Moon Dog OG
It's not the likeliest place for a bar: a seedy street in Abbotsford's industrial quarter, surrounded by panel-beating shops and brothels. But then, Moon Dog has never bothered with convention. In 2019 it opened an enormous second location in Preston, complete with a waterfall, tropical lagoon and room for 725 patrons.
Started in 2010 by brothers Josh and Jake Uljans and mate Karl van Buuren, Moon Dog turned heads with its very first batch, a potent double IPA. Since then, it's successfully experimented with outlandish ingredients such as watermelon, truffle, chilli, pumpkin and wild yeast.
The bar is free-spirited and anything goes. There's free popcorn, a giant projector screen which drops down during key sporting events and a table tennis table which gets wheeled out in quieter periods. Eight taps rescued from neighbouring CUB pour everything from Love Tap, a relatively plain lager, to Perverse Sexual Amalgam, a tangy, wild-fermented drop which tastes like fuller-bodied champagne spiked with balsamic vinegar.
Moon Dog's founders have just as much character as their products. A "secret" bookcase door connects the bar with a newer wing of the brewery, while the walls are adorned with such oddities as a framed photo of John Candy and a mounted pink elephant toy van Buuren got when he was born, "from a very disturbed uncle". It’s quirky without feeling contrived – and certainly a place we want to knock back a few with good friends.