Tallboy & Moose Brewery Talk Beer and Life in Preston South
Learn more about Due North's neighbours, Tallboy & Moose brewery, and find out how you can score a six-pack of beers on us.
Located opposite of Due North in Preston South, Tallboy & Moose brew pub has become a favourite hangout for locals since it opened in 2016. We sat down with Steve Germain, Canadian native and the "Moose" from Tallboy & Moose to chat about the brewery and life in Preston. And if you fancy a taste yourself, we’re giving away a six-pack of Tallboy & Moose beers when you reserve a Due North apartment.
How do you fit into the Tallboy and Moose family?
I am the Moose. Dan is the Tallboy. We’re friends, and we both work in the beer industry. We met at the original Moondog brewery in Abbotsford. I was a brand manager for a brewery back in Canada and then came out here. Dan is a brewer, and has 10 years of brewing under his belt. We were on the same page, and thought that working together would be a good idea.
We’ve just celebrated our fourth birthday here. At the time we opened, there weren’t that many brew-pubs around. We knew about the brew-pub model, because it was originally very popular in the USA, but now there’s brew-pubs in any city you go.
We originally started out as this, but you had to come to the brewery to get our beer — so we’ve slowly increased our capacity to start selling kegs around Melbourne. A little over a year ago, we started canning and putting our beer into bottle shops in most major cities around Australia. It’s just been a really organic, slow build and it’s been fun. The brewery is busy, because it's a great place to have a beer.
Breweries in general are the best places to get beer, as you’re getting it fresh from the source.
How long has Tallboy and Moose called Preston South home?
We got this site five years ago, and it took us about nine months to open — so we opened in October 2016.
What attracted you to the area?
Dan (Tallboy) lives down the street and he had his eye on this building for a while. The landlord initially thought the concept was too hard, but now that he sees what our vision is and what we’ve done to the place, he’s been amazing.
We looked at Footscray and Coburg North, but just thought that this area had the right mix. We knew that being a little bit north of the well-established strip of restaurants and bars on High St, Thornbury was close enough to what’s already happening, but we’re just a bit further out, so that we can draw on a different neighbourhood.
There’s also some great venues like Racoon Club around the corner — they are pioneers of good beer in this area. Then there are some other great venues that have just opened up, like Stray Neighbour up the road, Dexter, and Takeaway Pizza.
You’ll also find the tram at the end of the street, and then Bell Station five minutes walk in the other direction, so it’s really accessible.
What do you think the future holds for the Preston South neighbourhood?
Since we’ve been here, the density has been increasing and there’s more people moving into the area, and I think the flow on from that is there’s just more going on. This section of High St, may not have seen that much foot traffic, but now we’re seeing more.
When we first looked at the area, some of these shops were closed and there was nobody in them. But since we’ve been here, there’s quite a lot of lunch and dinner and bar places that have opened up.
There’s Plant Smith across the road — and I guess with all of these businesses opening, people have more reason to wander around the neighbourhood. There’s quite a bit (to explore) in terms of walkability, with quite a lot of small businesses and operators in the area — so I think that adds to a sense of community.
We’ve got regulars that live in the area, and our staff know their names. They know what kind of beers they’re into and that sort of thing, and the same thing goes the other way; the sandwich place knows your order — it all adds to that community vibe. It’s a good mix.
We’re sure that living right across the road will make Tallboy & Moose a local favourite for Due North residents. What can people expect when visiting the brew-pub?
We try and keep things pretty casual, it’s definitely not “snooty”. We consider ourselves a craft beer brewery, so we have one or two new beers coming out every week, so there’s always something new and something fresh. These are beers we’ve never made before and are completely new. We do play around with a lot of fun and different ingredients, so when you come here we like people to have an open mind and want to try something new — but having said that, we do cater to people who just want “a beer”.
We’ve got our Deadset Lager if you just want a beer that tastes like beer. And if you like Carlton Draught, we’ve still got something you’ll enjoy, such as the core pale ale. Those are our two staples that make people feel comfortable; you don’t have to think about it and you don’t want something that tastes different, so you can just get a super-easy drinking lager or a hoppy pale ale — and those two beers outsell everything else.
We also have a really great wine list that is mostly Victorian small producers, and we’ve got a great little cocktail list too, so it’s not just for beer geeks.
It’s a casual atmosphere, it’s great for groups to just come and hang out. The food is great: Weeman’s Kitchen runs the kitchen. They have a real eclectic menu, we call it “modern Scottish” — the chef is Scottish, and he has a Scottish slant on a lot of the dishes. Having said that, he’s done everything from Indian to Italian and all the rest, so he mixes in a lot of different flavours into his food. He also does some pub staples like bowls of chips, and burgers and that sort of stuff.
The Caydon team are fans of both Tallboy and Moose and Weeman’s Kitchen — what’s your favourite food and beer pairing that people should order when visiting?
This is a little bit basic, but I am an IPA and burger type of person. So a really hoppy beer with a killer burger — you can’t go wrong.
We have a lot of sour beers on the menu, they’re not funky beers, they’re really clean and tart and acidic. And often they are brewed and re-fermented on fruit, so for example we have a peach sour beer on the menu — it’s not sweet but it’s peachy and tart. The acidity pairs really well with fish, and especially deep fried fish because it really cuts through.
Finish this statement. You’ll love living in Preston if...
If you like Asian food.
If you like having many options really close to home.
If you like good drinks.
There’s a lot of good bars in North, Middle and Southern Preston. And there’s more popping up all the time, like Rebel Rebel around the corner has just opened up; Surly’s is up on High St, they’re sort of pushing the Northern frontier of High St, so at both ends there’s plenty of really fun places that do good drinks and good food.
If you enjoy the great outdoors. You’ve got bike lanes all over the joint, the Merri Creek isn’t far, and in the other direction there’s the Darebin Creek trail.
We’re excited to give our purchasers a taste of the South Preston life with a mixed six pack of brews when they purchase — can you give us a run down on each of the beers?
So there’s three different beers and you’ll get two of each.
There’s the Deadset Lager which is our core range lager and is inspired by European lager — so it’s got a little bit of a noble hop character. We use hops from Germany and Slovenia. It’s got a little bit of a herbal note, but it’s super subtle and toned down. So it’s super clean, you can crush it in no time and it’s very refreshing.
The Sunray XPA is our pale ale. It is a tropically, hoppy pale pale. It’s 4.8% so it won’t blow your head off. It’s nice and lean, super bright with fruity and citrusy, hoppy flavours. We use hops from Australia, New Zealand and the US in this beer. It’s nice and refreshing but has a more fruity and hoppy character to it.
The third one is a bit of a curve ball — it's a limited edition so it will change every few months. Currently you'll get the Natty Lime Squeezer, a collab that we did with Noisy Ritual — an urban winery in Brunswick. We made a gose, a German style sour beer. It has a salt addition that's really really light, so I wouldn’t say it’s salty. And then we added some lime juice and conditioned the beer on their Sauvignon Blanc wine, which has a little bit of a wine-y element to it as well — so it is a wine-lime sour beer. It’s great for a super hot day when you want something with a little bit of acidity and refreshment.