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Beers at Odd Culture Taphouse
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best craft beer bars in Melbourne

Love beer? These are our favourite places to pull a pint

By Time Out editors
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Melbourne's craft beer scene has made waves in recent years that you can now find decent ales made a few suburbs away sitting pretty next to the hoppiest brew from Portland, Oregon. We've rounded up the best beer halls and cozy beer bars to sample the latest and tastiest microbrews. 

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. 

1. Mr West

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Cocktail bars Footscray

Tucked away in one of Footscray’s dilapidated strips and surrounded by internet cafés and discount clothing shops, it’s easy to miss. On street level, their boutique bottle shop is slinging the best take-home frothy fun in town, and upstairs in the industrial space the bar is pumping. You’ll see a huge wall of 26 rotating taps and a selection of curated spirits. 

2. The Alehouse Project

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Brunswick

The taps at The Alehouse Project poke from behind the bar wall like secret springs, filled with local and international craft beers and changing too often to warrant branded decals. This is beer geekery at its best, so as the to-do list on the wall says; drink decent beer, and live a little.

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3. The Local Taphouse

5 out of 5 stars
Bars St Kilda

Three! Hundred! Beers! That’s how many different kinds of brewski make an appearance at The Local Taphouse every year. Founders and beer loyalists Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone serve a weekly rotating selection of local and imported brews here – 20 on tap and 30 by the bottle – which represent the finest craft beer from around the world.

4. Stomping Ground

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Breweries Collingwood

It’s hard not be impressed with the warehouse conversion in Collingwood that houses the Stomping Ground brewery and beer hall. ‘Hall’ really is the only appropriate word for the vast space that has been transformed into a welcoming and thoughtfully constructed craft beer destination by Steve Jeffares, Guy Greenstone and Justin Joiner. 

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5. Boilermaker House

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Craft beer Melbourne

If whisky and an ever-evolving roster of craft beers on tap sounds like your bag, then Boilermaker House should be your port of call. There are half a dozen named pairings on the menu where you receive a nip of whisky and a beer to complement. (The aptly named Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch, for instance, takes a fruit-driven Glenlivet 18yo and delivers it alongside the Edge Psycho Killer Imperial Red Lager).

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7. The Royston

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Richmond

The quality of the food, the easy-going, old-fashioned pub atmosphere, and of course, the beer, all help to make the Royston one of the best pubs around. The first venue in Melbourne to forgo commercial beers and stick entirely to craft has not only maintained a tight and superbly balanced list for all these years, but also spawned a movement now an integral part of our city’s drinking culture. 

A basket of Philly Cheesesteak and a basket of fried onion rings
Photograph: Eamon Siggins

8. The Catfish

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Craft beer Fitzroy

This rambling, weathered boozer that knows you care much more about what’s in your glass and what’s on the stage than whether or not the walls are millennial pink and if there’s a Montauk theme to the furnishings (there’s not, obviously). With eight permanent, local tap beers like Bodriggy's 'Highbinder' and Blasta Brewing Co's 'I am the 1' supported by six additional rotating brews, you'll be sure to find something to wet your whistle. And that's just on tap, mind you. Check out their bottled beers for weird, wonderful and hard-to-find large-format frothies.

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9. Beer DeLuxe: Hawthorn

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Pubs Hawthorn

Named People's Choice at the Time Out Pub Awards 2015, the huge tap beer list at Beer DeLuxe hails from all over the world, with a focus on local craft and Euro brews. Even on a busy night, the staff will take the time to walk you through the extensive collection. Also located in Fed Square.

Interior of Beermash
Photograph: Paul Kristoff

10. BeerMash

Bars Craft beer Collingwood

Owner Kieran Hennessy, along with partner Shayne Dixon, has built a one-stop shop for all your beer needs. While BeerMash mostly focuses on take-home ‘growlers’ and ‘squealers,’ you can sample the newest craft beer while you wait for your order to be filled. The star attraction of this Collingwood favourite is the yellow tiled wall adorned with 20 sparkling beer taps. Written on the tiles next to each tap you’ll see the name of which brews are on offer, with craft beers usually taking up at least 12 of the taps, while the remainder are saved for cold-brew coffee, kombucha, cider or maybe even wine.

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11. Slow Beer

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Fitzroy

Slow Beer is the best-stocked beer shop in Melbourne. That’s a fact. The shop had to shift digs from Hawthorn to Richmond last year to accommodate the 1000 plus inventory of local and international craft brews. Crazy red rice Hitachino ales from Japan knock labels with limited release local brews and fruit-forward gear from the Yeastie Boys in New Zealand. Ordinarily, we’d tell you to make off like a bandit with a mixed bag (you get a ten percent discount on a dozen), but the beauty of this joint is that you don’t have to. 

12. Terminus Hotel, North Fitzroy

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Fitzroy North

This pub features an odd, two-in-one design that sees an old fashioned boozer facing straight into the train lines on one side, and a modern craft beer hall on the other. The Terminus offers a compelling combo, and certainly, one that gives you reasons to return. Their taps run freely with the trendiest brews from near and nearer. On the left side of the list, you'll find their regular features like Temple's eminently smashable Bicycle lager, Stone & Wood's passion fruit bomb Pacific Ale and Boatrocker's outstanding stout. On the right of the page, the seasonal guests come out to play like Kaiju's smash hit of summer, Krush and Moon Dog's Del Polka Vista berry sour.

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13. East of Everything

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Camberwell

Some of the rarest brews you could ever hope to get a run at. The five taps host a constant turnover of robust, oddball brews – Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black IPA; Brooklyn Brewery’s Grand Cru – which you can try by the schooner, pint or litre.

Discover more pubs

The Lincoln
The Lincoln
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The best pubs in Melbourne

Bars Pubs

Melbourne is a city that really knows how to do pubs. From beer halls with more than 50 craft beer taps to cozy locals with a great fireplace, there's a pub for every occasion.

Find the best breweries in town too

Beer taps at Tallboy and Moose
Beer taps at Tallboy and Moose
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The best breweries in Melbourne

Bars Breweries

Melbourne's craft beer scene is going from strength to strength, and it means we have a whole host of brewery bars where we can take a tour, meet the beer geeks behind some of our favourite local beverages and drink the freshest ales in town.

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