THE BEST CRAFT BEER BARS IN MELBOURNE
Treat your taste buds to 10 of the finest craft beer venues that Australia’s capital of culture has to offer.
If you’re one of the many discerning Melburnians with a passion for the unique, exciting and ever-changing tastes, aromas and hues of craft beer, then clear your diary and put the word out to the beer connoisseurs among your friends. We have uncovered 10 bars that are waiting to delight your senses with their sublime wares. Melbourne is a city that has well and truly tapped into the amber revolution and this is brilliant news for passionate beer lovers.
The Terminus Hotel, Fitzroy North
492 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North, VIC 3068
This iconic North Fitzroy gastro pub has been serving appreciative Melburnians for more than 150 years and is now a flag-bearer for the city’s craft beer scene, with a bar and beer garden devoted entirely to satiating our desire for finely crafted amber offerings. Order a pint of something dark and bitter from Europe, or on a warm summer’s day quench your thirst with a golden lager from home. Whatever your mood or palate, you will discover something to delight your senses.
The Crafty Squire, CBD
127 Russell Street, VIC 3000
This craft-beer destination pub is a James Squire Brewhouse and the CBD’s only working microbrewery. Here you can sample a mouthwatering selection of James Squire drops, with exotic names like The Highwayman Thrice Hopped Red Ale, the Spectacular Robust Hop Heavy American Pale Ale or the more succinct One Fifty Lashes. Whether you’re having a pale, dark, bitter, stout or golden moment, share an evening out with like-minded friends, team your exceptional brew with some equally exceptional food, and the spacious, newly renovated Crafty Squire will almost certainly become one of your favourite craft-beer haunts.
The Alehouse Project, Brunswick
98-100 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, VIC 3057
At the forefront of Melbourne’s craft-beer revolution, complete with monthly beer school sessions, is the much-loved Alehouse Project. This mecca for beer fans offers a diverse range of tapped beers and bottles from local breweries and those across the water. Diversity is the approach that underpins their tapping game - with many beers only ever available on tap once. Inside you’ll sip your beer beside exposed red-brick walls, or in summer secure a table under the stars in their courtyard. Whatever you decide to have, wherever you choose to drink it, disappointment is not on the menu. This really is one of the very best craft beer bars in Melbourne.
Penny Blue, CBD
2 Driver Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Sink into one of the cosy sofas with a bottle of something expertly crafted in this atmospheric little laneway bar. With warm lighting and eclectic furniture, Penny Blue has a low-key lounge feel and serves over 100 different craft beers, from Australian bitters to pale ales from abroad. Visit on a Tuesday to enjoy poker night with friends or try your hand at the decks on open mic night on Sunday. This unique establishment will quickly find its way onto your favourites list as you come to relish its delicious craft beer selection and welcoming ambience.
The Local Taphouse, St Kilda
184 Carlisle St, St Kilda East, VIC 3183
Tapping over 400 beers a year from both home-grown breweries and those further afield, as well as dozens more in bottles, this award-winning European-style tavern is the perfect place to indulge your craft-beer obsession. You can sample a range of delicious brews from a tasting paddle, or attend the monthly Ale Star beer appreciation sessions, which showcase beers rarely found on tap in Australia. Go on a Friday and you’ll find the party has moved to their pretty rooftop, complete with flamingo wall hangings. It’s a memorable night out for craft-beer aficionados.
468 Bridge Road, Richmond, VIC 3121
Australia’s first 100% craft-beer store and cafe, Slowbeer is the spiritual home for lovers of beer. With 1,500 bottles from Australia and worldwide and five changing brews on tap, you are guaranteed to find ample opportunity to tantalise those taste buds. Find a seat at the large communal table and start your sampling adventure, while chatting with like-minded craft-beer enthusiasts. If you want to enjoy this craft beer experience at home you can purchase a 1.8L refillable growler (flagon) to take away with you. But make sure you return for their beer and food matching events and discover just how wonderfully a finely crafted beer tastes when enjoyed with a flavoursome meal.
Foresters Beer and Music Hall, Collingwood
64 Smith Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066
With 50 taps pouring 32 craft beers from breweries at home and across the globe, Foresters is a significant player in Melbourne’s craft beer scene. Factor in an attic rock ‘n’ roll bar with live music, a 4am licence and pizza till 2am and you have the recipe for a truly special night out. In addition, the team at Foresters are so accommodating that in the unlikely event they don’t serve the beer you are looking for, you can fill out their beer request form and they’ll order it in for next time. Fortunately, this is a venue that takes beer appreciation very seriously.
Beer Deluxe, Hawthorn
329 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, VIC 3122
The impressive tap list at this airy, award-winning pub draws craft-beer lovers from across the city, and their friendly, helpful bar staff impress when it comes to sharing their knowledge about the range. They’re passionate about their beer and this shines through in every interaction you have with them. Sample a selection of brews for a wallet-friendly $16 paddle or visit on a Monday for a $6 pint – refreshingly reasonable prices for refreshingly flavoursome beers. Whether you choose to savour your drop at the bar, al-fresco or in front of a spot of football, when it comes to craft destinations, this well-deserved winner of People’s Choice at the Time Out Pub Awards should immediately be placed at the top of your list.
The Catfish, Fitzroy
30 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Source: https://www.facebook.com/thecatfishfitzroy /photos/a.543163682442832.1073741828.539556199470247 /1100533966705798/?type=3&theater
True pioneers of the Melbourne craft-beer scene, passionate pourers Kieran Yewdall and Michael Shaughnessy shared one dream - to start a “good local and sling good booze”. And happily (or should that be hoppily), their dream came true. Though it only opened its doors on Gertrude Street two years ago, the Catfish has already made its name as one of the best craft beer watering holes in the city. With free music in the front room four nights a week, it’s also a champion of the live music scene, showcasing local singer-songwriters as well as touring acts. You might even find yourself enjoying a fascinating craft beer chat with Michael and Kieran. This is a fabulously feel-good establishment, with a serious approach to finely crafted beer.
Level One, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street, VIC 3000
With all the intriguing new arrivals on the Melbourne craft beer scene, you’d be forgiven for briefly forgetting about this mainstay, but we urge you not to. Climb the stairs up to the first floor of Curtin House and you’ll find Cookie, a delightful treasure trove of local and international craft beers - 200 to be precise - and just a fantastic night out. It’s hard to resist a place that simply describes itself as, “Beer Hall, Eating house and Disco” on its homepage. This is a one-of-a-kind destination that Melbourne does incredibly well, with great craft beer, delicious Thai food and a welcoming crowd.
Melbourne truly is breaking new ground when it comes to craft beer, and these stand-out establishments should keep your palate happy and your diary full for the foreseeable future. Happy tasting!
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