One was working as a bullet-dodging physio in the Bronx, the other as a number-crunching aeronautical engineer in Seattle when the Ong brothers, Dave and Andrew, fell in love with the big flavours of the US craft beer scene. On returning to Australia, they struggled to find beers that satisfied their palates and decided to abandon their former careers and brew their own.
Andrew headed back to the US to gain hands-on craft brewing experience and source the best brewing equipment they could afford, Dave scoured southeast Melbourne in search of a suitable location. Six months later, the brothers purchased a gleaming, copper clad brewhouse from the bankrupt Times Square Brewery and shipped it over from the Big Apple in five 40ft shipping containers.
It now sits as the backdrop to their Moorabbin Beerhall, one of Bayside's best kept secrets thanks to its location tucked away on an industrial estate; A fairly nondescript factory unit on the outside, inside is a smart bar with beer poured direct from the tanks and a pool table surrounded by sofas.
Their regular lineup of beers features an American brown ale, a German style lager and the Gypsy Pear Cider. Among their limited release specials is the Voodoo Porter, which walked away with the title of Best Victorian Beer at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards. It's not their only beer to pick up trophies at the awards either, with The Guvnor cleaning up in 2011. As a result, they were invited to collaborate with Feral in 2012 on the awards' 20th anniversary beer: The Collaborator.
The Beerhall is open on Thursdays and Fridays where beer can be enjoyed at its freshest and visitors can also take home 2l growlers filled with the beer of their choice.