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FOOD & DRINK

Nice Guys Is Victoria Street's New 70s-Inspired Microbrewery and Taproom

It's pouring porters made using whole vanilla pods and mango-tinged NEIPAs in a retrofuturistic space on Victoria Street.
By Julia Sansone
March 01, 2021
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By Julia Sansone
March 01, 2021
  shares

Melbourne's beer hotspot Richmond has welcomed another brewery to the neighbourhood with the opening of Nice Guys. Four years in the making, the craft brewery pays homage to the gritty end of Victoria Street with its retrofuturistic interior and has a sustainability first mentality.

Opened by long-time home-brewer and first-time hospitality owner Grant Morley, the brewery itself is open to the public. Beer punters can explore the large steel tanks, which reflect the venue's red and purple lights, and take a peek inside the red cool room where up to 12 different types of beers sit ready to be served. But, these beers aren't poured out of tanks like at your regular pub.

"We serve all our beer out of chilled serving tanks," Morley told Concrete Playground. "This means not only does the beer stay fresher, we also don't have to fill kegs, which can be wasteful. Every time a vessel is filled, oxygen gets in, which impacts on freshness and flavour. This way it's better for the environment and for the beer."

Julia Sansone

Popular selections across Nice Guys' 25 taps include a Kiwi lager made with New Zealand barley malt that boasts a slight fruitiness and makes for an ideal hot day beer, and an NEIPA with mango and passionfruit undertones.

For those looking for something heavier, the venue's speciality dark beer, a vanilla porter, is a sweet end-of-night serve with notes of chocolate and coffee. The flavour comes from whole vanilla beans that are cut up, extracted using vodka and added at the end of the fermentation process to give the brew a full-bodied result.

"Even people who don't usually drink beer will love these," Morley said. "Flavours like chocolate, orange and cardamom are always a huge hit. If it works in food, it works in beer. I look to food trends and see how I can translate them into my craft."

As part of the team's commitment to sustainability, the venue is on a mission to reduce glass waste. Morley is in the process of finalising a selection of local Victorian wines, classic cocktails and craft cider to all serve on tap. Espresso martinis and Aperol spritzes are on the lineup, too, so those who aren't sold on a beer can still enjoy sips with friends.

Julia Sansone

With community involvement at the forefront of Nice Guys, Morley has commissioned local artists to fill the space with locally made furniture, handmade macrame and custom lamp shades. Cantilever chairs, swivel stools and velvet couches help create a space that feels like a vintage furniture bazaar.

Out front, the dog-friendly alfresco garden area is filled with lush indoor plants and a fireplace centrepiece to keep the area cosy during the cooler months.

"There was never even any design on paper for the place," Morley said. "I worked organically with the builder on the architectural features and we used cardboard cutouts to experiment with the structure of the ceilings, as well as the arch that halos the front of the entrance."

Next on the list for Morley is the soon-to-open kitchen, which will — in the coming months — serve a rotating menu of bao, buns and American barbecue. Bold, moreish flavours are set to feature, with beer serving as the palate cleanser.

Find Nice Guys at 306 Victoria Street, Richmond from 3–11pm Wednesday–Friday and 12–11pm Saturday–Sunday.

Images: Julia Sansone

Published on March 01, 2021 by Julia Sansone

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