There are times when you miss things that are right under your nose. For number of years I’ve made frequent trips to Melbourne for work, spending a large amount of time in Docklands. Evenings are often spent exploring the ‘burbs or Melbourne’s CBD and plenty of fine experiences have been had. Somehow, however, I had neglected to pay a visit to the closest brewery to Docklands – Westside Ale Works. A mere 1.5km wall into South Melbourne and a slice of Americana has been waiting for the last two years. Well, that was all fixed last night, and I enjoyed a sensational feed and sip in the original site. I say original because Casey – the brewer and partner told me the brewery and tasting bar is moving a couple of doors down and into bigger premises.
As I worked my way through a tasting paddle, I repeatedly kicked myself that I hadn’t previously visited this gem. As their flyer states, Westside makes “West Coast hope forward inspired ales and ciders”. A Californian flag at the back of the tasting room reinforces the inspiration. None of their beers are subtle. IPAs abound, along with a pale, an amber, a steam and a sour. I am not normally a pizza guy, but my pepperoni and olive pizza was just wonderful.
I can’t wait to get back to Westside (I’d visit today but for a previous engagement!).
The vibe is good. A big screen plays US sport. People drop in to get takeaway. The staff are friendly and Casey wanders around and is happy to chat. Opening hours are 12-8pm Thursday to Saturday and 12-6pm on Sunday. The new digs will be bigger and I hope he fills it to the brim. One of the more unassuming but wonderful beer experiences I’ve had in Melbourne for a while.
Westside Ale Works: 23-25 Alfred St, South Melbourne