“Barbeque is my religion. Welcome to church.”

In his Instagram bio, chef Kyle Downward (aka @meat.cathedral) doesn’t mince words.

The ex-Le Bon Ton chef takes barbequing very seriously. And it’s culminated in his current role as head chef and pitmaster at Cheltenham’s Bad Shepherd Brewing Co.

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Husband-and-wife team Dereck and Diti Hales opened the Reserve Road brewpub in 2015 as a slick, spacious home for their beer label. And while barbeque has always been part of the formula, bringing Downward on board means the menu has shot upward.

“He’s a purist – he lets the meat shine,” Dereck says of Downward, who’s often in from 5am smoking meats and making all the sauces, rubs and sides from scratch.

From Thursday to Sunday, his smoky, share-style menu of American-barbeque classics is available for dine-in or takeaway. Expect beautifully marbled Angus Riverine brisket (plus burnt ends smothered in Kansas City-style barbeque sauce), pulled pork shoulder with vibrant South Carolina-style mustard sauce, and glossy, finger-lickin’ good lamb ribs. They’re served by the quarter, half or full pound – in true American style.

Sides include house-made pickles, creamy (but vegan) macaroni salad, zingy charred corn, and fluffy, flaky buttermilk biscuits to mop up all the saucy goodness. And there are handheld options such as brisket burgers and pulled pork or popcorn-cauli sangas.

Plus, there are 50-cent wings on Wednesdays – with half a dozen different sauces and rubs – so you can test your stamina and sip your way through the 17 beers on tap.

Bad Shepherd Brewing Co
386 Reserve Road, Cheltenham

Hours:
Kitchen
Wed & Thu 4pm–9pm
Fri & Sat 12pm–9pm
Sun 12pm–6pm

Bar
Wed & Thu 2pm–late
Fri to Sun 12pm–late

badshepherd.com.au