St Kilda gets a stylish new craft beer bar with Freddie Wimpoles (Melbourne)

Get ready folks, St Kilda’s newest craft beer haven has just opened, and it has 13 rotating craft beers on tap, New York style deli food, a jukebox, and a hunting lodge/American diner atmosphere to boot.

Freddie Wimpoles takes over the former George Hotel in St Kilda, and takes its name from beer aficionado and businessman (and mayor of St Kilda in 1886) Frederick Wimpole. So strong was his love for the amber nectar that Wimpole became director of The Melbourne Co-operative Brewing Company in Abbotsford in the early 1900s, now better known as Carlton United Breweries.

Freddie Wimpoles

“I found the history of the original owner particularly fascinating and thought he should get recognition for his contribution to the hotel,” says Liam Ganley (The Fifth Province, Lemon Middle and Orange), who, along with Scott McKay, opened the new venue. Ganley and McKay draw on their 10 years of hospitality experience to bring The George Hotel out of the 1800s and into 2016.

Freddie Wimpoles’ main focus will be on craft beers, which will be served via 13 rotating taps. Serving the best in Australian and International craft beer (think Feral and Brooklyn Brewery), the venue also holds a takeaway license until midnight, so clientele can enjoy the selection at any time.

Freddie Wimpoles

Its first event, aptly named America, F#@* Yeah! even coincides with Good Beer Week, and will be a chance for guests to sample a selection of five American craft beers, matched with Ole Smoky Moonshine and house-made beef jerky. Held on Thursday, 19th May, tickets can be purchased through the Good Beer Week website.

But brewskis aren’t the only items on the menu at Freddie Wimpoles. If you’re after something with more kick, try one of their 180 premium spirits, or a cocktail list that puts a modern twist on tried and true classics.  Of course, no bar is complete without a wine selection, which is also available.

Food at Freddie Wimpoles is modeled on timeless New York deli style fare, including slow-cooked meat sub sandwiches, hot dogs, beef jerky and homemade pickled vegetables – the kind of food best enjoyed with a cold beer.

Ganley and McKay used the Shady Pines Saloon in Sydney as the inspiration for the St Kilda venue’s interiors. Old World charm oozes from the space, which was designed with recycled and salvaged materials.  It’s fitting, given the building’s history. Purchased by Wimpole in 1873, his family then ran the establishment for almost 80 years. Now, the 150-capacity venue features a bar made from reclaimed doors and posts, and a wall tiled entirely with old beer cans.  One of St Kilda’s oldest venues has now become its newest beer oasis.


125 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda | Phone: 03 9525 5599 | Email: | | Open Sunday – Wednesday 12pm – 1am, Thursday – Saturday 12pm – 3pm

Images: Eugene Hyland


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