KAIJU! Cantina, a new venue from craft beer and cider maker KAIJU! Beer, is opening its doors today.
The 16-tap beer hall and pizzeria located at Huntingdale on Melbourne’s south east is the creation of KAIJU! Beer founders and brewers Nat and Callum Reeves, and is set in a 445 square metre converted warehouse designed by We are Humble Architects.
The venue design reflects the local post-war architecture featuring high ceilings, bright colours, mid-century décor, cosy nooks, communal seating, an outdoor seated area, and a series of hand-painted murals.
“Huntingdale might not seem like the most obvious place for a beer hall, but it makes sense when you get to know our background,” Reeves said.
“Nat and I grew up in Melbourne’s southeast, and ever since Nat started home brewing at his place in Dandenong, we’ve dreamed of having a taproom in the area.
“We love going to explore and experience the inner north, but we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring a new type of venue to this part of town. It really means a lot to us.”
The venue houses an on-site six hectolitre brew kit for limited edition and one-off brews. KAIJU! favourites on tap include KAIJU! Krush Tropical Pale Ale, and the Aftermath Double IPA.
Colourful murals by KAIJU! collaborator Mikey Burton – the artist behind the beer brand’s legendary artwork – adorn the walls. A 1960s Toyota Coaster Bus in pale blue that has been converted into a mini booth seated area.
At the helm is Darcy Murphy (Blue Bar, Wolf of Windsor) as venue manager, long-standing KAIJU! team member Fiona Lane (Stone and Wood Brewing Co., Little Creatures Dining Hall, Moritz Beer) as general manager, and hospitality consultant Lori Smith (Seamstress, Pope Joan, Trofeo Estate) on hand to help launch the venue.
Chef Jay Jafari is in the kitchen and will showcase a selective, seasonal menu, heroing pizza.
“The idea for KAIJU! Cantina is that it doesn’t just cater to craft beer connoisseurs, but that the food is just as big a drawcard in making it a destination venue,” Reeves said.
“We’re really passionate about making beer and so we’re always thinking about ways to support the next generation of brewers with real industry experience.
“Something we’re exploring is making our brew kit available to student brewers on days when KAIJU! Cantina won’t be trading. Eventually, we’d love to feature some of the beers that come from these collaborations on our taps.”