Brought to you by The Beverage Food Group
The Craft & Co isn’t a regular craft brewery. Over two sprawling levels on a busy corner of Collingwood, the Smith Street building holds a distillery, eatery and bar, as well as the aforementioned brewery. Plus, at its 40-acre sister site in Bangholme, 30 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, The Craft & Co Farm has its own winery, cellar door and café. Not bad for a business that only opened two years ago. These are just a few of the highlights that make a trip to this multi-function operation a must-do experience in Melbourne.
The on-site microbrewery holds 1000 litres – go for a beer flight, where you can taste up to six house-made brews – the working distillery is good for batches of 120 litres of spirits such as gin or limoncello and there’s a broad selection of white and red wines grown and made at The Craft & Co’s winery. There’s also a range of classic cocktails with an extra kick, such as the “limoncello spritz” (limoncello, prosecco and soda) and the “gra-margherita”, featuring a shot of grappa. And it wouldn’t be a Melbourne venue without great coffee – The Craft & Co roasts its own onsite.
You would struggle to find a menu item that doesn’t feature ingredients sourced either locally or from the Farm’s kitchen garden. Cheese, salumi, preserves and sausages are all made onsite (and regular classes on how to make your own are offered, too) and the breads are made using the spent grains from the brewery. Enjoy an artisanal charcuterie board for lunch and choose between plates of nibbly bits (Gruyére cheese croquettes, halloumi with pickled grapes or slow-cooked ribs coated in sumac and onion) or sample pizzas for dinner. Staff will gladly recommend drinks to pair with your food, too. The Collingwood site is open every day for breakfast and lunch and Thursday through to Saturday for dinner.
As well as selling its own beer, spirits and produce at the on-site boutique food store, The Craft & Co supports other local producers by showcasing their wares. The site also acts as a cellar door for the winery at The Farm, where you can pick up a pinot noir or a light rosé for summer.
If you’re after a foodie escape away from the noise of the city, yet still close enough that you don’t need to set aside a whole day for the journey, this 40-acre property in Bangholme is the place to visit. Less than an hour from the CBD, it has a cellar door café that gives a true farm-to-table experience, where you can sit at one of the outdoor benches and tuck into scrambled eggs as you watch the free-range chickens that laid them running around nearby. The working vineyard and farm is used to grow grapes for The Craft & Co’s wines and grappa, as well as hops for the beer, herbs for the kitchens and botanicals for the distillery. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, there’s also live music every weekend, too.
The Craft & Co, 390 Smith Street, Collingwood; (03) 9417 4755
The Craft & Co Farm, 170 Riverend Road, Bangholme; (03) 9773 4880