Melbourne's Best Beer
Melbourne is renowned for having Australia's most vibrant nightlife with its eclectic mix of bars, pubs and nightclubs delivering adult entertainment twenty-four hours a day. Although with over six hundred venues to choose from in and around the CBD, trying to find a good beer can be a bit "hit and miss". This guide will show you some of my favourite beer-loving pubs and bars to get your fix of the liquid gold.
A note for travellers
If you're not a Melbourne local you might be surprised to see the abundance of Carlton Draught beer taps in and around Melbourne - many interstate visitors seem to think we drink a lot of Victoria Bitter (or even Melbourne Bitter) here. While that's partially true, the number one selling beer in Melbourne has been Carlton Draught for some time - it's best served cold, and will generally never raise eyebrows when ordered in your average pub.
International visitors, please be aware that Australians generally do not drink Fosters. Ever. I'm not entirely sure why this is, but you will most likely be ridiculed for asking for it in many pubs. You've been warned.
CBD Beer Hotspots
Melbourne's CBD has a variety of good pubs and bars dispensing our favourite amber fluid - here are some of my favourites:
- Beer DeLuxe, Federation Square - Over two levels within the Federation Square complex you'll find a beer connoisseur's best friend. Mainly imported brews, but with a few boutique locals making the grade too. (03) 9663 0166. Official website.
- Transport Hotel, Federation Square - With its modern architecture and sweeping views of the Yarra River and Melbourne City, the Transport Hotel didn't really need to offer anything else to get us in the doors - but thankfully, they do. A collection of quality beers from here and around the world and they also run beer sampling weekly. (03) 9654 8808. Official website.
- Young & Jackson, 1 Swanston Street (On the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets) - Looking much like a traditional Australian pub and with the requisite Carlton Draught on tap, you'll experience a true Aussie pub venue here but probably run into quite a few International tourists while you do. (03) 9650 3884. Official website.
- James Squire Brewhouse, 115 Russell Street - James Squire is regarded as Australia's first brewer, and this building is a shrine to the great man. Filled with artifacts and history about the man and what he did, you can settle in for a history lesson with a pint in hand. They also showcase around six of the James Squire-brand beers on tap, every day of the week. (03) 9654 5000. Official website.
- 3 Degrees, QV Square (Near Russell & Lonsdale Streets) - Another modern pub with a selection of nice local and International beers. They used to also run a microbrewery on site, but that closed down a few years back. (03) 9639 6766. Official website.
- European Bier Cafe, 120 Exhibition Street (On the corner of Little Collins Street) - If you're sick of Aussie beer, you might like this offering on the corner of Little Collins and Exhibition streets. A nice selection of European beers await you and your friends - just be warned that the bar focuses a little more on dancing than beer on Saturday nights. (03) 9663 1222. Official website.
Inner-city beer love
Some of the best beer options are just outside of the CBD, if you're willing to make a five or ten minute journey - you should really consider these:
- Belgian Beer Cafe (Bluestone), 557 St. Kilda Road - Set at the back of quiet parkland belonging to the Royal Victorian Institute of the Blind is the home of Belgian beer in Melbourne. This place is especially worth a visit in Summer to make the most of its oversized beer garden. (03) 9529 2899. Official website.
- Belgian Beer Cafe (Eureka Tower), 5 Riverside Quay, Southbank - A recently opened sibbling venue to the infamous Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone (above), this sophisticated bar at the botom of Melbourne's tallest building attracts a strong after-work crowd but also delivers many great Belgian beers even closer to the CBD. (03) 9690 5777.
- Little Creatures Dining Hall, 222 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy - The exclusive venue of WA-brewed Little Creatures in Australia is a European-style beer barn with food and all our favourite Little Creatures beers on offer. (03) 9417 5500. Official website.
- The Local Taphouse, 184 Carlisle Street, St. Kilda East - Twenty beer taps will greet you on arrival to this modern pub that offers up a relaxing environment to while away your spare time. We recommend a beer paddle sampler for those of you trying to get through all the tap beers in an evening. (03) 9537 2633. Official website.
- Goat Bar, 18 River Street, Richmond - If you like Mountain Goat beer, nothing compares to getting it fresh and onsite of the Mountain Goat Brewery. The Goat Bar lets you see the innerworkings of this microbrewery while enjoying a beer or two. (03) 9428 1180. Official website.
- Lambs go bar, 135 Greeves Street, Fitzroy - Whether you spell it Lambsgo or Lambs Go, the pun in this bar name will generally get at least one of your mates laughing. This little relaxed bar off busy and bustling Smith Street is a beer haven for all lovers of a quiet pint. (03) 8415 0511.
Hopefully this guide has helped you find some of Melbourne's better beer options and you can get back to enjoying our favourite alcoholic beverage in one of the world's most liveable cities.
Want more suggestions?
- Melbourne Nightlife
A comprehensive guide to Melbourne's bars, pubs and clubs in and around the city. If you want more information on any bars listed here, you'll find it on this website.
- That's Melbourne
Melbourne City Council's guide to Melbourne and its many attractions. Also includes information about many inner-city pubs and bars.
- Melbourne Nightlife Blog
Tracking the goings on of Melbourne's bars, pubs and clubs.
- Visit Melbourne
A website by Tourism Victoria on Melbourne and Greater Victoria.
- Birthday party venues in Melbourne
myBirthdayVenue.com lets you find the perfect venue for your birthday party in Melbourne by browsing over 100 venues online for free.