Holgate Brewhouse continues its legacy of sharing premium boutique beer to its many fans. The one hour drive from Melbourne CBD, is immediately justified with a pint of any of their hand crafted all malt real ales and lagers.
Hand pumped, cask conditioned beer. This is how beer used to be (before big corporations started pasteurising and carbonating it) and how beer should be.
After years of mass produced, artificially carbonated beer flooding the market and becoming the new ‘norm’ in Australia, hand pumped beer is beginning its resurgence thanks to breweries like the Holgate Brewhouse in Woodend.
Tasting paddles @ Holgate
We started the day off with their tasting paddles (8 x 90 ml samples of each) - An amazing way to drink your way through the 8 Holgate beers on tap before deciding what to get more of when you're done.
Tour of the Holgate Brewery
Since the brewery’s inception in 1999, Paul and Natasha Holgate’s back-yard, Holgate Brewhouse has been producing genuine craft beer from the village of Woodend in Victoria.
The beers are made entirely in-house (brewed, bottled and kegged) with uncompromising precision and natural ingredients.
No preservatives. No chemicals. No pasteurisation.
Beers & lunch @ Holgate
This genuine, English style of beer shows greater complexity and depth of flavour than its artificially carbonated and pasteurised competitors. A pint of this brings us right back to the time we spent in the UK.
Another one of our all-time favourite Holgate beers is the Hopinator. Decadently bold, this beer is a an India Pale Ale on steroids that boasts an aggressive bitterness over a smooth caramel malt finish.
Apart from excellent beer, Holgate provides very good quality food at reasonable prices. They have mastered the Aussie pub basics but are also not afraid to push the boundaries of pub cuisine.
Dijon encrusted lamb rump served with broken roast potato, wilted wild roquette and beer jus
The lamb was, like everything at Holgate, very generous. The high quality pieces of lamb were cooked perfectly to a tender and juicy pink. The accompanying beer jus exhibited a marvellous elegance and depth of flavour - overall a skilfully executed, exceptionally flavoursome dish.
Chargrilled roo fillet, fried hash potato wedges, green beans, grilled tomato and sour raspberry jus
The dish of char-grilled roo fillet exceeded our expectations admirably. The accompaniments to the fillet were each delicious – the crispy potatoes were perfectly seasoned and wonderfully flavoured and the green beans provided a thoroughly enjoyable freshness. Of course, the true highlight of the dish were the slices of kangaroo – a light searing ensured that it was lined with a thin crisp caramelised layer. The meat was intense with a deep earthy richness and texturally it was sublime with a decadent melt in the mouth, almost buttery, consistency.
Holgate’s efforts to break the conventions of standard pub fare are a successful endeavour.
Whilst we would love to keep it a secret, Holgate’s growing popularity in recent times has shown that the secret is already out. It is an unassuming, unpretentious pub that serves excellent beer and great food.
Location: 79 High St, Woodend
Phone: 03 5427 2510
Cuisine: Pub Food, Gastropub, Beer
Check out Part 1 of our trip to Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges here and Part 3 here.
Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Holgate Brewhouse and Daylesford & Macedon Ranges Regional Tourism Board.