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The new Matilda Bay pub in Victoria’s Yarra Valley will officially open its doors to the public on Boxing Day and will soon establish itself as the home of the finest craft beers in the state.
After a complete internal renovation of the old Giant Steps cellar in the heart of Healesville an hour east of Melbourne, Head of Matilda Bay Phil Sexton and his team will unveil a modern pub proudly serving seasonal produce sourced from the Yarra Valley.
The new craft brewery is being completed and the new artisan Matilda Bay brews will begin flowing by mid-January and customers will be able to sample the new batches as they are freshly made. In the meantime, Matilda Bay will be serving 12 of the country’s best craft beers on tap.
It was announced in October that Phil, the father of craft beers in Australia, was returning to Matilda Bay, the label he founded 35 years ago, to partner Carlton & United Breweries in reinvigorating the country’s original craft beer.
More than 30 jobs have been created at the new pub, with 40 in total when it is fully operating, providing a win for the local economy.
Phil said the new Matilda Bay would be a beautiful new attraction in the town he lives in and loves.
“I have been looking forward to revisiting my craft brewing roots through tackling unfinished business with Matilda Bay,’’ Phil said.
“It’s particularly poignant, having my son Harry Sexton join the brewing team, along with Drew Parker (his second stint with Matilda Bay), Will Goodyear (family ties all the way back to Youngs Brewery London, first imported to Australia by Matilda Bay) and David Himmelfarb bringing his pub and hospitality experience to our in-house pub.’’
Phil is one of Australia’s leading brewers and winemakers. In addition to Matilda Bay, he founded Little Creatures and launched Giant Steps, Innocent Bystander and Devil’s Lair wineries.
The Matilda Bay pub, under talented young head chef Ben Ledingham, will showcase the best local Yarra Valley produce, including cheese, meats, olives, bread, trout and vegetables, plus a range of wines, ciders and beers.
Sustainability is a critical part of the new project, with solar panels supplying power and all waste to be recycled. Matilda Bay beers will be brewed using pristine Healesville water.