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FOOD & DRINK

From the Collective Is Melbourne's New Beer Garden and Bottle Shop Celebrating Regional Victoria

Here, you can pair Texan barbecue-flavoured ales with some of the state's best cheese in a former scrapyard warehouse
By Libby Curran
December 06, 2019
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From the Collective Is Melbourne's New Beer Garden and Bottle Shop Celebrating Regional Victoria

Here, you can pair Texan barbecue-flavoured ales with some of the state's best cheese in a former scrapyard warehouse
By Libby Curran
December 06, 2019
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Inner city Melbourne just scored a hearty slice of regional Victorian flavour, as Carlton welcomes the arrival of From the Collective. Making its home in a former scrapyard warehouse, this one's both sibling and neighbour to the recently opened Tooborac Pies and Beer — the new city outpost showcasing signature offerings from the Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.

At From the Collective, you'll find a bar, eatery, indoor beer garden, bottle shop and food store — all under the one lofty roof and every bit of it celebrating independent, regional Victorian makers. While it's helmed by Tooborac Hotel owners James and Valerie Carlin, what makes it all tick is the community of independent regional producers at its core. The venue's food store and bottle shop are filled with top finds crafted at least 40 kilometres out of Melbourne.

Here, you can shop the likes of Locheilan Farmhouse Cheese, condiments from Kyneton's much-awarded Emelia's, smallgoods from Oakwood in Castlemaine and butter from Ocean Grove producer Lard Ass. There's wine from the likes of Armstead Estate and Ranahan's, and craft beers made by regional breweries such as Bells Beach Brewing and Red Duck. Many of these goodies are from the little guys you'll rarely see on shelves in the big smoke, but who now have a home away from home in Melbourne. An online store is also in the works.

The rest of the warehouse space has been reimagined as a laid-back, light-filled hangout complete with astroturfed floors, soaring ceilings and lots of cleverly repurposed elements carried over from the site's former life. Up the back, a pint-sized kitchen sees chef Chris Taylor (Vue de Monde, Bangkok's Sweet Poppy) showcasing goodies sourced from the food store in a regularly changing menu. It's simple, but generous, with the likes of cheese and charcuterie boards; a smoked salmon and potato salad; and fettuccini with mushrooms, streaky bacon, and herb and garlic breadcrumbs.

Meanwhile, the bar is pouring a rotation of regional brews, wines and spirits, along with a range of flavoured sodas. Settle in with the likes of a saison from Alfredton's Red Duck Brewery, Tooborac's own Texas BBQ smoked red ale, or a riesling from Goulburn winemakers Whistle and Hope. There's also the option to grab a bottle or six-pack from the food store fridge, to enjoy onsite for a small corkage.

A mezzanine space is being transformed into a classroom offering workshops on things like cheesemaking, winemaking and charcuterie, and you can stay tuned for a program of booze tastings and region-specific bus tours.

Find From the Collective at 139 Elgin Street, Carlton. It's open from 11am–11pm Wednesday–Sunday.

Published on December 06, 2019 by Libby Curran

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