On the main street of sweet Yarra Glen you’ll find a beautiful whitewashed Victorian building. Once housing a bank, it’s now the home of Hargreaves Hill – an award-winning microbrewery that matches great food with local and international beer and wines.
The rabbit warren of small rooms and the open fireplaces make it a cosy place to enjoy a pint and a meal in winter. There is also an outside area for warmer days.
Hargreaves Hill’s kitchen focuses on the excellent local produce and we ordered roasted pork belly and fresh apple slaw ($25) and a Black Angus steak sandwich with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion and housemade mustard aioli on toasted sourdough ($25) plus a side of beer battered chips and garlic aioli ($8). All washed down with a pint of their pale ale.
For the kids we ordered a small serve of the day’s pasta special – arrabiata – which the kids devoured with relish. I tried a bit of it and the pasta was obviously handmade and had a good bite to it.
The pork belly was cooked to perfection – a huge slab of meat with just enough fat to make it succulent and a crispy skin. It was a generously proportioned, restaurant quality dish so I was very happy that it was only $25.
The steak sandwich was also very good, with a fat juicy patty literally stabbed together with a veritable tower of ingredients. It was hard to eat, but in a very satisfying, Neanderthal-like way. A giant doughnut-sized onion ring was a sweet counterpart for the meat juices too.
I don’t normally get that excited by chips but these ones were most excellent. I presume some sort of beer batter was used to make them super light and crispy, yet fluffy inside. Heston Blumenthal’s triple-cooked chips would be proud.
Unfortunately kid-wrangly meant we didn’t have time to sample dessert but the Hargreaves Hill Stout and chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice cream ($12) is a must-do for my next visit.
To get a full taste of Hargreaves Hill brews you can order a tasting boats with six of the brewery’s ales. I’m not a beer expert at all so I couldn’t tell you whether the beers are any good – but any craft beer seems to be good beer!
- pram access;
- high chairs;
- standard menu suitable for kids;
- kids menu; and
- close to playground.