In the late 1800s, Collingwood was the home of Australian brewing. It’s been over 100 years since a commercial brewery has opened in the ‘Wood, but the team behind the Local Taphouse and GABS festival have now returned brewing back to it’s original ‘Stomping Ground’.
Open seven days a week, Stomping Ground Brewery and Beer Hall has something for everyone. More specifically, a beer for everyone. All of the bartenders are either already Cicerone certified or currently in training, and are always up for a chat to help you find your perfect beer. Take a seat at the bar and let the knowledgeable, passionate bartenders help you navigate through the impressive selection of house-brewed beers and provide guidance in choosing your next drink.
Their beers are organised into categories on screens above the taps starting from easier drinking beginners beers, all the way through to intermediate and challenging. With 16 beers currently on tap, we recommend starting with a ‘Mixed Six’ for $18, which will give six tasters of the house selection.
Even if you aren’t particularly a fan of the golden ale, Stomping Ground believe there is a beer out there for even the fussiest of customers. For example, their ‘Tassie Sour’ will have non-beer drinkers ordering pint after pint of the pale pink beer. The dry single batch sour ale uses Tasmanian blackcurrants and has been described as highly “sessionable”…but don’t take our word for it, try it for yourself – it’s dangerously delicious.
And of course, great beer must be accompanied by great food. Expect all your favourite pub meals with a difference. There’s a wood fire pizza oven, a range of salads, smaller sharing plates and a good selection of mains. There’s also several gluten free and vegan options, and each main has a suggested beer for pairing.
Their beers are also included as much as possible in the production of the food; think pork ribs slow cooked in grandstand ale, steamed mussels with saison straight from the brewery, and beer ice cream. Beer ice cream. It would be rude not to.
The exposed brick walls, recycled timber and concrete floors on the lower level give the massive space an industrial feel, with the retractable ceiling over the beer garden keeping it bright and open. There’s climbing vines growing up the walls and other lush greenery hanging from the ceilings. Wide windows give you insight into the brewhouse from your table, or you can take a free tour of the brewery complete with tastings every Saturday and Sunday at 12pm.
Stomping Ground truly is a community space that caters for everyone – young or old, families and friends, engagement parties or casual dates, and to prove this community spirit, the seriously impressive cubby house for the kids (which is bigger than most inner-city apartments might I add) truly sets it apart from any other venue in the city.
It’s walk-ins only for the beer garden seating area so get in earlier to bag yourself a table. If you’ve got a larger group of 12 or more there is a separate section just off to the side allowing you to still enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of the beer garden.
The strong community spirit that Stomping Ground has brought to Collingwood is undeniable. Stop in mid-week to have a chat with the friendly staff and try a new beer, come back on Friday night with your mates for some relaxed drinks, then bring the kids down for lunch on the weekend. They’ve only been open for six months and have a lots in store for us in the future, but make Stomping Ground your new local today.
By Madeline Wallman