I still find a tear in my eye when I watch a replay of the 2005 Melbourne Cup when Makybe Diva became the first horse in history to win three Melbourne Cups. It is quite remarkable watching the gap open up on the turn as if the will of everyone in Australia parted the sea of horses, and she did the rest.
Here at St Andrews Beach Brewery, the Melbourne Cup is honoured with each old stable being allocated to one of the greats, including my favourite. Previously the luxurious stables of Lee Freedman, whoever decided to combine my love of beer, food and horses had a masterstroke.
It is blowing an absolute gale; pelting down with rain; and the place is pretty much packed full at midday. I’ve done the husbandly thing and dropped Catherine at the door to secure a table and now I’m stuck in the second “emergency” carpark deciding whether to brave the conditions now or wait a few minutes. The rain subsides long enough for a Bolt-like sprint up and down the hill and into the stables as if I have lost my strapper and am running home.
This stables turned brewery is huge, with outside (but undercover) stables for larger groups nicely heated, and inside polished concrete and a nice long bar are featured amongst high light-filled ceilings and a motley of tables. In the middle is a grassed area perfect for a cleansing ale (if it wasn’t freezing outside).
The food offerings are sensible for a place that must be putting out a huge number of meals. Pizzas are popular and with good reason. As with most purpose built pizza focussed restaurants it isn’t an afterthought that doesn’t have the necessary means (a big super hot oven). This is good news if pizza and beer are your thing.
On the beers, there are not tens available, but there is a good selection. Today somehow the American pale ale is not available, but the others including a pale ale, pilsner, golden ale and lager are all on. I tried a few including the golden ale and pale ale and I thought they are both great without being noticeable unique.
The pulled pork is satisfactorily good without being anything special. We had some sweet potato chips to share and the chips are good too.
Even in this terrible weather, the drive out to St Andrews beach near Rye is worth it to enjoy some nice beers and food in a terrific setting. Those with places nearby, or securing a holiday house, will surely be there several times in a week, especially over summer. And I did notice as we walked out the TVs are set to the racing channel which is very cool for an enthusiast!