Moon Dog World
This giant, very OTT brewery bar is like a boozy theme park you'll never want to leave.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 — Moon Dog World now has a contactless drive-thru bottle-o open every day from 12–7.30pm with takeaway brews and pub food. You can also get these delivered to your home by heading over to the website.
Abbotsford-born brewing company Moon Dog's Preston digs bring a whole new meaning to the words "go big, or go home". The aptly named Moon Dog World is a mammoth brewery, bar and beer garden, making good on the grand plans the team announced back in March 2019. Clocking in at 12,000 square metres, the multi-warehouse site is supposedly longer than the MCG end-to-end, and has room for a huge 725 punters.
The name hints at a theme park or adventure land and, between the jungle of greenery, the tiki-style bar, the indoor waterfall and the illuminated rainforest lagoon flowing right through the centre, that's basically what awaits. Blue and white-striped deck chairs perched right by the water promise to be prime real estate in any season.
Over to one side presides an elevated DJ booth and VIP terrace, while opposite, a two-level conglomeration of shipping containers has been transformed into a series of cosy rooms, hidden booths and open balconies. You'll even find a mini pinball arcade tucked away somewhere inside.
A hefty central bar is pouring one heck of a beer list, decked out with no less than 72 taps — never has there been this many Moon Dog brews offered in one spot. True to form, it's a diverse collection, featuring label favourites including the Old Mate pale ale and Cake Hole black forest stout, alongside seasonal releases like the Cherry Seinfeld sour ale. A rotation of guest drops rounds out the beer offering, though there's also an all-Aussie wine lineup, classic tap cocktails and a few signature concoctions, for those after something different.
It's a space for all occasions, with a food offering to match, featuring burgers, share plates and charcoal dishes. Grab a beer and settle in with some crispy chicken ribs doused in lime and chilli caramel ($16), squid karaage served with lemon and kewpie mayo ($15), or maybe the swordfish skewers finished with feta, almond dukkah and a capsicum mojo rojo ($29). Burgers run from the likes of a crispy chicken number loaded with kewpie and barbecue sauce ($22), to a vegan creation starring a sweet potato and kimchi patty ($22). You can even grab a half or whole free-range chook, hot off the kitchen's charcoal rotisserie and served with gravy, chilli oil or spicy za'atar oil ($16/$28). Perfect Sunday session food.
Add to all that the handful of sports screens and a sunny outdoor beer garden, and this is one boozy theme park you'll never want to leave.
Images: Kate Shanasy.