A once derelict general store has become a unique watering hole for the Victorian timber town of Forrest.

Story + Photos Nathan Dyer

A line of muddy mountain bikes rest against the verandah posts of the Forrest Brewery and the chatter of happy riders fills the autumn air. Behind the bar, Matt Bradshaw pours a pint of ‘Pobblebonk’, a provincial-style seasonal beer named after a frog and brewed using local strawberry clover honey. “It’s named after a frog because it’s our French beer,” Matt laughs, flicking the tap off. 

Located 85 kilometres south-west of Geelong and 40km north of Apollo Bay, Forrest Brewery is at the heart of a tourism revival for the former timber town of 170 people hidden in the Otway Ranges. “The town’s last timber mill closed three days after I moved in,” Matt explains, sipping a beer and recalling his journey from telecommunications technician to craft brewer.

This story excerpt is from Issue #120

Outback Magazine: August/September 2018