Pretty soon you’re going to see a new black-and-white logo crowning beer taps around Melbourne. Stomping Ground Brewing Co. just brewed its first-ever batch in Collingwood – an American-style pale ale – with a plan to supply local pubs before opening its own vast bar in May.

“We didn’t want to put the brewery in the middle of nowhere and just churn it out to venues,” says Steve Jeffares. “We really wanted to create beer that people could experience at the brewery.”

Jeffares and business partner Guy Greenstone are well known in the beer scene. In addition to owning The Local Taphouse here and in Sydney, they run the annual Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS) festival in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. It acts as an industry summit and a public fair for beer enthusiasts.

At the 1500-square-metre warehouse they’re planning a 250-patron beer garden packed with greenery and protected by a retractable roof. It’ll serve “simple food done well”. Justin Joiner, a long-time Taphouse manager, has been brought on as a partner.

The trio hopes the venue will become a comfortable, familiar meeting spot for locals, hence the name Stomping Ground. Apart from that Jeffares says, “There were about 50 breweries in this area before they all got amalgamated or merged. There hasn’t been a commercial brewery in Collingwood for about 105 years. There was something romantic in that story for us – we liked the idea of bringing brewing back to its original stomping ground.”

Brewer Ashur Hall is in control of the 2000-litre brewhouse. Initially he’ll focus on just four or five approachable house beers. But with 24 taps there will be plenty of scope for experimentation.

“We have a lot of great friends – it’s a really collaborative industry,” Jeffares says. “We want to be able to say, ‘Joe from New York is in town, let’s brew a beer’.”

Stomping Ground Brewing Co. will open in May 2016.

Stomping Ground Brewing Co.
100 Gipps Street, Collingwood