questions after sampling the wines, though. They’re all a perfect education in terroir – that fancy French word for the intangible combination of place, climate, season, and ‘vibe’ that makes wines taste the way they do. Regular music gigs held at the venue make it worth signing up to the newsletter.

These little places are why we leave the city for a long weekend.

Bridge Road Brewers

Bridge Road Brewers in Beechworth is one of those classic ‘Back Shed to Big-ish Business’ stories. Ben started brewing in his dad’s shed over a decade ago. Actually, there’s a lot of shed about the vibe at this Beechworth venue, and we love it. All of this is by-the-by, really, because the beer is awesome, and the food is casual and fun. It’s a great place to hang with a few friends making short work of a range of beers and pizzas. Tomato, taleggio, thyme, mushrooms and capers. These had a happy home on my pizza, washed down with a Bling India Pale. Delicious.

Tasting boards are a great way to try a few beers before committing to a whole pint or, if you’re like us, choosing which six-packs to take home. And if you like to get your beer-geek on, then every Saturday at 11am there’s a chance to tour the inner sanctum of the brewery with a tasting.