Bodriggy Brewing Co, from the owners of Dr Morse across the road, was years in the making. And it shows. The atmosphere transcends the basic cellar door-type breweries Melburnians are used to, where food is often an afterthought.

Bodriggy’s menu features light, fresh and zingy Central and South American food that’s somewhat familiar but includes some interesting diversions. Stuffed jalapenos are packed with meaty smoked swordfish. Likewise, anticuchos – a sort of Peruvian satay or shish kebab – are common enough. But the rendition here is a sticky char-shiu like combination of beef heart and grilled potato. Other hits might include elote (corn on the cob), big plates of pulled pork and a zippy take on ceviche. The menu makes it worth coming here just to eat, regardless of anything else.

If you’re here for the beers, Bodriggy covers a decent amount of ground. There are light, accessible options such as a crisp pilsner and summer ale, right through to geeky, obscure styles such as kettle sours and lichtenhainer (a low-alcohol wheat beer).

But again, the place’s strength is that beer is only one part of what it does. After a pét-nat? Great, Bodriggy has one on tap along with four other wines. A tequila or mezcal? You bet – just consult the towering, soft-glowing shelves behind the bar. Take our advice and skip your usual order for one of the three unusual options on tap. A cascara (coffee cherry) number tastes a little like chinotto, and a Mexican tepache, made by fermenting pineapple juice, has a powerful funk balanced with a citrus garnish.

Though Bodriggy is licensed for 424 people, it feels much smaller. The cavernous warehouse has been carefully divided into separate areas, each with a distinct feel. There are big, group-friendly trestle tables, smaller stand-up tables and a quasi-restaurant area with comfy banquettes, booths and smarter finishes. In the middle, a flame tree stretches out of a gigantic rusted-iron planter box to tickle the rafters. Then there’s Stingrays Upstairs, an intimate ’70s-style cocktail den with fun, fluorescent drinks, plus a spinning disco ball and “high-end Australiana” energy.

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Updated: August 25th, 2023

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