Before he started Love Shack Brewing Co., owner Conna Mallett was on the tools at the Stomping Ground Brewery in Collingwood. It was there he met his now business partner Harry Cox. The pair entertained dreams of one day opening their own venue, which became a reality when Mallett moved to Castlemaine and saw a gap in the market for a brewpub.

A chance encounter with Tim Heath, co-owner of the historic Theatre Royal, led Conna and Cox to set up a brewery in a run-down shed in the backyard of the theatre. A bar soon followed, opening in November 2020. The space is now affectionately known as the Love Shack Garden Bar.

There are six beers on tap – a pale ale, IPA and lager are pouring year-round, while the remaining three taps rotate between seasonal brews. You’ll find everything from a pineapple and passionfruit sour to a mid-strength red IPA, depending on the brew schedule

The Theatre Royal kitchen has pizza to go perfectly with Love Shack’s brews. Try the Carciofi with garlic, artichokes, taleggio, rosemary, grapes and capers, or the Gamberi with tomato, prawns, sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella.

The bar is a favourite haunt for musicians and artists, and you’ll often catch bands playing under the pergola, which doubles as a stage. Winter sees punters huddled round the garden’s roaring fire.

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Updated: January 2nd, 2024

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