Dinner Plain is beautiful, but outside of the ski season not a lot happens (well, to be honest, not a lot happens inside of the season either). Even the poor excuse of a supermarket has now closed down. So, imagine our delight when we discover that a brewery has quietly opened up in the village. And when I say quietly I do mean quietly. The poor owners are currently not allowed to put up any signage, so discovery of their existence is via word-of-mouth or, in my case, stumbling across a small pamphlet in the Mountain Kitchen cafe.
We go in search of it, and find Blizzard Brewery sitting bright and shiny new in one of the houses opposite the Dinner Plain beginner’s ski slope.
Why Dinner Plain we ask? Two reasons emerge. Firstly, the quality of the local ingredients – starting with the crystal clear alpine water, and Myrtleford grown hops – provide the perfect base for developing a quality brew. Secondly, the owner Mark is a native of Colorado and wanted to bring the American alpine brewing culture to his adopted home. So, his answer was: Why not?!
We strike them on their second day of business and the enthusiasm is palpable . The genial Scott is behind the bar, which is open until 10pm everyday. Currently 2 beers are being made – a pale ale and an amber ale – but there are plans to add several more to the repertoire. They also serve local Gapsted wines for the beer averse. There is no kitchen but the hope is to partner with Milawa cheese and offer cheese platters, and they are toying with the idea of allowing punters to bring their own food to enjoy with the beers. And a coffee machine is also on the horizon.
The vibe is relaxed and friendly, as kids and dogs wander about, and the boys talk about their new venture. A very welcome addition to the staid Dinner Plain scene. Long may they prosper. And until they get permission for signage you will have to seek them out – just follow the skier symbol and turn left from Big Muster Drive into Scrubbers End and follow it around to the wide open doors and the smiling welcome.