The boom in Australian craft beer gets another boost at Deeds Brewing. Here, the onsite brewery is paired with a slick, moody taproom where casual dining and serious beer drinking go hand in hand.
Location: 4 Paran Pl, Glen Iris, VIC 3146 Ph: 1300 673 362
Deeds Brewing emerged like a mythical creature amongst a row of industrial warehouses behind Glen Iris Station in mid 2021.
That might sound a bit over-blown, but not to those who’d been waiting for it to finally a) Get its license and b) Actually open its doors. You see, Glen Iris and its surrounds had been a Dry suburb for generations and breaking the seal – so to speak – took a while. In fact, we believe that getting Deeds Brewing legal, fitted-out and serving customers took a mere 5 years.
That’s a long time between drinks. So was it worth the wait?
Short answer. Absolutely!
Why? Well, mainly because Deeds is so much more than simply a bar.
Deeds Brewing – The Space
Firstly, the space itself is a world away from the light and cheery cafe interiors dotted around the area. Dark, moody, industrial chic is the vibe and it’s a striking contrast to both the outside of the building and to anything else in these parts.
Externally, there’s little to suggest the drama of the Deeds Taproom itself.
At street level, the facade is regular brick – in keeping with the neighbouring buildings. The lines of the lovely sawtooth roof remain and it’s a nice traditional touch which contrasts sharply with the aesthetics once you’ve crossed the threshold.
Update your tired old Eski in the backyard with the attractive and practical Keter Go Bar 4.2 Gallon Beer & Wine Cooler with Handle & Pop Up Outdoor Table. It has a huge capacity and looks great too!
Go down the steps, turn to the left, and the full theatricality of the space is revealed. The ambience is aggressively cool, with plenty of metal and concrete. The ceiling is surprisingly high with steel supports and pipes for the brewery section of the building (I assume!) used as feature.
Splinter Society – better known for their work in happening Brunswick than the staid back streets of Stonnington – have taken their brief and gone hard. Whatever they instructed their design team, I reckon pair behind Deeds – Patrick Ale and Dave Milstein – must be pretty stoked with the results.
Directly opposite the impressive bar, tables line a wall which hides another of Deeds star attractions – a raised, carpeted section with booths. Up there you can spy on the patrons drinking and dining below. There’s also a room at the end, furnished with a long, heavy table – perfect for a more intimate private function.
They claim to be the highest rated cafe inMelbourne. See what we think of Shanklin Cafe in Hawthorn
None of this would work without the particularly striking lighting scheme.
Circles of light bounce from the walls and pattern the floor and huge bar which runs one side of the space. It’s pure drama, but also – very importantly – gives the room warmth. With so much metal, there’s a risk of coldness. The bright illumination of the silvery metalwork above and the mellower glow at people-level turns a possibly chilly atmosphere into one of welcoming warmth.
Especially on a cold, wet winter’s night.
Deeds Brewing – The Beer
So what of the fare?
Well, Deeds Brewing, as the name says, is first and foremost a brewery.
Gleaming, cylindrical vats rise behind that expansive bar, an indicator that beer production is a serious business at in Glen Iris.
And serious it is. The taproom boasts 6 ‘core beers’ and an impressive additional 28 taps of whatever else they are currently conjuring up behind the optics. Apart from Deeds Brewery’s better known offerings such as their perfectly cloudy Indian Pale Ales, there are Stouts, Porters, Pilsners, a Dark Lager and numerous high alcohol tipples.
The first time Eatability visited, in late 2021, there was even a Lamington Brown Ale.
Keep drinks cool with the stylish, StowCo Small Wine Beer Portable Cooler. It’s perfect for picnics and days at the beach.
Given the extensive choice, it makes sense that the Deeds team offer a beer tasting paddle. Pleasingly, you have a couple of options here. You can either let the bar staff surprise you with a selection, or get them to tailor one more specifically to your preferences by chatting to them first.
And if beer isn’t your thing, there’s cider on tap, Australian wines and a selection of spirits, plus the usual non-alcoholic alternatives.
Deeds Brewing – The Food
Apart from the mezzanine overlooking the bar, there’s a dedicated dining area at the end of the bar, with glimpses into the bustling kitchen.
The Food Menu apparently changes with the seasons. Though unheralded, it is divided into 4 brief sections that translate as Entrees, Mains, Sides and Desserts.
On the night we ate we opted to share. We opened with the punchy Fried Peanuts with Guajillo Chilli and Cumin – very moreish. From there we moved to Fried Halloumi with Fig Paste and Sherry Vinegar. We then abandoned all vegetarian pretences and scoffed down the flavoursome Pork & Pistachio Country Pate with Mustards, Pickles and Crackers. Next up was a lively basket of burnished Chicken Wings with Sichuan Peppercorn, Chilli and Lemon.
From the Mains, we added the Zucchini with Coal Roasted Eggplant, Miso, Hazelnut Pesto and Cos. And as carbs maketh a meal in Eatability’s book, a Side of the totally addictive Crispy Potatoes with Black Garlic Emulsion, Herb Salt and Ancho Chilli.
On a previous occasion, I’d happily devoured the Wagyu Smash Burger. This came stacked with Smoked Beer Cheese, Saucy Deeds, Mortadella, Crispy Onion, Salad & Chips. In my defence, it was only the 180g version, not the 360g. Suffice to say that even the smaller option was rich, juicy and satisfying.
To finish, we managed to force down the Imperial Stout Brownie with Orange-Peanut Praline and Tobacco Ice Cream. A brownie just bitter enough from the stout was balanced by the sugar-hit of an architectural praline shard, the smoky ice cream the perfect foil.
If you find yourself down in Inverloch, check out Dirty Three Wines for a different kind of cellar door.
On our first trip to Deeds Brewing some months ago, we’d eaten the Feed Me option and, I confess, been a tad disappointed. Everything had been very tasty and well-presented, but the portions hadn’t been particularly generous for the money. I’m pleased to say that this option seems to have been ditched.
You get a much better feed at Deeds Taproom by grazing from the menu yourselves.
Another local drinking spot that is really making waves in the area is Oydis cocktail bar.
Brewery Tour & Tasting
If you wish to learn all more about the Deeds Brewing story and discover how the various beers are made first hand, book a slot on one of their informative Brewery Tours. And yes. The ticket price includes a sample or 2!
Also, with winter drawing in as I write this update, Deeds Brewing has introduced a Wednesday Trivia Night.
Kicking off at 7pm, the Deeds crew promise fun and ‘friendly competition’.
Deeds Brewing – Overall
Deeds Brewing is an exciting addition to the once dry environs of Glen Iris.
Not only is Deeds a fully-blown brewery, but it has a Taproom that is truly a temple to the many and varied beers brewed onsite. What’s more, there a buzzing kitchen knocking out booze-friendly favourites. Including some seriously substantial burgers.
The architecture and interior design is daring, the beer is crafted with love and the food is on the right side of rustic and tasty.
It’s a combination that makes Deeds Brewing a great destination for a good night out. And the residents of Glen Iris will (finally) drink to that.