Australia’s southernmost city can be a cold place at times but there’s never a bad moment to be in Hobart. The Tasmanian capital is surrounded by natural beauty, cultural experiences, and food and drink encounters that aren’t just embraced locally but worthy of taking a trip across the Bass Strait.
In 2021, Deep South Brewing Co added to that rich tapestry, adding a new hangout for locals and creating an enticing beer destination for anyone travelling from afar. Its opening added to an already robust North Hobart brewing scene but, far from being the newest kid on the block, it was brought to life by some very experienced hands.
Among them is Dave Macgill, the brewer who spent close to a decade-and-a-half – interspersed with a spell on the mainland – at Moo Brew, the brewery that was not only one of the state’s earliest and largest craft breweries but also an Australian pioneer. His time at the helm of Moo, following in the footsteps of original head brewer Owen Johnston, was one in which the beer industry across Australia flourished, and during which he never lost a taste for getting involved on the brew deck actually making beer.
Eager to spend less time at a computer and more time with a mash paddle in hand, he teamed up with an old mate, local publican Warwick Deveson, as they set about transforming an old warehouse into a delightful venue. Out on the vast ocean, a diamond sign means danger lies ahead but, on Argyle Street, the brewery’s luminous logo serves to guide you towards the good times that lie within.
Concrete floors and a high, corrugated-iron ceiling greet you as you walk inside; black paint, exposed brick and timber come together to create a space that’s at once minimalist and warm. Elements of southern Tasmania’s natural environment run throughout the venue too, with photo frames showcasing the rugged nature of the deep south’s coastline.
A 12-hectolitre brewhouse sits at the rear, while a mezzanine provides both a more intimate space than the bar below while offering diners the perfect vantage point over the stainless in which the beers take shape. Although all Deep South beer is brewed on site, the venue still feels more like a restaurant than a typical taproom or brewpub; indeed, while 12 taps provide a varied and evolving lineup of beers, there’s also a substantial local wine list and spirits filling the backbar.
The menu is centred around woodfired pizzas with impossibly chewy crusts, complemented by high-quality small plates for snacking and sharing. It makes for the kind of food menu that’s distinct and exciting enough to lure people inside so even those not originally there for Dave’s beers can be swayed into trying them.
Deep South’s look comes courtesy of co-owner Seb Godfrey, who grew up in Tasmania’s south. The design is inspired by the moodiness of the state’s coastlines, its beauty and the outdoor lifestyle the founders – and much of the state – so passionately embrace.
In keeping with that theme, the core range beers are named after islands dotting Tasmania’s shores, the topography of each transformed into Seb’s thoughtful artwork, resulting in a lineup that sits apart from typical beer design. The beers themselves – Breaksea Draught, Pedra Pale, Flatwitch XPA, Sharksjaw IPA and Lion Rock Session – showcase Dave’s skill when it comes to perfecting balance in beer, a talent honed over many years, and are augmented by frequent “Uncharted” or limited releases, often showcasing the brewer’s fondness for classic European styles.
The arrival of a canning line has seen those beers make it outside the brewery’s four walls but, despite their popularity with locals, don’t expect to find Deep South wandering too far from home. After all, like the city the brewery calls home, Deep South is best enjoyed when you’re within its warm embrace, soaking up the ambience as well as the amber nectar.