Ales of the unexpected

Every coffee table, public bar and man cave on the planet deserves this book.

Sixty-five of the world’s most breathtakingly bizarre brews have been assembled for Brewed With Balls (Affirm Press) – the most perfect companion to a cold frothy one since salted peanuts.  There’s a short and highly entertaining description of the ingredients or brewing technique that sets each beer apart from the (six-) pack, and at the back of the book is a list of all the breweries featured and a link to their homepages so you can go straight to the sauce … err, source.

Collagen, Redskins, hemp, squid ink … even pizzas and key lime pies have found their way into a beer somewhere. Bulls have given their testicles and goats their brains in the name of beer (the latter, inspired by The Walking Dead, is appropriately called Walker and reportedly prompted a phone call from one of the show’s producers keen for a taste).

There are beers made with coffee from beans that have passed through the digestive tracts of civet cats and elephants. There’s one containing barley grown on the International Space Station (for a truly out-of-this-world taste, presumably) and another that was designed to be consumed in space (low carbonation and a specially designed bottle so it won’t explode when opened in zero gravity).

Matso’s Broome Brewery produced its face-melting Chilli Beer for the 2013 Fremantle Chilli Festival after “ruthlessly” infusing it with a secret super chilli oil, while Scotland’s Brewmeister unleashed Snake Venom with a coma-inducing 67.5% alcohol content.  Lost Rhino’s Bone Dusters Amber Ale uses yeast recovered from a 35 million-year-old fossilised whale bone, while Rogue Ales took its yeast from the beard of brewer John Maier.

One of the strangest beers is Brewdog’s The End Of History. Only 12 bottles were produced, and each was packaged in its own grotesque stubby-holder: the body of a stoat or squirrel (all roadkill, the Scottish brewery says).  Much more animal-friendly is Nail Brewing’s Antarctic Nail Ale, whose 30 limited-edition bottles contained water sourced from a chunk of iceberg. Each bottle sold at auction for more than $800 (and one fetched more than twice that) and all proceeds went to the Sea Shepherd’s whale conservation program.

The writing in Brewed With Balls is as refreshing and effervescent as a southern German wheat beer, and at $19.99 it’s less than the cost of a slab and guaranteed to put just as big a smile on your dial ... without the hangover, naturally.

Frankly Frankston Magazine has two copies of ‘Brewed With Balls’ to give away this month. Competition entry is open to existing and new Frankly Frankston Magazine members. Join at

Winter warmers

Escape winter’s bite at The Grand Hotel Frankston’s bistro, where you can grab a bite for lunch or dinner in front of an open fire seven days a week.

Each day there’s a great seniors’ and kids’ menu, with themed menus Monday to Thursday, $15 business lunches (including a drink) Monday to Friday, and two-for-one dining for Diamond Rewards members.

A: 499 Nepean Highway, Frankston
T: 9783 7388

Weddings, parties, everything at The Boathouse

Are you looking for a unique venue for your next big event?  Then look no further than The Boathouse restaurant. Conveniently located at the gateway to the Peninsula in Frankston, the venue is set on the edge of the meandering Kananook Creek among lush landscaped gardens and boasts a charming refurbished interior with floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the view. An icon in the area, the restaurant is perfect for small to medium-size functions with seating for up to 80 guests or a cocktail-style event for up to 140 guests.

“We have a number of function packages available with some delicious menu options to choose from,” says The Boathouse owner Cameron Taylor. “Our functions staff will ensure your guests are well looked after from the moment they enter the venue to the moment they leave.”

The gazebo and creekside gardens provide the perfect backdrop for your outdoor wedding or engagement party, allowing guests to meander down the boardwalk to the private jetty. Watch the sunset as you enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the deck before heading through the french doors into the dining room for a scrumptious meal.

Whatever the occasion, The Boathouse is the perfect choice to host your next special event. Contact The Boathouse functions co-ordinator via email at [email protected] or phone 9770 5330.

A: 366 Nepean Highway, Frankston
T: 9770 5330

Dead will have their day

Mexico’s famous Day of the Dead celebration is coming to Charlwood’s Café in Frankston.

A mariachi band will join performers from café owner Yvens De Camargo’s Fresh [email protected] Sounds for 12 hours of music, food and fun.  There will be a Patagonian-style barbecue, facepainting, a bar serving sangria (non-alcoholic too), margaritas, tequila sunrises and Mexican beer, and a competition for the best Day of the Dead costume.

It all takes place on Saturday, November 5, from 11am-11pm in the Frankston Library forecourt in front of the café, and it’s free.

Charlwood’s Café is open Monday-Wednesday from 7am-8pm, Thursday-Friday from 7am-6pm and Saturday-Sunday from 9.30am-4.30pm for freshly made sandwiches and foccacias, soups, homemade sweets, baklava, gelato, milkshakes and lots of toasties and specials.  Fresh [email protected] Sounds holds free concerts in the forecourt on the last Saturday of the month.   All welcome.

