When Stomping Ground launched, it was the first brewery in Collingwood in close to a century. Yet, while that’s a significant milestone in itself, there’s something about the brewery’s home that’s always helped them stand out from the crowd.
Part of Stomping Ground’s success can be attributed to the way in which the brewery’s founders – Steve Jeffares, Guy Greenstone and Justin Joiner – plus their wider team worked to transform an old warehouse into such a vibrant venue and production space. Taking cues from the building’s history and combining it with lush greenery and a warm welcome, visitors can’t help but be impressed as they walk in, whether for the first or the fiftieth time.
There’s a similar feel at Stomping Ground Morris Moor, for which they first announced plans in 2019 before COVID delayed the opening until midway through 2021. It’s the third Stomping Ground brewery venue, after they opened one at Melbourne Airport in early 2020.
The location in the southeastern Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin is the site of a former Phillip Morris cigarette factory, which has been reinvented as a new community and business hub. The suburban Stomping Ground retains much of what makes its inner-city sibling so appealing: the high ceilings, indoor greenery, communal tables, and a striking bar complete with two dozen taps that, unsurprisingly, takes centre stage.
It’s also home to one of the features that made Stomping Ground so unique when it opened: a cubby house for the kids – here joined by a shuffleboard table for slightly older kids, or at least adults keen to best their children.
The space isn’t just family-friendly but dog-friendly too, while the venue is home to an expansive beer garden that includes a retractable roof and sundeck encouraging you to soak up the sun along with the beer and food (when Melbourne’s weather allows, of course). When it comes to the food offering, that’s centred around pizzas, pub classics such as schnitzels and burgers, and shared items; the cheese-covered pretzels feel like just the item a non-traditional beer hall should serve.
The Moorabbin brewery isn’t merely a piece of Collingwood picked up and transplanted east – great care and attention has been given to retaining the old smoke factory’s history. If anything, the brewery and beer hall leans more into its industrial history than the original, using reclaimed pieces of equipment from the cigarette manufacturing days and combining them with the brewery and hospo to show patrons this isn’t merely a place that manufactures good beer – it’s a good times factory too. In total, there’s space for 450 or so people, while a separate function space called Boiler Hall has a separate entrance and bar, and is designed to host weddings and other occasions.
Central to all of it – and arguably the centrepiece of Morris Moor if you’re passionate about craft beer – is the 12 hectolitre brewery that casts an imposing shadow over the venue. While you’ll always find Stomping Ground’s core beers pouring here, many of those created on site are destined for the brewpub alone. In true Stomping Ground style, they range from accessible to complex and all manner of styles will always be pouring across the taps.
Considering a core part of Stomping Ground’s philosophy has always been that there’s a beer out there for everyone – whether that’s a lager, fruited sour, hop bomb, or barrel-aged saison, it shouldn’t be surprising that Morris Moor is a brewery for everyone, whether new to beer or not, whether from Moorabbin itself or a beer tourist eager for a new experience.