MCEC cocktails take a ‘StrangeLove’ approach

The key to making a delicious cocktail is the combination of fresh ingredients, great flavour balance and time to make them to order.

Many of Melbourne’s iconic cocktail bars take the shape of small, intimate venues, to allow bartenders to focus on their craft.

So what do you do when you host cocktail parties for up to 5,000 people and don’t want to compromise on quality?

Introducing Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s newest beverage supplier, StrangeLove – the craft soft drink company helping us to serve up quick, delicious cocktails made to order without compromise.

StrangeLove are a certified organic soft drink company specialising in quirky flavours you won’t find anywhere else, and act as the perfect mixer to spice up (literally, because there is a blood orange and chill flavour) any cocktail list.

The well-balanced StrangeLove flavours are all produced using fresh, organic produce. Simply add your choice of alcohol and fresh fruit or garnish to your chosen flavour (stirred, not shaken) to produce a delicious cocktail worthy of a spot on any great cocktail menu.

We paid a visit to the Strange Love production headquarters last week in Melbourne’s west suburb of Derrimut, to see first-hand how these delicious soft drinks are brought to life.

Production planning begins three months in advance, to ensure the right quantity of ingredients will be on-hand to produce up to 4000 cases at a time.

Almost 90 per cent of the organic ingredients used are Australian grown, with the production line taking an average of six hours.

The pasteurisation stage of the production process is the most important, ensuring the quality and longevity of the product so you’re guaranteed to get the same great tasting soft drink every time.

Mixer recommendations:
Blood Orange & Chilli – Tequila
Ginger Beer – Spiced rum
Bitter Grapefruit – Gin
Smoked Cola – Bourbon

We also hear there is a Lemon Squash flavour on the horizon, so stay tuned!

StrangeLove production in action:

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Made food and beverage video shares MCEC’s story

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) might be home to the southern hemisphere’s largest kitchen but regardless of event size and scale it all comes back to one simply philosophy at the heart of everything we do – made fresh, in house, by hand.

The key to creating great food is attention to detail, so for our chefs it’s all about applying the small restaurant thinking to the large number game.

Watch the video below to see how we give people from around the world a food and wine experience that takes them on a journey through our great state’s regions.

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Meet the supplier: Richmond’s Mountain Goat Brewery

(L-R) Mountain Goat Brewery founders Cam and Dave

(L-R) Mountain Goat Brewery founders Cam and Dave


Melbourne’s Good Beer Week kicks off this weekend (Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 May), so what better way to celebrate than with a visit to MCEC’s newest beer supplier, Mountain Goat.

The 18-year-old Richmond micro-brewery was founded by good friends Dave and Cam, and has remained family owned and operated to this day. Sprouting from a love for home brewing and a business proposal written on a postcard from Canada, the team at Mountain Goat are just as passionate about beer today as they were when it first began.

Renowned beer sommelier, Miro Bellini, recently took the MCEC team on a tour of the micro-brewery and lead us through the process of production and bottling, adding in his own bit of beer history here and there. Did you know the first ever beer recipe to be written down dates back almost 15,000 years ago?

Much like MCEC, Mountain Goat are community and environmentally minded and have a number of measures in place, including an 11,000 litre rainwater tank and solar hot water to limit their impact.

They also source up to 90 per cent of their grains from Victorian farms and provide used grains and hops back to the farmers to use as pig and cow feed.

Offering a selection of six different brews and a cider means they can focus on quality, not quantity. You can try all these plus a few one-off specialty batches at The Goat Bar inside the brewery. The bar is open to the public every Wednesday and Friday from 5.00pm. They also hold free brewery tours every Wednesday at 6.30pm.

Their popular and refreshing certified organic Mountain Goat Steam Ale is now proudly part of MCEC’s wine and beer menu, available here.

With more than 2000 bottles being delivered to MCEC each month there’s a high chance you’ll see it on the menu next time you visit. Cheers to that!

Mountain Goat Brewery, Richmond.

Mountain Goat Brewery, Richmond.

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