Dave and Karen Golding abandoned their former lives in the city to set up the Mornington Peninsula's first brewery. Just five minutes spent there and you'll be hurriedly scrawling 'Dear boss, I've had a revelation...' on the nearest napkin.
Nestled among trees on the slopes of Red Hill South with the Goldings' pets roaming the neighbouring fields, Red Hill Brewery has been knocking out traditional British and European-influenced ales since 2005, enhanced by a growing number of seasonal and one-off specials.
Many of the beers have become regarded as modern Aussie classics, in particular the much sought after Imperial Stout, one of the very first beers of its style to be brewed locally. Their beers are regularly made with hops grown onsite including, of course, the British Golding variety. Visit at different times throughout the year to watch the plans shoot from roots to 16 foot climbers.
These days, the brewery bar is open every Thursday to Sunday plus public holidays with extended hours during the summer. Food is provided by barbecue specialists serving up burgers and beer friendly snacks during the week and the full Southern American-style barbecue platters on weekends.
It's a range that continues to grow with the aforementioned classics joined by new one-offs – often accompanied by barrel aged versions too; for their tenth birthday in 2015, they created ten red beers. Weekends such as their Secret Stash see a wide range of vintage and rare beers pulled from the cellar too.
At the end of 2018, the Goldings unveiled a new look for the brewery too, with a brand refresh that put their location on the Mornington Peninsula front and centre. As well as redesigning the look of their existing beers, they moved into cans with two new beers, the The Rip Pale and East Coast Session IPA.
For summer 2023/24, the team from Jack's Canteen has taken up residency at the brewery, bringing the welcoming, small town charm of Mt Hotham to the Peninsula.
They're serving a menu which pays homage to the simplicity and gratification of bar cuisine – "Casual Meets Craft" – with dishes such as their beer-battered flathead tacos and smoked cheddar & jalapeno bratwurst, with ingredients are locally sourced on the Mornington Peninsula.
As well as visiting during opening hours, you can also book to stay at the brewery, with the Goldings' former home available to rent as the Brewer's Cottage complete, of course, with a well stocked fridge. And, as of late 2022, you can even go a step further after Karen and Dave decided to put their brewery and brand on the market as they look forward to new adventures.