Melbourne's best craft beer bars
Let’s all just take a moment to thank those who dedicate their lives to brewing beer, shall we?
By Jessica Wilkinson & Paul Chai
Beer lovers, unite! Australia (Melbourne in particular) has you covered. You can drink ale and have food delivered from a vintage caravan if you want, and why the heck not? Come with us and discover things like a boisterous beer hall in a converted inner-city warehouse or taste challenging beers in a dive bar in the suburbs.
Brewhouse at Thunder Road Brewing
The Thunder Road Brewhouse brews batches of Hop Star Extra Pale Ale as well as limited-run brews. PLUS, the kitchen is in a vintage Airstream trailer and will deliver you fried chilli chicken wings, shoestring fries with blue cheese aioli and huge pretzels, both savoury and filled with salted caramel.
The Nest at Two Birds Brewing
Set in an old sheet-metal factory, The Nest showcases much-loved brews such as Sunset Ale or Taco Beer, which has a hint of coriander (cilantro). Food = salt and vinegar pork crackling and black pepper beef jerky, small dishes of smoked chipotle potato gems and, if you're hungrier, Cuban pulled pork on ciabatta.
Stomping Ground Brewery and Beer Hall
This sprawling converted warehouse does a good job of channelling the raucous fun of a German beer hall. Twenty-four taps pump out Stomping Ground’s brews that are listed by how “challenging” they are, such as the very rich Double Shot Coffee IPA.
Moon Dog Brewery
Moon Dog Brewing’s dive bar has ephemera-stacked shelves, a table tennis table and a bunch of mismatched couches to slump into. Moon Dog likes to push the envelope with its brews. Expect to be surprised with beers such as the Cold War Drip which is designed to taste of coffee and cigarettes.
Forester's Beer and Music Hall
Live bands and craft beer at Forester’s is a classic Melbourne experience. This joint has more than 50 craft brews on tap that change regularly.
Post Office Hotel
The Post Office Hotel is the home of Coburg Lager and the more recent Pentridge Pale Ale and, fun fact, is named after Melbourne’s famous bluestone prison opened in the 1850s. The prison has since been closed and turned into apartments, and the residents can be found at the Post Office's front bar or the adjoining graffiti-strewn beer garden sipping on a Pentridge ale.
Junction Beer Hall and Wine Room
The Junction has so many craft beers they come in a “directory” that is cleverly divided into sections such as #onestandarddrink for those who are driving and Something a Little Different for those with adventurous taste buds.
The Alehouse Project
The Alehouse Project proudly announces it is into “beer geekery” but it also keeps things simple. There are just a dozen rotating taps of micro-brewed beers plus regular “tap takeovers” where one brewer will dominate the taps. A menu of burgers and chicken wings goes perfectly with the ales.
Cookie boasts more than 200 brews on tap and in bottles. Half of Cookie is a Thai restaurant that ships out spicy jungle curries and Thai snacks to complement the range of beers. Cookie is an institution for beer lovers and party lovers alike.
The Local Taphouse
The Local Taphouse has been educating beer drinkers on the joys of boutique brews for years. Expect to find local brews such as Hargreaves Hill from the nearby Yarra Valley, Batch Brewing from Sydney or Stomping Ground from Melbourne's Collingwood.