Aunty Jacks on Mair Street in Ballarat Central channels the vibe of a Budapest ruin bar. It’s dark and decorated with a random assortment of junkshop art, including old TVs playing Micky Mouse cartoons, walls constructed from suitcases and plants growing out of concrete mixers.
Eight different styles of beer are brewed on-site. Brewers Peter Aldred and Matt Ives run “beer school” here on weekends for up to 20 students. And if you’re not academically inclined don’t worry, this lesson is more about tasting than brewing.
Expect to sample a flight of six beers tied to an ever-changing theme (it could be German or Belgian brews, or centred on an ingredient), and the brewers will explain what to look out for and demystify the brewing process. For more serious scholars, the beer school is linked to a course at Federation Tafe Ballarat, which offers a Certificate III in brewing.
Relax after class with a menu of comfort food, including porter-braised beef cheek slow cooked in the beer brewed here, and find your favourite beer on tap (the cocoa stout is a rousing winter choice).
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