On a leafy Collingwood street, sits an old warehouse that has been converted into one of Melbourne’s finest breweries. Welcome to Stomping Ground. The decor is part steampunk with steel girders tracing the roof and warm lighting, and part greenhouse with ferns and vines adorning the exposed brick wall. The beer is good, the food is good, and you can feel good about consuming either or both now that they are an official OneFishTwoFish partner.
“As a company, we take global citizenship pretty seriously,” explains Executive Chef, Ben Isaacs. “We’re installing solar panels on the roof, we recycle all of our oyster shells and our food waste gets broken down to generate electricity.”
Yet, for all of the good work in other areas, Ben couldn’t shake a deep felt pessimism when it came to the consumption of seafood in the brewery. “Seafood is a pretty significant part of our menu. You think about those quantities and you have to wonder where it all comes from.”
OneFishTwoFish provides those answers to Ben’s questions. “I am fascinated by the restocking process of OneFishTwoFish,” he says. “It gets rid of that pessimism that you can have towards environmental issues. The possibility of making an actual difference with tangible results is really exciting: There are steps you can take, there are products you can purchase and you can offset your impact if you are intentional.”
For Ben, much of his interest in seafood sustainability is borne of his love for recreational fishing. “I like the diversity of species that are available in Victorian waters,” he explains. “Being able to access all of those fish is a great privilege. I would like to see that continue on for future chefs and fishers.”
In that vein, Ben has taken on a different philosophy as he has become (slightly) older and wiser. He releases most of what he catches so that the ecosystem doesn’t become overfished, and is instead fishing for the joy of it. “All you need is enough to take home for dinner. There is a real joy in seeing a beautiful fish, but then letting it go again. And the other fishers around you start to see that and ask questions about why you’re doing that.”
You can find Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall on Gipps St in Collingwood. And you can eat there, safe in the knowledge that you are contributing to seafood sustainability, thanks to their partnership with OneFishTwoFish.