We are beyond excited to announce that in 2018, Scarf’s new beer sponsor is Stomping Ground Brewing Co. This means our trainees will be undertaking awesome beer training and tastings with the Stomping Ground crew, helping them grow their knowledge of the magical potion we call beer. The trainees will then be serving Stomping Ground’s ‘Gipps St.’ Pale Ale, Laneway Lager, and Hop Stomper IPA during Scarf Dinners!
Two of Stomping Ground’s co-founders, Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone, were kind enough to answer a few questions for us so we could get to know them better. Cheers fellas!
What makes Stomping Ground special?
Steve: Stomping Ground is all about community and experience. We want to bring people together over a great beer. All people. So we tailor beer to all palates, tastes and levels of adventurousness. We love making complex beers for ‘beer geeks’ but it gives us just as much joy to create a beer which can be enjoyed by someone who doesn’t even think they like beer! We are also really involved in our community, sponsoring and supporting schools, charities, artists and more. Last year we raised $75,000 for Movember, and $8,000 for Midsumma Futures, in addition to a large number of smaller, local charities and community events.
Why does Stomping Ground believe in supporting Scarf?
Steve: It is really important to us to be a part of our community, and to provide real support to great initiatives and charities. Scarf is a fantastic program doing integral work in our community and we are proud to help provide support and awareness for the work you do.
Stomping Ground has picked up some pretty amazing awards – can you tell us about those?
Steve: Our beers have consistently won medals at peer judged competitions around Australia but having our most popular beer – ‘Gipps St.’ Pale Ale – winning a gold medal at last year’s Craft Beer Industry Awards was definitely a highlight and led to it being our first beer recently released in cans.
What is your favourite product and why?
Steve: Pale Ales are comfortably the most popular craft beer style in Australia, we couldn’t go past Stomping Ground ‘Gipps St.’ Pale Ale. Now available in cans, you can enjoy it anywhere!
If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go, who would you take and where would you have your first meal and drink?
Guy: If I could go anywhere in the world right now, I’d head to Tokyo. I’ve been wanting to go there forever and for me the mix of history, unique culture and people have an enormous appeal (as does Japan in general).
Who I’d take really depends on who’s asking! My wife would kill me if I didn’t say our little family first, but let’s assume it’s a more work-related trip… I’d take our Head Brewer, Ashur along as well as my two business partners (Justin and Steve) so that we can all get inspired by what we see and taste. We always pick up a heap of ideas whenever we go away together and get out of the day to day both for our beers and for our venues.
After soaking in the sights and smells of the city, we’d probably head straight to Popeye, a beer bar with over 60 beers on tap from all over the world but more importantly, all over Japan! And I’d head for the best, most authentic sushi bar in Shinjuku for a bite as Japanese is my favourite cuisine. The attention to detail and emphasis on quality is world-renowned!
Tell us something about beer that we mightn’t know…
Steve: Craft beer isn’t really a new thing. Before homogenised lagers dominated the global beer market for decades, small breweries – especially in Europe – produced a wide arrange of beer styles, albeit limited by modern ingredients and brewing processes. Modern craft breweries are just taking their efforts to new, exciting and creative frontiers..
What can you tell us about how and why you started Stomping Ground and who’s behind it?
Steve: Having spent almost a decade running Australia’s leading beer venues and festival, three passionate beer fans (Steve Jeffares, Guy Greenstone and Justin Joiner) opened Stomping Ground Brewery and Beer Hall in August 2016, with an uncompromising commitment to brew the best quality beers they could.
Steve first had a vision to create the best beer bar in Australia after discovering LA’s first craft beer bar while chasing fame as a filmmaker in Hollywood. Guy was snowboarding in Canada when a mate introduced him to these crazy things called ‘microbreweries’ and Justin had returned from Europe to run a brewpub in Melbourne having developed a taste for more flavoursome beers.
We opened The Local Taphouses, first in St Kilda in 2008 and Darlinghurst a year later – with a simple goal – to share our love of great beer with as many people as possible and create world class hospitality experiences.
The Local Taphouses were pioneering Australian beer bars and we went to great lengths to source the best beers from Australia and around the world. Our ever changing taps showcased around 500 beers each year and we aimed to lead the way with a focus on beer events, education, customer service and the best presentation of beer. We are enormously proud that our venues and passionate staff were repeatedly judged the best in Australia.
Beginning as a mini festival in The Local Taphouses in 2011, GABS (the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular) has grown to become one of the leading beer festivals in the world. Held annually in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland, it allows us to bring outstanding beer experiences to an even wider audience.
And now our neighbourhood brewery, Stomping Ground Brewing Co, is an opportunity for us to harness our passion and brew exceptional beers in a range of styles, some traditional and others creatively reimagined. We’ve settled in Collingwood, the inner city suburb of Melbourne with the richest brewing history in the land, once boasting 40 breweries. Big business eventually swallowed them all but now, for the first time in over 100 years, we’re bringing brewing back. We love taking people on a beer journey – starting wherever they’re at, and going as far as they’d like.