Moon Dog Brewery | Preston
Moon Dog Brewery has been working on some big things while you've been sleeping.
Well, not big, huge. 8000 square meters huge, to be exact (for a size comparison, think a Bunnings warehouse, but bigger). Moon Dog has been quietly outgrowing its ability to produce enough beer for consumption over the eight-year period they've called Abbotsford home, and have been on the hunt for a new space.
They found a site in Preston that seemed way too big for their needs, but co-owners Josh Uljans, Jake Uljans and Karl van Buuren thought, "Why not", placed the right applications, and got council approval for a venue with a 725 person capacity. Told you it was huge.
So how will Moon Dog be using all that space? They're going to be putting a waterfall in the middle of the venue. Karl van Buuren says, "...it will flow into a river and a lagoon and there will be a bridge you have to walk over to get around." He envisions people dipping their feet in the 25cm deep water feature which they'll be cutting straight into the slab. People can even lay about on inflatable swans. If you manage to not get distracted, you may make it to their island bar with a full kitchen, from which they plan to serve lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
There will also be four shipping containers, stacked to form a very lush tiki bar. A 220 square metre beer garden will be filled with palm trees and indoor-outdoor zones so you can sit in the shade or catch some rays, but don't worry about roasting in the sun, there will also be a retractable roof. While the owners are careful not to bill themselves as a new live music venue, the new Moon Dog will have the capability to put in a temporary stage. There will also be a mandatory new production brewery visible behind a glass wall which can produce five times more beer than their current brewery.
At this stage, Moon Dog's Preston quarters is set to open by late September or early October 2019. Van Buuren says that their biggest party is usually their Grand Final Party, and they're hoping to hold it in their brand spanking new digs. Watch this space.
Moon Dog Brewery will be opening at 34 Chifley Drive, Preston 3072
The Age Digital Edition: A boozy ‘theme park' : What's not to love?
Things are changing in deepest, industrial Preston.
On unfashionable Chifley Drive, across from the meat wholesaler and not far from the shiny concrete halls of Northland shopping centre, sits an old car parts factory.
Right now, the massive site - all 10,000 square metres of it - is undergoing an ambitious renovation before becoming the new home of independent craft brewery Moon Dog.
As well as room for the company to scale up beer production from a capacity of about two million litres a year to 10 million, the warehouse (which feels as big as several Bunnings outlets) will be home to a huge new bar - there'll be room for 725 people - known as Moon Dog World.
The venue, set to open at the end of the month, is being described as an " adult theme park'' .
" I think what we're creating here is genuinely unique and quite special,'' says Josh Uljans, one of Moon Dog's three owners.
" I think people will get pretty excited by it.''
While gentrification has made its presence felt in the inner north, this pocket of Preston near Darebin Creek remains one of the former working class suburb's last industrial areas.
Away from the thriving nightlife of High Street, it's full of factories and offices where workers are gone by 5pm. The good thing is there's no one to complain about the noise.
There is another brewery, 3 Ravens, close by. But high-concept venues such as Moon Dog World - with a Tiki cocktail karaoke bar, shipping container pinball section and a " Smorgy's-style' ' waterfall running into a lagoon underneath a retractable roof - don't exist here.
" I guess that was one of the things that was attractive to us,'' says co-owner Karl van Buuren.
" High Street itself is exploding in terms of the entertainment and hospitality offerings there. This being just off the beaten track but still quite inner Melbourne, it was exactly what we're looking for.''
There are some challenges: there's no tram line or train station close by. But the pair hope they can make it a destination venue that people will travel for. Even if it's in a suburban factory zone.
" It is a bit grungy but we've gone pretty wild to deliver a concept that should get people here,'' says Uljans.
With its location 12 kilometres from the city, there is a hope that the area might become an unlikely hotspot. Another venue is already on the way, with Jamsheed Urban Winery opening next to the Boss clothing outlets on Albert Street next year.
As well as the bar and brewery, which will sit behind glass, there is significant amount of space for more storage tanks, as well as a packing and loading area towards the back of the warehouse.
While big beer companies have been buying up craft beer labels in recent years (such as Pirate Life, Mountain Goat and Little Creatures), Moon Dog is committed to remaining independently owned.
Selling up " just doesn't appeal that much' ' to Uljans, who speaking for all three brewers, says: " We're 35 and having a f---ing ball.''
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ 34 Chifley Drive, Preston | Map
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Moon Dog Brewery | Preston
❊ Also See... ❊
→ Moon Dog Brewery | Abbotsford
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