The woolly mammoth was a cumbersome yet formidable beast. So it's little wonder the owners of Woolly Mammoth in Fortitude Valley named their venue so. That it is large there’s no doubt: indeed, it's vast. And the beer selection is, well, formidable but not to the point it should be intimidating. Indeed, there really is a beer for every taste.
Located in the heart of the Valley’s vibrant club scene precinct, Woolly Mammoth stands apart from its peers by offering a number of well-conceived separate areas: the Mane Stage, the Garden Bar and The Alehouse.
While the stage does what it does best (hosting regular music performances from bands to DJs across a whole range of genres) and the Garden Bar – complete with bocce court – emits the sort of tranquility ideal for a laid-back Sunday session, it’s in The Alehouse that visitors with an interest in craft beer will stare in awe.
As patrons pass a large replica mammoth (why not?) and walk towards the back of the hall, there they’ll spy a white tiled feature wall that plays home to no less than 23 taps pouring a fine selection of predominantly Australian crafted beers. The current lineup is screened via a television next to the bar that gives curious drinkers all the necessary beer credentials they might require as to what’s pouring through the taps, including where each one hails from. Curated tasting paddles are available to assist drinkers keen to make the journey through as many of the taps as is desired too.
And if 23 different beers sounds like a lot, even in Brisbane’s fast evolving beer scene, it’s worth pointing out that this part of the Woolly Mammoth alone can comfortably accommodate more than 500.
Accompanying the beer is the food menu populated with classic pub grub: a selection of burgers; an assortment of meat on the bone; five different varieties of fries; a handful of gourmet pizzas plus a decent choice for vegetarians and those with gluten intolerances.
Woolly Mammoth plays to the Valley crowd well by offering something for everyone. And when that crowd includes beer drinkers looking for something different, they're served not only by an extensive array of craft beer but also an array that supports the little guy.
Taken together, it’s a great example of how to deliver craft beer to a new audience that might think twice about venturing into more "pointy end" craft beer venues. And of how to introduce a range of diverse beers into an area better known for anything but.