Meanwhile, Fresh [email protected] Organic Café is going through an exciting rebranding and renovations for spring, with a new menu on the way.

A: 60 Playne St, Frankston
T: 0437 480 253

Warm up at The Boathouse

The Boathouse Restaurant is a Frankston favorite that’s popular with residents and visitors alike. Situated on the idyllic Kananook Creek, this elegant restaurant takes you back to another time and place. You can forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life as you relax with family and friends while tantalising your taste buds with lovely winter dishes.

The ever-changing menu takes advantage of the seasons, with Peninsula-sourced produce carefully prepared and presented along with a good array of local wine and beer. It is clear to see why this restaurant is again the proud winner of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Perfect for a dinner for two or the more the merrier, the Boathouse also caters for functions, events and weddings. Book now on 9770 5330.

A: 366 Nepean Highway, Frankston
T: 9770 5330

Eeny Meeny...

Eeny Meeny Café has brought a slice of inner-city cool to Frankston since it opened four years ago.


Its nostalgia-filled surrounds and relaxed atmosphere have proved a huge hit with locals and visitors, many of whom have taken to Facebook, Trip Adviser, Zomato and other social media sites to share their love of Eeny Meeny’s delicious food, great coffee and tea, and friendly, attentive staff. “I’d give it fifteen out of five if I could,” says Joel on Facebook. “Cute comfy interior, staff were lovely. Overall a big thumbs up,” says Relle on Zomato.

“Eeny Meeny is often described by our customers as a haven in Frankston,” says Sandra Jennings, who co-owns the café with chef Robbie Wright. “The courtyard is particularly popular as a space in which to meet and chat, enjoy a lazy brunch on the weekend, a weekly business meeting, to enjoy an excellent cup of coffee, or tea served the old-fashioned way - in a fine vintage china cup. The atmosphere here is relaxed and friendly, and the service is attentive.”

Sandra and Robbie are both long-time Frankston City residents and use fresh seasonal produce from the Peninsula. Their locally roasted coffee is Fair Trade-certified Organico Prima which, like their Zee Tea leaf teas, is also organic.

Robbie has a lifelong passion for delicious food cooked creatively, and this is reflected on the popular specials board, which changes weekly. His other passion is providing exceptional customer service, and he has a loyal team that shares his values.

“We feel a real connection with our community and are keen to celebrate the best Frankston has to offer,” Sandra says.

A: 96 Young St, Frankston
T: 8774 4236
E: [email protected]

Crackerjack Café a family affair

New owners have moved into Crackerjack Café in Seaford. Sandra and Pete have bought the beachside café that sits above the Carrum Bowls Club – the setting for the acclaimed Mick Molloy comedy film from which it takes its name.

“We’re really excited about our latest family venture,” says Sandra, who will manage the café with Pete and their four sons.

“We’re looking forward to meeting the community, welcoming business people for meetings and providing quality, good-value meals with great service.”

Owning a restaurant is not a new thing for Sandra, a former chef who previously owned Top Paddock in Wantirna. 

With plans for a grand re-opening later this year, Sandra is encouraging locals to come in and say hello.

A: 4/1N Nepean Highway Seaford
T: 9772 5757

Cafe racer resurgence

Coffee and motorcycles was always going to be a match made in heaven for Café Moto owners Peter Jones and Hugh Joseph.

The men share a real passion for both, so combining their loves was really a no-brainer. And it’s a recipe that has captured the imagination of a growing number of Peninsula residents and visitors since Café Moto opened in April 2015.

But you don’t have to ride a motorbike to feel welcome at Cafe Moto, which has worked hard to foster a community spirit through charity initiatives and ride-outs, guest speakers, events and workshops.

“My aim was to create the destination I wanted to go to,” Peter says. “Call me old-fashioned, but what I look for is a warm, friendly atmosphere, and I think we’ve achieved this.”

Hugh, one of the Peninsula’s most renowned roasters, has developed a house blend of the finest Arabic coffee in addition to regular specialist blends, and it has been a real hit. Chef Dean has created a diverse and high-quality breakfast and lunch menu that includes his signature dishes - the Isle of Lamb Brioche and Fat Boy Asian Wrap. Catering is available for private functions, and the cafe will soon be trading during the evening.

Café Moto has also struck up a partnership with the Oilee Racing Team, which has established a workshop at the premises so customers can relax and dine while their motorbikes are serviced. Cafe Moto is a major sponsor of Oilee’s assault on the holy grail of street motorcycle racing, the world-famous Isle of Man. The team will be competing in the international Manx GP in both Premier classes in August and September - the only Aussie team flying the flag.

So get your motor running and head out on the highway to Café Moto, and keep up to date with Oilee’s fortunes on its Facebook page.

A: 611 Nepean Highway, Carrum 3197
T: 9773 3542
W: [email protected]