Food and Drink
Posted by Hilary Bush
27. Nov, 2015
As the weather starts to warm the hearts and souls of even the most cynical of the Bureau of Meteorology critics, Melbournians inevitably start to think about all the possibilities a summer in this beautiful city can bring. Thoughts are generally broken up into: “It’s great weather for hanging out the washing”, or, “It’s great weather to hang out in a trendy beer garden”. The latter often proving more pertinent, and luckily for the top lads at Beer DeLuxe, more fruitful.
Beer DeLuxe, already a permanent fixture at the iconic Federation Square precinct, has answered thirsty Melbournians prayers this summer by bringing us the trendiest CBD beer garden yet. The modern indoor-outdoor space will be transformed into a beer garden haven every Wednesday night throughout summer, answering not only the salivating taste buds of the craft beer enthusiasts, but also city workers’ Hump Day blues.
Summer Hop Up, the marketing graduate’s dream pun-related event name, will bring together all things so dearly cherished by this hipster, creative city of ours; local craft beers (and the best of what the international scene has to offer), indoor wall gardens playing on the concept of hops in beer, and a variety of miniature food items served from low-humming trucks parked indoors. If this isn’t enough to tempt you, perhaps the tantalizing aroma wafting from the enormous pans of Spanish paella will get your attention. There truly is something for everyone at the Summer Hop Up.
The atmosphere is a great mix of vibrant and cozy, with plenty of space for suits and tourists alike. Craig Shearer, head honcho of the Armada Hospitality Group (Beer DeLuxe’s owner/operator), describes the Summer Hop Up as “the ultimate playground for the beer enthusiast and the beer curious”. The drinks list for the beer enthusiasts and curious has been pulled together by Beer DeLuxe’s ‘Beer Ambassador’ Derek Cowe, who bases the choices around his mentality that “if a beer excites me, then I think it’ll excite the public.” Cowe and the team have taken the time to design the event so that representatives at the brewery pop-up stands, as well as Beer DeLuxe experts, can educate revelers on each beer’s characteristics and brewing process, furthering the unique environment the Summer Hop Up is providing to the good people of Melbourne.
We perch in a prime people-watching spot on some comfy cushions, and the beats are beating, the chatter is lively and the drinks are chilled to perfection. Food options are a plenty and the decision-making is almost unbearable. We settle on a mix of Cuban street food from La Revolucion’s truck, as well as mouthwatering popcorn chicken from the bar. Both are highly recommended – but let’s face it, who doesn’t love the novelty of a food truck and fried chicken served in miniature wire baskets? We wash down the tasty offerings with my favourite beer straight from the tap – Stone and Wood, a Pacific Ale born and bred in Byron Bay.
The vivacious energy of the Armada Hospitality Group has created the perfect casual-yet-contemporary dining and drinking experience for us this summer, offering award-winning beer paired perfectly with contemporary beer food designed to be held in one hand (with a beer in the other). So avoid the crowds this summer, ditch your old drinking spots, and hang out the washing on a Thursday night – for the next 3 months the Summer Hop Up is the new place to be seen on Wednesday nights.
Summer Hop Up
Federation Square, corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne
Every Wednesday night from November 18 – February 25
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