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Beer DeLuxe Full of Welcome Surprises

By Jessica Williams @jsallgoodthings

Beer DeLuxe is not just a venue for a man seeking a draught, or a burger, or a place to watch the footy. Yes, it provides all these things, but it does it with such class and finesse that spending an afternoon at Beer Deluxe is not comparable to the average pub venue. In fact, the mod, cozy, fit out, hand-written beer sayings, wooden benches and live music edge the Federation Square venue closer to a fun and alternative hangout rather than a franchised venue. This was my first conception of Beer Deluxe. Located in both the Melbourne CBD and Hawthorn I made the fast assumption that the eatery would serve average, mass-produced fried food with little personality. But I was so wrong. With an endless amount of beer at your fingertips, a well thought out, flavoursome menu and, if you arrive at the right time, live acoustic music; Beer Deluxe ticks all the boxes.

Menu items, whilst some battered, are cooked to perfection. Amongst the tender Southern Style Chicken Ribs with Sweet and Sour Plum Sauce and the bite size, melt in the mouth pieces of Pork Belly with Lime Caramel, diners will also find lighter dishes like the zingy Tuna Tataki, Ginger Soy, Pickled Beetroot dish and the Tomato Salad, Whipped Feta and Croutons that appeal to the more conscious of eaters. Wagyu Beef Sliders with Cheese, Pickle and Lettuce made instant friends with a Holgate Pilsner that appeared on the Beer Deluxe Beer Paddle. But that’s to be expected, Beer Deluxe wouldn’t label half their menu “Beer Food” if the edibles weren’t mates with the drinkables.

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.

Four different beers, ordered from light to dark, plus a serve of nuts for $16.00 – you really can’t go wrong. Even for those more motivated by a glass of wine or cocktail – or those that just can’t look past their usual mainstream pot, I urge you to take a walk on the wild side. You won’t regret it.

My expectations of dark beer were flipped upside down with the arrival of my beer paddle. A dark, almost black beer arrived and I assumed it would be something similar to a heavy Guinness. But The S. Kooinda Black IPA was my fav0urite of the four, it had nice bitter chocolate and caffeine notes to it and a similar feel to black coffee on the palate. The lightest beer in flavour was the Holgate Pilsner, the summery ale would be great for a sunny Sunday. While the amber coloured Schneider Weisse TAP 7 Under Original wheat beer transported me straight back to Bavaria. The Boatrocker Smash Golden Ale from Braeside Victoria sounded like a lot of fun, but it had a lingering tropical note that made it hard for me to “smash.”

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We also tried the unpasteurized Carlton Draught beer while sitting inside on the high wooden benches as the World Cup Cricket Final played out – apt huh? Actually, Beer Deluxe is the only place you can source this beer outside the CUB brewery. Stored in copper vats it is unbelievably fresh. I never thought I would find myself enjoying a Carlton Draught (and watching the cricket). But there you go! Beer Deluxe is full of welcome surprises.

Great food, great beer – and yes, conservative souls, wine and cocktails are also available. As are cheese plates, amazing pizzas, salads and an amazing assortment of other high end dude food. After one visit Beer Deluxe has become my go-to for an easy and enjoyable food and music experience in the CBD. The menu also has enough on it that you never need to be stuck ordering the same thing twice, plus the portions are generous.

So. Beer anyone?