When Temple Brewing Company’s husband and wife team, Ron and Renata Feruglio decided to take a break from their three-year-old microbrewery in 2010, few knew of their aim to transform the brand. Not to this extent at least.
While Ron still steers the ship as Brewmaster, he now does so in his custom-designed stainless steel and copper brewery sourced via Canadian specialists Newlands Systems. Renata, on the other hand, is the newly crowned Temple Brewery & Brasserie’s General Manager.
Temple Brewing Company’s Pale Ale, Special Bitter, Saison, Soba Ale and the aptly titled lower percentage Bicycle Beer (for locals looking to mix pints with pedalling) are all brewed in-house, in full sight and aroma. There are several different vantage points from which to view the brewing process, none better than from the upstairs walkway that overlooks the brewery before leading to the bathrooms. It’s here that you can truly take in the sweet sight and scent of beer being crafted in real-time.
There’s a bar and brasserie both downstairs and up on a mezzanine section that seats 120-odd patrons. Meanwhile, the floating ‘design by accident’ insulfoam ceiling resembles multiple heads of frothing beer, almost stealing the show in the process. Regular beer appreciation sessions also provide an interactive edge.
Raymond Chang (Vue de Monde, CERES Merri Table & Bar) is Head Chef, and brings his wealth of knowledge, variety and gusto for the Slow Food movement to a menu that takes much of its inspiration from the world’s ultimate beer foods.
But Chang’s carte du jour is unlike any other. Fusing Asian and European cuisines (and everything in between), Chang presents 12 gastronomic creations and one sticky dessert. Gratifying chicken liver toasts and Brunswick rarebit (gourmet melted cheese on organic toast) sit alongside his rather odd, yet affable chilli bag, where the meal arrives in two parts. Next to an opened bag of Chipman corn chips lies a bowl of seasoned, upmarket beef and chilli taco mix. You strangely pour the mushy contents into the bag and gobble it up with a plastic fork. The same messy-fun approach goes for the Drowned Pork Sop, presented with a generous serving of pork shavings strewn across a carving of ciabatta bread.
The ‘carapops’ variation on traditional popcorn wins, as does the seriously roasted almond batch and the pickled quail eggs and vegetables. As such, the Temple chow-list ranks among one of the more intriguing, beer-focused menus you’ll find throughout Brunswick, or anywhere really.
Temple’s bottled beers will be back on the market Australia-wide in 2012 courtesy of the distributors at Phoenix Beers. Temple joins the Phoenix range of admired beers and ciders as their first Australian microbrewery.
Temple Brewery & Brasserie
122 Weston Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9380 8999