Pub: Mountain Goat Brewery
Where: cnr. North and Clark St Richmond
Phone: 9428 1150
Date: 23 November 2012
You enter from a back street into a building, like so many others in this middle earth part of the back blocks of Richmond. It is not easy to find; harder still to get a park. A known landmark, the terrific Royston Hotel, gives you your co-ordinates, but just.
Only some obscure symbol gives a clue to what you are about to step into. It looks like a pub inside; there’s a bar, food is being served, a cracking soundtrack fills in the air, and people, men and women standing around having a drink - a beer.
And only one type of beer too.
Having pitifully created the illusion of some D-Grade essay on US prohibition (and D may be overstretching), I have arrived at one of the biggest buzzes in Melbourne; one so breathtakingly simple, it has to be seen to be believed.
Ok, it is not a pub, so please pay no attention to the mark afforded; it is done to fill the gap. But for all intensive purposes (deliberate before you write in - we are using pub language), the Mountain Goat Brewery could easily pass as a pub.
By most days, it is a working brewery and this small time craft outfit, has taken some big strides over the past 15 years.
In short, with its Steam and Hightail ales, MG has become somewhat of an inner-urban darling, satisfying jaded palates who now demand choice at the their local tap.
But twice a week - Wednesday and Friday - the brewery opens up and people come from near and far to stand around, (or sit on op-shop furniture) and have a beer with some homemade pizza.
(The pub does functions/weddings on Saturdays where caterers come in and extend the offer both food and wine. Silly place to have a wedding? - it is booked out for the next 4 months at time of writing).
May I suggest, if you are a punter looking for different or if you are a publican/bar owner go. It is so breathtakingly simple and unbelievably popular with no signs of abating.
Mains: Pizza only - $14-17
Wine: No, MG beer only.
There isn’t a great deal I can add. It is solely about trying their beer and having a pizza to provide the nourishment.
What staggered was the number of women, in groups, just standing/sitting around and relaxing over an excellent Steam Ale (pilsener/lighter) or Hightail (malty/robust) with an offer of some of their small run beers. Their chocolatey Porter (now gone) was this magnificent dark treat on the night visited.
The blokes that run the brewery will take you for a tour (about 15 minutes) and they pack plenty into the space available.
If you want to try a range , a paddle with 4 beers (around 100ml/glass) each is available and this may include a wheat, indian or a blonde paired with the popular brands.
The pizza is wonderful. Thinnish base, plenty of toppings, and have interesting twists, e.g., the Broc n roll, comprising broccolini, gorgonzola, carmelised onions, or the Panos which had haloumi, green olives, lemon rosemary.
This offer works. Time and again I asked myself why - surely anyone could do it.
- Pizza, various types including a prosciutto, mozzarella, green olives and chilli. Anywhere from $14-17. Excellent taste, cooked perfectly, generous and brought to the table through the throng.
- Range of Mountain Goat Beers - $5/285ml steam/hightail or $9.5/pint. Other specialised runs available at varying prices.
And that’s it. Beer, Pizza, Music, Brewery.
It is one of the must go to’s in Melbourne.