Many moons ago, this correspondent talked about the Maori Chief on these pages and promised a few photos from inside the joint. A promise is a promise and whilst it is almost two years after said promise was made, here are some snaps.
The Maori Chief is a South Melbourne classic. So historic is the Maori Chief that a fellow by the name of Malcolm Hutchinson wrote a 59 page article on the heritage values of it. It’s signage claims that it was established in 1867, though Mr Hutchinson’s essay claims that the current construction probably dates from 1886. No matter – it’s old. Whenever it was built, it looks like the facade hasn’t been painted since it was built. That said the facade is magnificent. You can look at the external plasterwork for ever. The Maori Chief that adorns the corner part of the facade is mighty, but there’s even better examples inside.
Inside, there’s an eclectic collection of paintings and adverstising. Kiwi beers represent about 50% of the taps with Tui East India Pale Ale and two varieties of Monteiths alongside the ubiquitous Cartlon Draught andother macros. Some of the advertising is Monteith inspired, but there’s also retro Carlton stuff as well. It is the artwork however that is the most fascinating. There’s a collection of Gauginesque paintings of semi-clad women, that border on tacky. It’s the collection of Maori Chiefs that really standout. There’s a wood reliefs, ink drawings and a remarkable print of the most regal Maori Chief of all. It all makes for a wonderful environment to sink a couple or three.
There were no uniques for me at the Maori either on @Untappd or these pages, so today’s beer is unrelated to the visit. I’d had this stubbie of Innis & Gunns Whiskey Cak Ale. This is a Scottish Stout that is aged in rare Irish whiskey barrels – “Oak agedlike no other beer”. I’m not sure whether the alcohol content is influenced by the oak aging or it was powerful when it went into the barrels, but this is a hefty 7.4%. It is a spiritous drop and is a rich as a rummy Christmus pud. One for winter, which is now thankfully next year.