Beer and bites at Stomp­ing Ground.

The ale is flow­ing and the food is fly­ing at this ware­house-turned-beer hall which might just her­ald the re­turn of the brew­ers to Colling­wood

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - STOMP­ING GROUND: REVIEWED BY DAN STOCK

HARDLY want­ing for wa­ter­ing holes, Colling­wood – once the epi­cen­tre of Mel­bourne brew­ing – has only re­cently switched on the taps that turn hops, bar­ley and water into so much more.

Stomp­ing Ground is the first brew­ery to call the area home in a cen­tury and it’s heart­en­ing to see at least some of old Colling­wood’s ex­pan­sive ware­house space be­ing used for some­thing other than more apart­ments.

Al­most 20 beers pro­vide eclec­tic drink­ing for those so in­clined, thirstquench­ing smash­ers for those less so, and even a well-cho­sen lo­cal wine or two for the com­pletely un­in­ter­ested, though they, too, are on tap.

Given the founders of The Lo­cal Tap­house and the Great Aus­tralian Beer Spec­ta­pu­lar fes­ti­val are be­hind Stomp­ing Ground, it’s no sur­prise those beers are top-notch. The Laneway lager is a ses­sion-wor­thy slam­mer and the Gipps St Aussie ale has a lick of hops.

And while the booze is beaut, the food’s no af­ter­thought, with the kitchen ex­e­cut­ing beer-friendly fare with un­ex­pected flair. Luridly spiced chicken wings and pork ribs are dig-in, mess­ily good fin­ger food, while smoky ched­dar and crisp rash­ers on the dou­ble-patty burger makes for two-handed bun fun that’s a step above the norm.

Piz­zas fly out of the wood­fire oven, with lightly charred bases that hold firm un­der the ju­di­cious weight of good in­gre­di­ents. Spicy nduja and roasted egg­plant is a win­ning com­bi­na­tion, and the margherita nails its sim­ple brief.

More am­bi­tious plates show the kitchen’s style, such as a nicely spiced peanut sam­bal across a lamb rump with charred fen­nel and yo­ghurt.

A kids’ area, complete with cub­by­house, and board games for lazy af­ter­noons seal what is an ex­cel­lent deal. Stomp­ing Ground is great.

From top: the in­dus­trial beer hall, view of the stain­less steel brew­ery, and pizza with prosci­utto, rocket and mush­rooms.

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