It was one of those nights when you first realise that Winter has arrived. I wanted to stay in and celebrate this with a DVD on the couch, but sadly it was a Friday and I felt compelled to leave the house. My flatmates were going to a do at the Mountain Goat Brewery in Richmond. I like mountain goats and beers, so this sounded like an excellent combination.
I followed by flatmates blindly – literally, it was dark already and my bike lights were out – to 80 North Street. I was a little surprised at the location: a back, residential street, and a lot surprised to see a queue of people. It had just gone 7.30pm and from where I was standing, we were off the proverbial beaten track. I somewhat reluctantly joined the queue, quietly lamenting the fact that I could have been watching Tintin in 3D. We waited for what felt like 45 minutes, but was probably far less due to my lack of attention span. More surprise awaited me however, as the large room wasn't crowded at all. Mountain goats obviously value space over companionship.
I headed straight to the bar to quell my thirst and frustration. The selection was intriguing: their regular beers, including Hightail Ale, Organic Steam Ale and a cider; as well as the more wacky. I was almost tempted by the Black Pepperberry IPA, because I like pepper and it was pretty strong at 7.3%. However, I was feeling unadventurous and indecisive, so went for a pint of Kristalweizen – a fruity wheat ale. It looked delicious, like a golden nectar. And I was not let down: it was hoppy, light and had the touches of banana and clove that it promised. My much braver friend went for the Saison de la Chevre – described as slightly tart, with loads of fruit and spices. It was one step too fruity for me, but certainly enjoyable for the beer connoisseur.
After a pint I was feeling much happier and was relishing my space. The atmosphere was fun, the music was enjoyable and the staff were friendly. As a working brewery, there was a lot to look at and discuss – vats, barrels and branding. Pizza was also on offer and for a drinking spot, it far exceeded expectations. I also noticed they had a taster paddle of four beers, which was very reasonably priced ($12, I believe). There is a lot to pay a return visit for, but get there early.