When word spread around Abbotsford that the team behind local bistro-disco institution Dr Morse had picked up the old Johnson Street Auto LP gas converter over the road to create a lively brew-pub, it’s fair to say ears were pricked. Just a couple of clicks northeast of Melbourne, Abbotsford has always been a bohemian area with a vibrant hospo scene, but Pete Walsh and his beer-loving business partners felt there was something missing.
“Since we knew the area, we thought we knew what people wanted – a lively space that would cater to families, older people and be quite an ‘activated’ space with live music during the night,” he says. “We genuinely were excited about our ability to offer insanely fresh beer, essentially poured out of a giant keg to hold its freshness and not depreciate.”
They spent the best part of three years in council applications and construction as they converted the old block into the vibrant ‘70s-inspired space that opened in 2019, effortlessly catering to the Abbotsford bohemian set.
“Traditionally it’s quite a gritty area, there’s lots of street art and shabby housing – that eclectic mix makes it really special,” Walsh says. “There’s lots of musicians, artists and professionals living the city life, and that combination makes it kind of cool … and a challenge to make beer consistently for people that cover all those bases.”
But the locals have been unwavering in their support. “About 80 percent of all beer we make is sold within a 5km radius of the business,” Pete says. “It’s important we have our finger on the pulse in regards to what people want in this area – and I think most of the time, we do a pretty good job of it.”
The old warehouse has been divided into distinct areas, so although Bodriggy can comfortably fit more than 400 punters, it never feels too crowded. “At the front is the froth shop, which is a tiny front bar and takeaway area that’s modelled off old Australiana bars from the ‘60s,” Pete shares. “The main area, which was originally the old mechanic, is a giant bar with lofty, retractable ceilings and the brewery in the back corner.”
Feast on Latin American barbecue food and order your drinks at the bar, choosing to perch amongst the barrels at the back of the building or nearer to the stage to sample the live music on offer five nights a week. “It’s got a knocked back, rustic vibe,” Pete says. “Our space is pretty special and it complements the local area really well.”
Craving a new craft beer? Look for these Bodriggy brews at your local Vintage Cellars store.
Bodriggy Blinker Dark Ale Can 355ml Designed for emerging craft drinkers, this dark ale is truly sessionable. Get set for subtle bitterness with a clean, caramel finish.
Bodriggy Cosmic Microwave NEIPA Can 355ml A lower boiling temperature gives this hazy IPA relatively low bitterness, despite its high hops content. Enjoy hints of apricot and pineapple and nods of appreciation from fellow beer nerds.
Bodriggy Specie Juice Hazy IPA Can 355ml Bodriggy’s best selling can offers a silky mouthfeel thanks to the addition of rolled oats. High hop content, low bitterness and just 3.5 percent alcohol makes it a dialled-back version of Bodriggy’s Cosmic Microwave.
Products featured are available from 01/02/23 to 07/03/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.