You know that feeling or at least I hope you do, when you have a beer from a brewery which is life changing (I kid you not, we are bloody nuts for this beer.... Pomona's Harvest) and then you visit the brewery that makes it? Yeah, that feeling!
The Beer Scoffer has been banging on for months about this beer, as has yours truly, so we had to go and visit Deeds Brewing and see if the venue was as good as the one beer. Oh my stars, we were beyond surprised.
Firstly, the Pomona's Harvest was on tap and was the last keg. Kismet! At 7.7% ABV, we perhaps should have been slightly less enthusiastic. But enthusiastic we were. We were very surprised at the quality of the venue... From the street, it was not overly inspiring but then a walk down a ramp to the entrance totally blows that apart. Firstly, it's very stylish. The fit out is super luxe, and the interior is all brewery but with some very fancy pants interiors. There appears to have been little expense spared.
The brewery is the brainchild of mates and engineering graduates Patrick Alé and David Milstein. During their time together at Melbourne University, and like many a spirited chap, Alé and Milstein decided that they wanted to own their own brewery. They started a drinks distribution business back in 2003, securing the rights to Rekorderlig cider in Australia thereafter and ultimately selling that to one of the big players, funding their dream for a brewery. Contract brewing came first before they secured a former car workshop with an asbestos roof in Glen Iris in 2015 and purchased their brewery equipment in 2016, with an expectation to begin brewing in 2017. Despite numerous hurdles and challenges, they finally got going in 2018/2019 and we are all richer for it.
The service at Deeds is outstanding, knowledgable and there is a very subtle sales process going on that, unless you notice, sounds like good customer service. We perched at the bar for a tasting session, trying a half dozen of the beers. You can do this via a four glass tasting paddle, ranging in price from $22-$35 or you can go it on your own with recommendations from the team, dependent upon your likes and dislikes.
The food was a nice surprise. Firstly, cloth napkins rather than paper, are an absolute winner. Beer food (and grown up people's food), is a hands on situation and paper napkins tend to be a bit flimsy, especially if the food is sticky. The flatware and all the trims are nicely done and match the food, which really did surprise with both flavour and presentation.
Steak tartare, made from wagyu, with tomato, chilli, emulsified egg yolk, thinly sliced radish and a cumin seed lavosh was superb. Not exactly beer food but beautifully executed and super tasty. Smoked pork croquettes are definitely beer food, and with a coriander mayo and malted mustard, were a great partner to the beer. And I just cant go past chicken wings with a beer (thank you again for cloth napkins), these done with guajilllo ( a dried form of a mirasol chili) - sticky and spicy on the outside while deliciously moist and fall of the bone cooked inside.
The staff are attentive, offering suggestions for the next beer and they seem genuinely interested in why we are there in the first place. From arrival to departure, there is a sense that they really want to be there, and while the place was hopping, it was relaxed and yet efficient, a hard balancing act with such a sizeable team.
Deeds will be the place we take visitors to when they are in town. The proximity to the train station means it's easy to get to and from, and the wine and cocktail list is really well put together, for a brewery. It feels less like an add on and more like a deliberate offer to non beer drinkers. Like everything else here, its well thought out and considered, with a good range across variety and price point.
We drank a number of particularly good beers, from an Indian Red Ale, to an Oat Cream IPA and a sour, as well as the aforementioned Pomona's Harvest, which it seems, was the beer of the year for the team as well. It's really is that good, but sadly, we many never see it again.
Deed Brewing is at 4 Paran Place, Glen Iris.
Open Mon - Fri 5.30-11pm. Sat - Sun noon - 11pm