This place is only 5km from my front door by foot. But it is hard to find. Walk down Clarendon Street and turn first right after Market St. I know you are worried about ducking down a dark alley in South Melbourne. With its proximity to the Crown Casino this is brothel territory where winners celebrate (so the legend goes).
But fear not. Down the alley on the left is a small non-descript warehouse with a roller door. The only sign of life is a small lit sign above a door. Welcome to the Emerald Hill Brewery (20 Ross Street, South Melbourne, Vic 3205 +61 3 9696-5491). And it is my entry to the Session#4 local brews meme hosted this week by Gastronomic Fight Club.
Bushy beards aren’t mandatory here although there are a few hanging around. We arrive at 5.30pm and there are only a handful of people sampling the two award winning beers on tap, a pale ale and a wheat beer. Soon the places fills up with women as well as men.
In the far corner are four large stainless steel containers. Near the rollerdoor an old sofa and there are some stools and small tables attached to the wall. This is a deconstructed pub in all its perfection. Plain brick walls, beer brewed on the premises. It’s about quality, not quantity although A$5 pints are very attractive.
Apparently, a batch of stout is on it’s way which is welcome for what looks like being a cold southern winter.
Our only gripe with this place is the name.
While Australia is famous for producing a popular abomination known as Fosters nobody really drinks the sweet fizzy brew here. Most people drink VB – Victoria Bitter – or the real hard nuts Melbourne Bitter.
My mates reckon the Emerald hill Brewery should produce South Melbourne bitter. Something for the simple beer nuts.