Published on 1 July 2021
It’s been quite the feat to open the doors of Deeds Taproom and Kitchen in Glen Iris. After five years, multiple negotiations with the local council, 1,700 supporting signatures, and a few setbacks (a pandemic among them), co-founders Pat Alé and Dave Milstein are finally pouring beers in their new venue.
The redbrick industrial building at on Paran Place has been home to independent craft brewery Deeds Brewing since 2015. Since opening on 26 June, the 2,600sqm space is not only humming with the noise of their craft beer operations, but also with the buzz of brewery tours, beer tastings, and happy punters enjoying an excellent meal.
Beers are naturally the heart of the Taproom experience – there’s 22 different Deeds beers on tap at the 20-metre-long bar – the lunch and dinner menus have more pull than you might expect from your average craft brewery.
The kitchen is led by chef Paul Kasten, who comes to it from Wildwood in Portland, Oregon, and Stomping Ground and Host Dining in Melbourne. He has designed a menu that walks the line between serious and approachable while showcasing a range of techniques for the use of beer and beer ingredients in fine cookery.
“The way I’ve approached the menu is to offer everything from a snack to team nicely with a beer at the bar,” Kasten says. “Think smoked-pork croquettes, a zingy citrus Pacific oyster with sea grapes, or focaccia with malt butter and schmaltz – all the way to a comforting feed if you want to settle in for a meal. Dishes like Deeds Draught-battered blue grenadier, pork cheeks, or our house-ground wagyu burger have all been created to be enjoyed with a beer or refreshing drink in hand.”
Which of the dishes on the menu best capture the Deeds Taproom vibe, Paul?
It would have to be the hop-cured salmon, the richly marbled wagyu blade fillet with ale glaze, and the malted whipped cheesecake. The fact that the brewery fermenting tanks are within eyesight of the kitchen means that I have access to a range of ingredients from various stages in the brewing process. For example, the ale glaze with the blade fillet will vary depending on what’s being brewed that day. I’m also using beer malt in the cheesecake which adds a beautifully rich element to the dessert.
How about a drink?
You can’t go past Hazy Thought Pattern IPA on tap. Justin Corbitt, the head brewer, has nailed the balance between dank bitterness of a West Coast IPA built on the back of a richer malt bill. This IPA is the best representation of what Deeds are known for. If there’s an opportunity to get experimental, we take it.
What if I’m here for a good time not a long time?
Grab a pint of our Deeds Juice Train. It’s a super-juicy IPA, hazy in appearance with a velvety soft mouthfeel, and is absolutely bursting with tropical hop flavours and aroma. It pairs perfectly with our sweet and spicy chicken wings coated in fish sauce caramel, with chilli and mint.
Got anything light and fresh?
I’d go the hop-cured salmon with a side of radicchio salad with cashew, citrus, cured egg and celery. Or the beer battered blue grenadier with celeriac, fennel and malt vinegar gel; it’s fried, but it’s still light and clean.
I like tasty food but I don’t eat animals.
The barley risotto cooked in a rich mushroom stock or our overnight slow-roasted cauliflower are two very good options whether you want to go vegan or vegetarian. We list the risotto as vegetarian on the menu, but it also works really well in a vegan version.
Let’s go big. Let’s go crazy. What have you got for me?
The feed-me menu option is my pick and lets you enjoy a large variety of the things we do best. This is for a big group and trust me, it’s a worthwhile feed. I’m talking 13 different dishes including a larger wagyu roast and slow-cooked lamb shoulder. Set menus are available with beer matches too, so everyone at the table can have a great time tasting various beers alongside a hearty feast. To finish, check out the soon-to-be famous Espresso Martini featuring our roast malt sugar syrup and Jumping Goat whisky liqueur.
And to close?
Go with our brown butter ice-cream with burnt honey and crisp parsnips matched with a pot of our limited-edition Double Lamington brew. The brew is a fun one; it started as an English brown ale full of rich chocolate and caramel flavours, and then we pack it full of coconut. This dessert is decadent.
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