It was in 2015 that Penny Young started providing the people of Moonee Ponds with an impressive mix of craft beer and ever since the team has continued on their quest to ensure locals can enjoy some of the finest booze on offer.
Anthony Bongiovanni originally opened the bottleshop with a focus on fine wine and craft beer but soon after opening his mind started thinking of ways to turn what was a top spot for takeaways into a watering hole – a destination for dedicated beer fans. And it would be in the bottleshop’s carpark that his vision began to take shape as he cast his eyes towards an old stable waiting to be transformed into a beer drinker’s delight.
The second stage of Penny Young’s evolution opened to the public at the end of 2017: part beer hall and part beer garden in which a retractable roof and wide windows fill the space with light. You’ll also find stripped-back timber, iron beams and plant after plant combining to create a warm, cosy space that retains the industrial charm of its previous incarnation.
If you’re reading these words, chances are it’s the beer you’re most interested in and you needn’t worry about finding the right one for any occasion. In total, 18 taps line the bar and with none of them contracted you can expect to pick from a lineup of local brewers, craft classics and beers from further afield; thanks to the policy of rotation, there’s a high likelihood new releases will greet you each time you walk in too.
It’s the sort of quality beer selection guaranteed to lure many through the Penny Young doors but their wood-fired pizzas play a role too: topped with quality ingredients and cooked in mere moments in their unmissable pizza oven. They’re joined on the menu by classic pub food, including burgers, parmas, fish and chips and plenty of share plates options.
Like the bottleshop that birthed the venue, the bar at Penny Young – named after the two streets upon which it sits – maintains an impressive list of fine wines and spirits too, not to mention a cocktail menu that’s a little left-of-centre and changes regularly.
In 2019, Anthony moved the Penny Young bottleshop a few doors down the road to open up more space – and more taps – for the venue side of the business. Due to open in March 2020, it will give the team a further dozen taps to play with, plus a dedicated spot for functions, tap takeovers, beer launches and beer dinners.
Having opened Penny Young to give the people of Moonee Ponds and surrounds a broad selection of quality take home goods, Anthony’s operation has evolved into much more: one of the most multifaceted of Melbourne’s good beer venues.