Originally posted on The AU Review (June 10, 2016)
Sitting on the corner of Fitzroy and Grey Street, Freddie Wimpoles is the latest renovation of The George Hotel in St Kilda. It’s been given a charming hunter-lodge meets classic American diner revamp, with it’s rustic dark timber, antler chandeliers and a feature wall of beer cans perfectly framing the glowing neon signs and brightly lit jukebox.
The bar stands as a craft beer destination with 13 taps pumping both local and international brews, some of which are the only ones to be supplied on tap throughout Australia.
And so, why come to a bar renowned for their craft beer if you’re not going to give one of them a try? Getting lost with which to pick, the bartenders were really helpful with their recommendations, and in the end we focused in on their their Brooklyn Lager ($11) and the 4 Pines Kolsh ($5.8/11). In comparison to the crisp bitterness of the amber-gold Brooklyn Lager, the 4 Pines Kolsh had a hint of lemon that protruded from the malty taste, both excellent choices.
Not to worry if you don’t fancy a beer, there are 180 premium spirits to choose from, and a wonderful selection of unique cocktails. Maybe the Basil & Blueberry Martini ($18) will catch your eye, with French Quinoa vodka, Mozart white chocolate liquor mixed with fresh basil and blueberries. One of their most popular drinks – and I can see why – with a bursting freshness from the basil and a balanced sweetness that isn’t over-powering. The Naked Espresso ($18) is also a must try from their cocktail list. A delicious spin on the classic vodka and coffee Espresso martini, with the addition of nutmeg and Frangelico for a smooth nutty flavour, perfectly combined to make coffee the undertone of the drink.
The extensive drink offering is matched with a New York deli-style menu featuring subs, sandwiches, and hot dogs.
Looking at the menu, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try their Jacks Maple Jerky ($5). A great portion for sharing before your meals, the jerky is the perfect amount of a chewy consistency that allows you to savour the unique flavour of traditional Jerky with a hint of sweetness.
The food is unpretentious, working classic flavours to its highest potential. The Classic Ruben ($18) is a staple item on the menu, with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing on toasted rye with dill pickles. A beautiful contrast of textures working with the perfect blend of the classic flavours of salty shaves of corned beef and the slight sour taste of the sauerkraut.
You can’t go wrong with a timeless classic, and Freddie Wimpoles’ Classic Dog ($12) is exactly that. With fried onions, American mustard and ketchup, this hot dog is the ultimate accompaniment with any of the beers on their list, in addition to the tangy, crunchy pickles on the side.