A vibrant part of Ballarat’s burgeoning craft beer culture, one local pub is bringing their family legacy to the table.
Gone are the 477 hotels that were around in 1867 but events such as the Ballarat Brew Festival, the annual Beer Festival and the historic Beers Through the Years as well as local beer merchants Red Duck, Cubby Haus and Athletic Club show Ballarat’s beer culture is well and truly alive.
Another iconic figure in the craft beer business celebrating a milestone this weekend is the Mallow. Set up as Ballarat's first craft beer pub six years ago by Dallas and Sophie Robb, the couple are carrying on the legacy of Sophie’s family, who established a trio of pubs Melbourne.
With four regular craft beers on tap and another six on rotation, some of the accolades the Mallow has gone on to gain include being named the fifth best Regional Australian Beer Venue by Beer & Brewer magazine. While Mr Robb said he doesn’t think Ballarat’s pub scene will ever get back to the way it was in 1867, he said growth is in the craft beer sector.
“Look I don’t think it will ever get back to the glory days. There were a lot of smaller venues anyway, with 10 people in some. But as Ballarat expands, there’s more room to grow,” The Mallow owner Dallas Robb said.
While he doesn’t imagine a complete craft beer takeover, he said he thinks many mainstream beer locations will adapt and have an offering of craft to cater for everyone. Diversification has definitely flourished under 501 Australian craft brewers and it seems the Mallow owners are definitely keeping up with these trends. Hello Darkness, a coffee vanilla oatmeal stout, a collaboration between Mr Robb and Coachhouse Ales’ Anthony Perovic and Federation University Brewery is a testament to that fact.
“People are looking for different flavours to challenge their tastebuds,” Mr Robb said. Birthday celebrations at the Mallow this weekend will included alcoholic slushies and a smoked Texan barbecue from 6pm with entertainment from SweatDreams DJs and PLMH at 9pm.