Moon Dog World celebrates its first birthday on October 4 in lockdown, but the team at Moon Dog have used their creativity to bring the playful pub experience to us at home.
While we can’t laze by the bright blue lagoon with an ice-cold pot of Lagoona Matata Sour Ale in hand, we can instead opt to enjoy a series of their beers at home. Play bartender with your housemate, pop one of Moon Dog’s bar mats onto your dining table and crack open a variety of their tinnies which come in the Pub in a Box.
Complete the experience with some of Moon Dog's “drinking food” and order pork or tofu bao, buttermilk fried chicken ribs, buffalo cauliflower, a chicken or eggplant parma and crinkle-cut chips via Mr Yum.
“One of the biggest things that our team came up with was the Spring Box, and that comes with some fantastic beers and you get a planter,” says Karl van Buuren, co-founder of Moon Dog. The Moon Dog Spring Box comes with a range of 15 limited and core release beers and a DIY Kokedame Kit from Leaf and Bear, which is otherwise known as the ‘poor man’s bonsai’.
“Our team has been working hard to keep everything running and the ideas flowing," he says. "Since day one our thing has been to always have a bit of fun and make our products accessible and inclusive. It’s to expand people’s ideas of what beer is and gives them an excuse to try something new.
"In the midst of a pandemic and lockdown, that kind of attitude is more important than ever. When you’re looking at things that are doom and gloom, having a message from a local business and a company like us is all about fun and keeping that positive attitude. We keep these innovative ideas coming to get people enjoying themselves, even if they’re stuck at home, so they can have fun along the way,” says van Buuren.
Innovation has been key for Moon Dog, and the entire team have had to pivot in order to retain work. “We made a conscious decision that we didn’t want to lose any of our full-time staff because we have such a great team. Our hospitality staff have been fantastic. They’ve all got lots of different roles now because we don’t currently have any bartenders or waiters working. Our kitchen staff are still working on a lot of deliveries and they’re making beer nuts with some of our packaging. All of our beer nuts are cooked and packaged in our kitchen by our chefs.”
The team also have great plans for when they can reopen, with the premise of offering all beers that have been available during lockdown on tap, food and beverage packages for people to enjoy when they dine in, and allowing reservations during set times similar to when the pub reopened between lockdowns. “It’s a good way to understand what you’re in for, and we do have to have set times as it’s a good way to structure people’s expectations of what you can eat and drink with a set price," says van Buuren.
“The first five months that Moon Dog World was open, we learned that people really like to experience the space in different ways. We had families with children coming in on Sunday afternoons, a younger crowd creating spontaneous dance floors on a Saturday night, sports club meetings, people looking for a nice feed with their family or even people on dates wanting to sit near the lagoon. What was really exciting for us was the variety of ways that the space can be used.”
“We’ve done a lot of work in the past few months on making sure all our furniture is nice and spaced out and our beer garden will have plenty of room. We have a marquee there at the moment if you need shelter, but we’re still keeping that open-air vibe,” says van Buuren.
If restrictions lift on the proposed date of October 19, we can soon expect to make the dream of sitting by Moon Dog World’s five-metre-high waterfall or brightly lit lagoon a reality, and just in time for the Grand Final. But, if not, they’re also offering a Footy Finals Special for you to enjoy at home, which comes with your choice of any two meals and a slab of beer for $100. Find out more via Moon Dog's website.