Craft Beer Pubs | Melbourne

Craft Beer Pubs | Melbourne

Craft Beer Pubs | MelbourneCombo craft beer breweries / pubs / bars in Melbourne

Melbourne is on a roll when it comes to craft beers and the fine establishments tailor-made for enjoying them. Whether it's bars that specialise in small batch beers or a cosy local breweries serving their own concoctions, craft beers are slowly taking over taps and winning hearts throughout the city.

Melbourne's craft beer scene has made waves in recent years that you can now find decent ales made a few suburbs away.

Melbourne's also got pubs down pat, whether you're after cozy ones with fireplaces, a good beer garden, or the best pub grub in town.

The Alehouse Project

Craft beer specialists, serving a global menu, including burgers and bar snacks, in a rustic space.

98-100 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057 |

The Terminus Hotel

492 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North |

Brick Lane Brewing Co

The taproom is expected to open early 2019 at Brick Lane's new state-of-the-art facility in Dandenong South.

41 Imagine Way, Dandenong South,

The Incubator

Fixation Brewing Company's new Collingwood taproom will give Melburnians the opportunity to try experimental India pale ales fresh from the source.

414 Smith Street, Collingwood,

Slowbeer Fitzroy

Snug bar with light bites & rotating taps of craft beer, plus unique wines & small-batch liquors.

351 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065 | (03) 9939 6634

Carwyn Cellars

877 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071 | (03) 9484 1820

Tallboy and Moose

Address: 270 Raglan St, Preston VIC 3072 |

Beer Deluxe Hawthorn

329 Burwood Rd , Hawthorn 3122 |

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The Age Digital Edition: Are breweries the new bars?

Craft beer brewpubs are blurring the lines between brewery and bar.

The drinking scene in our capital cities is all but unrecognisable from a decade ago.

The roll-out of small bar liquor licences in various states has been followed more recently by an explosion in brewery taprooms, most notably in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. And distilleries are entering the fray, opening their own bars to the public.

Competition for the drinker's dollar is becoming increasingly tight. The issue has been controversial in the United States, where breweries are opening at a record rate and selling increasing amounts of beer in their own taprooms at the expense of traditional beer bars.

The dynamics and scale are vastly different in Australia but some people in the local craft beer industry question whether similar conflict is likely to arise here.

Michael Bain, owner of Sydney's Royal Albert Hotel, says the rise of brewery bars has helped increase awareness in craft beer.

'' Five years ago, many people in Sydney would have been unlikely to have set foot in a brewery. Nowadays it's a very common activity,'' Bain says.

'' All pubs serving craft beer have benefited to some extent from taprooms increasing consumer awareness about the category.''

But it's a double-edged sword.

'' We have undoubtedly noticed increased competition from taprooms for specific drinking occasions such as Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

'' We do need to differentiate our offering to these venues, so it does mean we are less likely to pour beers that people can enjoy at the brewery a few suburbs away,'' Bain says.

Steve Jeffares is co-founder of Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall, a brewery and hospitality venue that opened in Collingwood, Melbourne, in late 2016.

'' We've certainly encountered some venues who see us as direct competition and have chosen not to put [our beers] on tap,'' Jeffares says. '' But because we're a large venue located away from the high streets, it's not like we're right on their doorstep.''

Stomping Ground has its own kitchen offering a substantial food menu, but Jeffares says the brewery does not otherwise operate like a pub.

'' We don't have guest taps in the beer hall, as a general rule. If people come to Stomping Ground, all they can get is Stomping Ground beer,'' he says.

'' If we started having four, five or six guest taps, like some breweries choose to do in their taprooms, I could see how pubs and bars in the area would see the morphing of these brewery bars into regular beer bars and feel it's too close for comfort.''

Breweries in Sydney's inner west recently had trading conditions relaxed for their taprooms, most of which had antiquated liquor licences created to suit winery cellar doors rather than bars.

'' To allow someone to try only a little bit of beer and then buy [bottles to] take away is an alien way of selling beer to beer drinkers,'' says Young Henrys Brewing founder and Inner West Brewery Association vice president Richard Adamson.

'' The changes just remove the ambiguity so that breweries can serve their beers in any sized glass, and there's no question about how many times a customer tries a particular beer,'' he says.

'' It is limited to selling your own products and you've still got limits around entertainment. It's not like you're going to have TVs and live bands, because generally speaking the zoning doesn't allow for that.''

Publican Ray Reilly purchased Marrickville venue the Henson in 2013, and has watched breweries multiply around him ever since. But he feels his pub offers something different to the brewery taprooms, which are typically more rustic in feel, with food trucks the extent of their dining options.

'' Probably 75 per cent of our trade is families,'' Reilly says. '' I think breweries attract a bit of a younger crowd. It helps the community as a whole. Marrickville is now a destination. What we find happening is there are a lot of brewery crawls, so they might come in here and eat during, before or after their brewery crawl.''

This article is from the September 4 issue of The Age Digital Edition. To subscribe, visit

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