Mighty Craft's Moonee Ponds opens its doors

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CEO of Australia’s strongest craft beverage collective Mighty Craft Mark Haysman has proudly opened ‘The Mighty’ in the heart of Moonee Ponds, which features some of the best craft brands in the country and an A team that includes hospitality veteran Dennis Ferreira and former Dinner by Heston Blumenthal chef Adrian Corigliano.

Bringing back to life the old Sporting Globe space, The Mighty Moonee Ponds has undergone an extensive renovation by Melbourne interior architecture firm Studio Y, the creative team behind Nick & Nora’s, Maha East, Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel and Stomping Ground. It extends over three levels and features a modern public bar and atrium, cocktail bar, terrace and casual bistro, which seats 110 people.

“The Mighty is all about creating a community and hub for our craft brands. We have some amazing partners from all around the country including Jetty Road Brewery, Foghorn Brewery, Torquay Beverage Company, Slipstream Brewing, Sauce Brewing Co, Kangaroo Island Spirits, Brogan’s Way, and Green Ant Gin.

“You can experience all our products under the one roof and learn all about the art of craft in a fun and dynamic environment, while enjoying great food,” says Haysman.

Haysman chose Moonee Ponds because of the rapidly growing community of young people in the area and neighbouring suburbs, who like to stay local and are increasingly receptive to craft beer and spirits. “We believe Moonee Ponds to be an underserviced market and there’s an opening for a ‘new local’ like The Mighty where people can pop in for a quick drink after work or enjoy a leisurely lunch or relaxed dinner with friends,” he says.

Studio Y’s makeover of the venue all about energy, freshness, and simplicity. The open concept interior boasts natural light and an abundance of greenery. It offers ample table and bar seating on both storeys as well as cosy booth options in the Bistro area, providing different levels of intimacy throughout. Glimpses of the bar on the first floor catch the eye through wide openings visually connecting the two levels. Upstairs the space is fresh, approachable, and dynamic with a soothing green shade throughout, crafted timber fixtures and a large terrace with an open roof to the sky.

After five years of working in the kitchens of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants The Fat Duck and Dinner, chef Adrian Corigliano has found his happy place in The Mighty’s relaxed setting.

Corigliano describes the menu as ‘casual, thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented’. With his precise cooking skills and appreciation for fine, high quality ingredients, he has incorporated an abundance of fresh, local produce to create a menu full of modern gastropub dishes.

Signature dishes include the pumpkin, beetroot and cauliflower crackers with Tasmanian mountain pepper; Salt cured and charred prawn sticks with lime and chilli; Sticky pork belly parcels, master stock, tamarind caramel, shallots and native leaves; Wagyu burger with smoked cheddar and onion jam; Classic schnitzel of buttermilk chicken; Grilled cos with cured pork cheek and anchovy dressing; and Adults-only boozy ice cream sandwich with vanilla bean, chocolate cookie and hazelnut liqueur.

Corigliano’s flavours are complemented by The Mighty’s vast array of 14 beers, ciders and seltzers on tap. The popular beers including Jetty Road Brewery Pale Ale and Draught, Slipstream Brewing Co G Force IPA and Sauce Brewing Bubble & Squeak NEIPA are all there and there’s even a beer paddle option that includes four beers of choice as well as an ever-changing array of small batch beers and guest taps.

There is also a range of wines, spirits and cocktails, including the signature Brogan’s Barrel o Negroni and the Kangaroo Island Spritz.

With 25 years’ experience in the dining rooms of Vue De Monde, Jacques Reymond and Attica, Dennis Ferreira has The Mighty’s front of house covered, overseeing the public bar, bistro and private event spaces.

The Mighty will also host an array of special events throughout the year including Gin Masterclasses, Meet the Brewer Sessions, Gin and Beer Dinners and a Laneway Craft drinks festival, giving customers the chance to get up close and personal with the founders and makers of their brands.

For those passing by, there is a retail space with a tasting bar where all of Mighty Craft’s products can be sampled and purchased to take away.

“We see The Mighty as a place for the greatest collection of craft; unique beers, spirits and ready to serve beverages created by current and future legends of the industry. Here you’ll find the hidden gems, local legends, the real deals, the undiscovered and rising stars. We’ve curated the stuff that Melbourne is craving,” says Haysman.

The Mighty Moonee Ponds is Mighty Craft’s second venue. The first Mighty opened in the Hunter Valley in early October and up to 12 Mighty venues are planned to open around Australia in the next two years.

Located at 690 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds, The Mighty is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to late.

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