Urban Alley Brewery
There’s something interesting brewing in Docklands. Literally. Because Urban Alley just opened its doors for the first time.
If you haven’t heard of these guys, here’s a little piece to get you up to speed. They’re basically a local craft beer label (formerly known as Once Bitter), and this joint represents their first ever bricks and mortar business...
...and, let’s face it, the future hope of Docklands.
Until now, Docklands has been the closest thing Melbourne had to a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Just big empty streets, howling wind and the distant sound of pneumatic drills, with the shadowy Melbourne Star blocking out most of the remaining sunshine.
Urban Alley is part of a massive redevelopment of the District Docklands precinct, which will include a Hoyts cinema, brand new distillery, a massive fresh produce market, games arcade, and assorted bars and restaurants.
So what can you expect from Urban Alley? Some damn good beer for a start. Founder Ze’ev Meltzer—a former Collins St banker—is brewing froths right here in Docklands, along with head brewer Shaya Rubenstein (a New York beer nut). At the moment there are about 12 individual taps ready to go, including a Pale Ale, IPA, APA and a brand new Raspberry Sour wheat beer.
We taste tested them all (for your sake, honest) and can confirm they’re delicious. The APA is probably the pick of the bunch right now—hoppy, fruity, cloudy and refreshing. “To me it smells like a box of peaches,” says Ze’ev, sniffing the glass.
Food is good, solid American pub classics, with a few Aussie spins in there. Think mammoth 300g schnitzels, tender beef cheek, popcorn chicken and other assorted munchies. Basically anything that goes well with beer.
The guys have been working on the fit-out for months, and it shows. Just getting the 4.5m tanks into the back was a logistical nightmare, not to mention kitting out the space with a red-brick bar, upcycled timber tables, industrial lighting and a faux fireplace.
If this is the future of Docklands, it’s looking bloody exciting. Make sure you swing by for the opening weekend too—they’re rocking two-for-one beers and live music all day.
Image credit: Mel Desa