Don’t be deceived by the quiet side street location of this Melbourne brewery; this place is HUGE and you’re probably going to have a hard time deciding which beer to try next.
Located off Hoddle Street in Collingwood, Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall is a must-visit if you have a passion for craft beers and local breweries. With it’s massive open-plan arrangement to fit 250 seated beer-enthusiasts, a sheltered beer garden, giant 30-tap bar and a cubby house for the kiddos, it’s hard not to feel like you’re part of a north-side beer community once you step inside the beer hall.
Don’t be fooled by the large seating capacity, though, this place gets packed pretty quickly, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, so get down there early if you’re planning on grabbing some food. And that just gives you more time to try another beer from their list! Winning!
At any one time, Stomping Ground have up to 20 of their beers on tap, but don’t panic, they’ve categorised them in complexity and style for you on their menu. There’s malt-driven, hop-driven and yeast-driven options, or you can even pick 6 of your own 100ml tasters.
If sampling your way through their beer list has got you peckish, then they have you sorted in the food department, too, with all your favourite pub meals. I ordered the margherita pizza (as I do), and umm, hello? How have I managed to keep myself deprived of it for this long?! Absolutely divine. It looked amazing and upon my first bite, it was confirmed – one of the best pizzas I’ve had. Not THE best, but damn, they dish up a fine wood-fired pizza. Although they did kind of stinge out on the basil… Cute attempt, but two little garnishing leaves ain’t gonna cut it – I like me my basil on every slice of my margherita. The chips were delicious, too, but most places have nailed how to make good chips, so there was nothing stand-out-ish about them.
I just knew my Stomping Ground experience wouldn’t be complete without having tried their “beer ice cream”, so I ordered one of those, too. It basically just tasted like Ovaltine had been mixed into it, but still delicious, nonetheless.
I guess when you can pack this many patrons into a place at one time, the service is going to suffer, which I’ve noticed both times visiting. It seems as though the bartenders’ accustomed manner is to serve and move on. There’s no time or patience to provide any knowledgeable advice as to which beer from their extensive list they recommend you to try. I found the same experience to be true with the waitress taking our group’s food orders. The service isn’t horrible, but it is something that stands out for me and spoils my overall experience. That said, I have gone during their busiest hours on both a Friday and Saturday night, so that can be forgiven in the name of everything else killer about the place.
If you find that you don’t want your Stomping Ground experience to end, they allow you to bring a selection of their brews home with you, with their swap-and-go “growlers” (1.89L) and “squealers” (945L) bottles. First timers pay a $7 deposit for the bottle in addition to the beer, then only pay for the beer refills when you bring back your empty bottle! Pretty neat!
Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall
100 Gipps Street, Collingwood, VIC
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am – late
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am-1am