There's nothing better than a refreshing beer to top off a day at the beach - unless that beer is brewed within earshot of the breaking waves. Head to Black Rock, in Melbourne's southeastern suburbs, and that's what awaits you. Just a stone's throw from the sand, True South is a contemporary bar-restaurant-brewery bringing quality craft brews to a pocket of Melbourne previously starved of a decent beer culture.
The impressive, gleaming white building in the shadow of the Black Rock Clock Tower used to be an auto garage and, back in the 1950s when it still sold petrol, was known as the "Last Stop" for anyone heading to Portsea. Today, it houses a custom built 1200l brewery brought in from Canada, a bar, restaurant and upstairs function room with views over Port Phillip Bay.
Opened by Grant and Suzanne Dow in late 2009, they brought head brewer Sam Fí¼ss back to Melbourne to develop their beer list. Sam has a CV that's taken her around Australia, including stints at Little Creatures, Matilda Bay and South Melbourne's former Gunn Island Brewery, and regularly embellishes her year round range of beers (Summer Ale, New World Pilsner, Pale and Dark Ale) with seasonal specials.
The kitchen uses only Victorian produce and creates upmarket takes on classic pub fare, occasionally using Sam's beers in the food and producing crispy crushed kipfler potatoes with confit garlic and rosemary salt are so good The Crafty Pint starts drooling just thinking about them... The wines are all sourced within the state too, with care taken to populate the list with labels you're unlikely to find at a bottleshop.