Best Craft Beer Places in Melbourne
The World Loves Melbourne has some favourite craft beer bars and restaurants in Melbourne. sometimes you just need somewhere to meet with friends for a friendly "sesh" and some matching food. When it comes to craft beers we have our "staples" but also love our "seasonals". Pilsener, Stout, IPA, Ale?
Boilermaker House - CBD
The magical pairing of beer and whisky is the key at Speakeasy's second venture in Melbourne, Boilermaker House. With 750 whiskies and around 40 beers there is no lack of matching potential; for every and any occasion! Boilermaker House is a popular destination for the urban crowd with its chic and warm ambience. If you're looking for somewhere unique and accessible in the CBD, then visit Boilermaker House.
Boilermakers combine simple food served on wooden slabs with beverages served in fine glassware. It's a concept we can get into. We check out the beer menu on their website for the latest "now tapped" beers. We get excited by unique offerings such as La Sirène Brewing Belle-French Ale.
A simple menu brings the beer and whisky together. Food is on point with cured meats, charred cauliflower, sausage, chips with whisky salt and cheese platters; not to mention finishing the evening with fresh oysters.
We like the fact Boilermaker House has an element of sophistication and challenges a bogan beer culture. Find yourself amongst a collection of books and quirky art.
Charcuterie is the perfect match for craft beer and whisky.
Beer Deluxe - CBD and Hawthorn
With a 1,300 patron capacity, the venue is served by four bars (internal and external) and an upstairs burger lounge complete with alfresco dining. In true pub style, live bands perform regularly and the Beer DeLuxe kitchen serves up classic, delicious pub fare including matched food and beer options.
The Beer Deluxe paddle is a great way to start a visit to Beer Deluxe, whether it is your first visit or your hundredth. The beers that appear rotate regularly, and it gives you a great opportunity to experience new flavours from microbreweries both in Australia and all over the world.
Korean chicken wings hit the spot, as do the Beef Short Ribs.
Out of Sundaland - Thornbury
Rock up to Out of Sundaland for a craft beer haven and a unique casual savvy dining experience that perfectly matches beer with food. This is what Melbourne is all about. The first thing you are struck by is the excellent range of local beers on tap in the chic bar. This is no surprise as co-owner Nathan Richardson has a background in some of Melbourne's finest brewing establishments. Nathan knows his beer. He also knows how to pair beer with food. Which makes Out of Sundaland part of the new breed of beer meets food restaurants. It's relaxed. It's modern. It just works.
For example we couldn't go past the Temple Brewing Bicycle Beer on tap. Your new fresh crisp spring/summer ale friend. Nathan will passionately talk about beer (pictured above) and has his finger on the pulse when it comes to tap rotations and what's cutting edge. The other co-owner Kasi Metcalfe is an affable host and you feel like Nathan and Kasi are living their beer/foodie dream.
We were struck by the modern feel of Out of Sundaland and the artistic flair, but also the array of beers on display in this cabinet.
Happy with the Temple Brewing Bicycle Beer, we sampled some of the share plates. The philosophy is to order a selection of share plates around a few drinks. Soft shell crab came with Asian influences and was served in a bao - brilliantly creamy as much as it was crunchy. This is a crispy whole soft shell crab with house made pickles, pea shoots, tangy sirarcha ranch sauce, wrapped perfectly in a bao bun. Soft shell crab can be hit and miss in Melbourne but this is definitely a hit.
The Taiwanese style chicken ribs were also a hit, with quality sweet soy chilli dipping sauce. Cooked to perfection with spice nuance.
The Roasted bone marrow has become a cult dish since they opened. How good is this dish with creamy flavoursome marrow jelly complemented by a zesty hot marinade. Nathan remarks that many bones come back "clean" and we admit we sucked on the bones while no one was watching. One of the best small dishes we've had all year. And great with beer! Under the radar, we predict big things for Out of Sundaland.
Saint Barry - Surrey Hills
Rotating beers on tap in a stylish eastern suburbs local, Saint Barry hits the mark for a stylish venue with matching beers, wine and food. Saint Barry boasts the passion and innovation of owner Peter Sprekos and Head Chef Spyros Vrakas (ex Press Club and Head Chef at Hellenic Republic, as well as Head Chef at iconic Belvedere Hotel in Mykonos). Spyros brings exceptional skill with affordable shared dishes and regular specials; casual dining with modern flair. Dishes are simply categorised as "Smaller" dishes and "Larger" dishes, along with compelling sides and salads. And each dish matches perfectly with craft beers, with an emphasis on "local is best".
