July 20 2012 by Crafty Pint
The Crafty Pint has a claim to fame: we once drank craft beer in Werribee. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Admittedly it was a bottle of Mornington Peninsula Brewery beer in the car park before we headed into last year’s Harvest Festival, but nonetheless it puts us into a pretty exclusive group given the pubs and bottleshops in that part of Victoria aren’t known for being craft friendly. Until now that is…
Early next month, the doors will open at the Park Hotel. What’s more, they’ll open into a bar with 16 taps pouring nothing but craft beer. A bar that’s stocked with even more craft beers in its fridges too. Victoria’s latest craft beer venue has been taking shape in the heart of Werribee since the start of the year, where two guys previously involved with Archive in Brisbane’s West End have been working with a team to gut the former Tudor Inn that had lain closed for three years and give it a fresh beginning. It will open in stages, with an initial capacity of 500. A beer garden will follow in October with further renovations opening it up to 800 people.
“It’s getting a really good reaction as all there is around here is pokie venues,” says co-owner Issac Zietek. “People are pretty keen to get something else. There’s no venue where you can go for a meal or a nice beer, wine or cider.
“We’ll be giving away a lot of beer [to encourage people to try it] and are trying to organise for someone to be here from breweries once or twice a week.”
The tap lineup will predominantly feature craft beers from the more approachable end of the scale with a few harder hitting offerings for the drinkers that are a little longer in the crafty tooth and one tap that will feature a rotating selection of international craft beers. The likes of Two Birds, Hargreaves Hill, Holgate, Moo Brew, 4 Pines and Mornington Peninsula Brewery are confirmed for the launch. Aside from the beer, there will be reasonably priced pub food served throughout, whether you’re in the beer garden with features inspired by St Kilda’s Pelican, huddled around the two fireplaces in winter, perched on one of the vintage couches or awaiting your turn at the pool tables.
Isaac’s fellow owner Nick Christou, who grew up in nearby Werribee South, says: “When I lived here 20 years ago, [the Tudor Inn] was the only place and it wasn’t that good. There were just 30,000 people living here; now there’s 170,000 people and there’s still nothing here. It’s earmarked to get another 200,000 in the coming years and the demographic is 40 per cent 26 to 49-year-olds so from a numbers point of view it makes sense to open here.
“We want to put craft beer into their hands and start educating them.”
The Park Hotel is on the corner of Watton Street and Station Place in Werribee. It is set to open at the start of August.