In the months since we last visited Mount Beauty’s Crank Handle Brewery a lot has changed reports our North East Victoria correspondent and Falls Creek instructor Trent Abberfield.
We have had Multiple lockdowns, that impacted visitor numbers during ski season. La Niña has given us a winter that was super wet and made it difficult to open with the restrictions to indoor venues.
Crankhandle’s owner and founder Mick Pierra has sold the business, not feeling he was able to continue without his late wife Kell. He has found two Brothers, Trevor and Craig King, to continue and expand upon his legacy.
Trevor and Craig are both keen brewers who have been working as FIFO workers for the last decade. Both have young families and they wanted to obtain a business in the Kiewa Valley to be closer to their growing families. Crank Handle Brewery was the obvious choice.
Mick chose well, the King Bros. are very safe pairs of hands to grow this local treasure.
The business has gone from strength to strength, with an internal makeover of not only the décor but adding to the original six beers on tap with some truly outstanding brews. Packed with a new menu of beers and food, Crank Handle has seen a huge increase in patronage since the end of Victoria’s lockdowns.
Trevor and Craig have started bottling the beer to allow take away purchases, they presented the first bottle to Mick of the Kells Kolsch, named after his late wife.
There is a divine new menu. They still feature the generous local cheese and meat boards, but now teamed with a particularly good pub menu, from Pulled Pork sliders to Jalapeño Poppers and Vegan Tacos, and a fantastic Nachos, all which go brilliantly with the Beer.
Speaking of the beer, they have a Bohemian Pilsner, a Brewed Ginger IPA, an XPA and a Dark Wheat beer that is infused with local Honey Bird Espresso coffee. The Alpine Ale is now a mid-strength beer, which tastes just as good as it did at 5%. There are more beers in the pipeline as well with an American Wheat beer only weeks away from hitting the kegs.
The Bohemian Pilsner is just as good as anything I have ever had imported, while the XPA is a refreshing beer that has cured me of my dislike of that brew. The Ginger IPA is a unique flavour, I have never had a beer like it before.
There are great new booth seats to while away the winter après next to the fire and brand-new umbrellas outside to sit in the sun on a summer’s day after riding Big Hill MTB Park.
The décor is an eclectic mixture of vintage skis and snowboards, including a rare double ski! Also some beautiful skate art from local artists.
More expansion is in the works to extend the outdoor area and cover part of it. Take Away Growlers are also available for purchase.
Trevor and Craig have taken what was already a wonderful place to relax and made it even better. It has a local feel and welcomes large numbers on Friday and Saturday evenings. Opening hours are Thursday to Monday from 1100am, closed Tuesday and Wednesday, but during busy times in winter will be open seven days a week.
So, if you are staying in Mount Beauty, on your way to Falls Creek, or just want somewhere to go on a weekend drive, get down to Crank Handle for the best beer in the Alpine region of Victoria. The beer remains the best craft brews I have ever had. I assure you, you will not regret it. Check them out online here.
– Trent Abberfield