Saint Barry are serious about their rotasting local beers, and their matching share plate dishes.
Who doesn't love a craft beer with Glazed Lamb Riblets - cue drooling! Melt off the bone meat!
Grab some shared dishes...
Bespoke craft beers by tap and by bottle...
How about a craft beer with a King Brown Mushroom burger featuring large king brown mushroom, onion rings, grilled haloumi, garlic, aioli and chips?
Beers and cider at Saint Barry come from local brewers for example in Moorabbin, Beechworth and the Ottway's. We love a Beechworth Pale Ale on tap; perfect match with the food. Interestingly Saint Barry also features a King Valley Pinot Grigio on tap. Perfect with a standout burger!
Or how about the popular Beef burger (150g patty) with prosciutto chips, merino gold cream, tomato and golden chips. This gourmet burger hits the spot. The patty was juicy quality beef, while we enjoyed the crispy prosciutto (instead of bacon). We also loved the creamy cheesy sauce of merino gold; a hellenic style cheese (from Bill's Farm Victoria) that takes traditionally 2 years to mature. The burger was spot on in terms of char with nuance of smokiness, and the brioche from Brasserie a delight. Get on it!
The Local Taphouse
Best Beer List from Time Out Melbourne is a reflection of the diversity on the beer list at The Local Taphouse. A European inspired neighbourhood tavern with a 1930s theme. This is a place where local and bespoke beers are centre stage rather than commercial large beer brands. These guys are serious about a plethora of beers on tap; we love the "Taplist" of the day with 20 or so beers on the menu (plus an extensive bottle list). We think they serve the largest number of craft beers on tap in Melbourne. Dedicated and respected.
The fit out is old school but the craft beer offerings are cutting edge. These guys are specialised and know their beers. They'll feature say the 10 best IPA's from this year.
Thr Local Taphouse are one of the original pioneers and have huge cred in the craft beer scene.
Relax on the rooftop...
The downstairs shows great use of timber, dark and light, this place is warm and rustic. Upstairs boasts the deck and beer garden. The food is specifically matched to beers. Check out this Hop cured ocean trout.
And who doesn't love a great parma and beer?
Comedy nights are also a thing. Images above: The Local Taphouse Instagram.
Temple Brewing is an accesible brewer in the Melbourne burbs. It's a fab place to visit, both downstairs and it has an attractive upstairs bar area. With its accessability in East Brunswick it has become a winning brewery destination for beer enthusiasts.
We're partial to a numbr of Temple beers, our favourite being Bicycle Beer. We love their philosophy on the website-
Temple Brewing Co was established to celebrate the origins of beer. The first beer was made in a Temple with records dating as far back as 9500 BC. As one of the oldest prepared beverages in the world, beer was instrumental in the formation of civilisations. Temple Brewing Co aims to showcase this amazing liquid and immerse and inform visitors all about craft beer. The brewery is uniquely designed to allow visitors to walk into the brewery safely and observe the brewers as they go about crafting their brews.
Seasonal beers are a feature - such as this Lemon Myrtle inspired beer. several of the beers on tap are reserved just for seasonal beers.
All the food is prepared on site with attention to detail.
Check out the famous Midnight Burger with ground beef patty, charcoal bun, crisp iceberg, roma tomato, caramelised onion, Monterey Jack, Temple special sauce, beer battered fries. One of the best. Image: Temple Brewing Instagram.
A state of the art brewhouse can be seen from the upper level...
The Alehouse Project
The Alehouse Project serves it up on Lygon St in Brunswick East, which has emerged as some kind of "beer belt". This is about 12 taps of microbrewery beers with continuous rotating taps. Wednesday Trivia Nights are a thing (not that we've been); but craft beers and trivia would seem a compelling mix.
Food has always been top notch here (icluding Philly Cheesesteaks) but right now they have guest chefs in the kitchen, Miss Katie's Crab Shack. We recommend the "build your own" crab boil!
Sunday sessions are encouraged with $15 jugs of beer (at time of writing).
Images: Alehouse Project Instagram