You ready for this? It’s pretty simple.
It’s Mountain Goat. But in Newtown.
It’s kind of like the Richmond HQ. But it’s definitely not Richmond. It’s Newtown.
While Mountain Goat’s iconic home base is still tucked away in the back streets of Melbourne, the brewery has had a national following for quite some time now – longer than most breweries in Australia have existed, in fact. But, when it came time to open a second location (after more than two decades), the question loomed large: how do you recreate the personality of the iconic Richmond HQ somewhere else?
The answer: you don’t. You find somewhere with its own robust personality, and fit in with the local community there.
Enter Newtown, full of character and full of characters. Newtown, with its walls tattooed with graffiti art and streets lined with multicultural restaurants and residents who live by their own rules. Newtown, where Mountain Goat’s mindset of “Bottled But Not Tamed” is right at home.
Certainly, a few things have been brought over straight from the original brewery – the wall with past Rare Breeds etched into timber pays homage to the home base, and the brewery tours run in much the same way – but this is very much its own place.
Smack bang on the brewery trail of Sydney’s Inner West, Mountain Goat set up shop in an old furniture warehouse in King Street, the suburb’s main drag. But where the building’s previous occupants stacked furniture high to create shadowy, claustrophobic aisles, goats prefer wide open spaces.
The glass frontage and high sawtooth roof, combined with a large footprint, bring an airy atmosphere full of natural light; blue sky and green leaves are as much part of the aesthetic as the red and yellow signage through the venue. And for more spaciousness still, step out the back to the sunny beer garden (emphasis on “garden”, where the team are growing herbs and botanicals to use behind the bar).
Pride of place in the centre of the venue goes to the 12hL brewhouse, the stainless steel playground where Mountain Goat brewers explore their creativity. Patrons of the Newtown site get exclusive drinking rights to all special releases coming through these tanks. Of course, the twelve taps behind the bar are filled out with other beers as well – the entire Goat core range, recent Rare Breed releases and a cider are also available, as well as one of the taps sending beer through a Randall – or hopinator – filled with fruits, hops, or other ingredients – whatever else takes the bartenders’ fancy that week.
The attention to detail doesn’t stop at the brewhouse. A tidy list of cocktails showcases Mountain Goat’s very own Hopped Gin: try a Red Snapper for a twist on a Bloody Mary, get a kick from a Gin Goat Espresso, or let the bartenders bring out the botanicals of the gin with one of their bespoke recipes.
Those who have visited the Richmond venue might be expecting the food menu to be all pizzas, but think again – while pizzas are there for the pickin’, they sit alongside a range of classic pub food and a few seasonal specials from the inspired team in the kitchen.
All in all, the brewpub ties together innovation and simplicity; exploration and familiarity; confidence and understatement.
Tastes like Mountain Goat. Feels like Newtown.