The renaissance of Temple is one of the great comeback stories of the modern Australian craft beer world. The original incarnation of the brewery and bar in Brunswick East – itself borne from one of Australia's original "gypsy" breweries in late 2011– ran into difficulties and was forced to close its doors for a few months in 2013.
When new owners took over later that year, bringing a new look to the beers, a new feel to the venue and, ultimately, a new brewer – Glenn Harrison from Hargreaves Hill – to the brewery, one wondered how they would fare. Within a year or so it was clear the new Temple was here to stay.
In many ways, the new Temple is like the old Temple: same location off Lygon Street, same highly specced Newlands brewery, same eye-catching stone bars bearing "TEMPLE" in huge lettering and walls of glass offering unhindered views into the brewery. But much has changed too.
The beers are all new, with the Bicycle Beer session ale and Anytime IPA the first beers launched under the new guise; the latter of these has since been reworked by Glenn and was named Champion International Pale Ale at the 2015 Australian International Beer Awards. Since then he's added further top notch regulars, including the American stout New World Order and Power Stance, which, in the opinion of those at Crafty Towers, is as fine a traditional pilsner as you'll find anywhere in Australia. The brewery has also carried out collaborations with beer venues, restaurants, international breweries – even punk rockers Bodyjar, and also helped other breweries produce batches of their limited release beers.
From day one, Temple set out to offer food of a quality rarely seen at breweries and that's an area in which its reaping the rewards too as Melbourne's dining-crazed residents – and media – discover the delights coming out of the kitchen. The Midnight Burger, served in black buns created with the addition of bamboo charcoal, tends to attract most coverage but the kitchen produces an array of great dishes, all crafted on site from local produce. They like to call it "refined comfort food" and also like to use beer where possible, whether in the short ribs featuring sweet wort from a brew's first runnings or the creme brulee featuring stout and milled Midnight Wheat.
It's part of the reason the venue has, like craft beer venues and brewery bars generally, started to attract a broad congregation through its doors. The opening of a long-mooted beer garden on Weston Street has helped too, while the upstairs function space with its own bar has come into its own.
The new team has also got Temple involved in many projects outside the beer world via sponsorship and partnerships. In part it's all about supporting causes that they share a bond with – the Bicycle Beer makes them a great fit for the Melbourne Roubaix – but also ones they have a personal passion for or which can help spread the message about better beer into new areas. Other partnerships include those with The Wheeler Centre, Red Bubble, Baker IDI Heart Research, Royal Melbourne Neuroscience and Gertrude Contemporary, while they've done events with everyone from local fashion designers to comedians and international barbers.
Award-winning beers, a buzzing venue, fine food and friends in all sorts of places – what more reason do you need to worship at Temple?
Photos without Crafty Pint watermark taken by Michelle Jarni at The Urban List.