It only takes driving down the Great Ocean Road once to realize that you don't wanna drive down it again on the way home. Don't get me wrong, the scenery that the road winds amongst is gorgeous. It's one of those places of beauty that photos don't do justice... beauty of a degree that you can't comprehend until you see it for yourself. You'll also see that the repetitive tight curves of the road can induce motion sickness and that the distance takes forever because of low speed limits and cliff-side squeezes. That's why we took the road up from Skenes Creek and through Forrest on the way home from Port Campbell a few weeks ago, and ended up at the Forrest Brewing Company eating mixed berry cheesecake with marshmallow for lunch.
This place is super cute and totally unexpected considering that the town of Forrest consists of nothing more than one convenience store and this brewery. It's got that hipster vibe that every place in Melbourne does – also a surprise. I'm not kidding, the Forrest Brewing Company is in the middle of nowhere. You just don't expect that trendy style. It was pretty crowded on a Sunday, too. It's probably a popular stop on the route back to Melbz.
There are plenty of daily specials up on the blackboard, and some very exciting looking sweets in the case by the register. I went with the smoked chicken open sandwich with crushed avocado, red onion, red pepper coulis and pistachios on sourdough and a pot of the suggested beer for the dish, the Silvertop Ale.
The shredded chicken pieces were strikingly pink. I was kind of apprehensive eating pink chicken, but after a few bites realized that the color must just be from how the chicken was smoked. The pieces were moist and flavorful and with the simple accents this was a really nice, filling dish. Plenty of ripe avocado under there to fulfill my necessary daily intake. Oh and the beer – light and floral. Deceptively similar in flavor to a wheat beer. Very refreshing.I also ate a bit of Dad's crab and corn fritters with tarragon mayonnaise. I think crispy when I think fritters, but these were more like pancakes. American pancakes. Like, they were kind of doughy like pancakes, but not in a bad way. The plump corn kernels and crabmeat stood out in the mix and even though fried, these were really light.
Denise had a lamb special and Charlie had the pulled beef brisket wrap with roma tomatoes, dijon mustard, pickled onions and sour cream with chips. I didn't try any of that, but it's safe to say that the food quality standard here was consistent. This wasn't the best meal I've ever had in my life, but it was far from the worst, especially considering that this place is buried in the bumble-eff countryside where lunch options can be slim. It's two hours from Melbourne.
Had to top it off with that mixed berry cake, DUH! I mean, look at that unreal purple color. And the striking white marshmallow frosting. It was as tasty as it looks. Crumbly crust, sweet berry cheese... recipe, please.
Forrest Brewing Company was suggested as a good place for lunch by Maxine, a sweet, sweet woman who runs the Sounds of the Sea B&B in Port Campbell. Stay with Maxine if you're looking for a cozy and friendly evening in a lovely home.
Forrest Brewing Company: Apollo Bay Road, Forrest, VIC 3236. 03 5236 6170