How many great ideas are concocted between mates over a few beers every time the AFL Grand Final rolls around? And how many do you reckon actually reach fruition? Not many, I'd wager. So tip your hats to the guys behind the Mornington Peninsula Brewery whose "Let's open a brewery!" conversation as the Hawks downed the Cats in 2008 became a reality in just two years.
Built inside a factory once used to manufacture exploding golf balls, the brewery is about a kilometre from the Mornington Racecourse and the same distance from the town itself. It has become a serious destination for beer lovers with the brewing side of operations headed up by Andrew "AG" Gow, whose pedigree includes stints at Mountain Goat, Matilda Bay and 5 Islands (now Illawarra) in NSW.
Designed to offer beer lovers the great combination of beer and wood-fired pizza, you can also soak up the atmosphere with live music played every Sunday afternoon while your pizza (made with dough using beer!) is cooking in the impressive stainless steel oven. For those more into the brewing side of things you might even catch the brewers at work as you gaze out over the brewing system from the mezzanine area.
Of Mornington Peninsula's regular range, the American Pale Ale, English Brown Ale and US-inspired IPA are the biggest sellers, with the Pale and IPA now available in can as well as keg and bottle. However, it was the specialty beers with which Mornington first started to draw attention, with beers as varied as their trophy-winning Imperial Stout, various shades of IPA and the popular Sorachi Kolsch appearing under the 'seasonal' title and brewed with such regularity their posters cover huge swathes of the venue's walls. With wine barrel tables and plenty of seating too, Mornington Peninsula Brewery has become a great destination for beer lovers on the Peninsula.
Such has been the popularity of their beers that in the second half of 2014 they built a new, much larger brewery, a short distance away where they also operate a canning line. They were only the second Aussie micro to instal its own canning line, with a growing number since following suit.