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
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.