Stomping Ground Brewing Co.
Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone think there’s a beer out there for everyone. They’ve been out to prove it through their pub in St Kilda, The Local Taphouse and their annual beer festival, the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular (both since sold to other parties).
It’s the same story at Stomping Ground, the converted warehouse the pair owns with former Taphouse manager Justin Joiner. Stomping Ground doesn’t only serve beers that are really “craft”, but well-made accessible beers, too.
The Bearbrass milk stout is a dark, coffee-ish ale that uses lactose for a softer mouth feel. It’s listed on the menu under “Easier Drinking”, along with a German-style lager and two different pale ales. The “Moderately Challenging” and “More Challenging” headings offer a funky, yeast-driven grapefruit saison; a bitter, hop-heavy IPA and a beastly 11.4 per cent barley wine that tastes like liquid toffee.
There are two big braziers that warm the site, a retractable roof that covers a quarter of it, and a kids cubbyhouse in the corner behind a child-proof gate. Potted trees, climbing vines and other greenery add to all this to make Stomping Ground seem nothing like a brewery at all. Brass, timber and black iron give the 250-patron site the look of a Victorian-era factory or train station.