This will cure whatever ales you. From craft beer to blockbusters and everything in between, these 10 breweries are Melbourne’s best.
Temple Brewing Company
The Bicycle Beer is emblematic of this most Brunswick of craft brewers: light, fresh and low enough in alcohol that getting back on your bike shouldn’t be a problem. And if you think that shows a pleasing level of customer consideration, you’ll also thrill to this brewery’s environmentally friendly credentials, and its free-range chicken parma and a pot special every Thursday.
Open: Thursday 5-11pm, Friday and Saturday 12-11pm, Sunday 12-9pm.
122 Weston Street, Brunswick East; (03) 9380 8999
Colonial Brewing Co
It’s like an indoor picnic at this Port Melbourne brewery base of the Colonial Leisure Group, complete with wooden tables, umbrellas and a rotating roster of food trucks – all the better to try their IPA, pale ale and Bertie cold-pressed apple cider.
Open: Thursday 12-6pm, Friday 12pm-late, Saturday 12-6pm.
89 Bertie Street, Port Melbourne; (03) 8644 4044
Mountain Goat Brewery
At 20 years old, it’s an old-timer of the craft-brew scene, bought by Japanese giant Asahi a few years ago. Nonetheless Mountain Goat is still worth a visit, if only to try the one-off, limited edition boozy experiments and to reminisce about the old days when anything other than Victoria Bitter was considered dangerously radical.
Open: Wednesday 5-10pm, Friday 5-11pm, Sunday 12-6pm.
80 North Street, Richmond; (03) 9428 1180
Boatrocker Brewing Co.
Three hundred wooden barrels, 15 taps and a speciality in sour German-style beers such as the award-winning raspberry Miss Pinky – yes, Braeside’s best brewery is one for the aficionados (as well as anyone who likes pizza).
Open: Friday 4-11pm, Saturday and Sunday 12-6pm.
34 Macbeth Street, Braeside; 0406 626 072
Bad Shepherd Brewing Co
There’s craft beer and comfort food in Cheltenham, with thanks to husband and wife team Dereck and Diti Hales of Bad Shepherd Brewing Co. Go easy with the Smash IPA or go big with the liquorice-laced Baltic porter, and go hungry for the American-style barbecue.
Open: Monday and Tuesday 4:30-10pm, Wednesday and Thursday 12-11pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-12am, Sunday 12-9pm.
386 Reserve Road, Cheltenham; (03) 8555 3175
Moon Dog Brewery and Bar
Top points to this Abbotsford microbrewery for its irreverent approach to beer, life and everything. There’s a van parked out front of the Abbotsford warehouse pumping out pizza, there are nanna-tastic lounge settees inside and a whole lot of wild craft beer experimental fun utilising ingredients as diverse as watermelon and coffee.
Open: Wednesday-Friday 4-11pm, Saturday 12-11pm, Sunday 12-8pm
17 Duke Street, Abbotsford; (03) 9428 2307
A brewery in Collingwood, otherwise known as Melbourne’s heart of hipness, is duty-bound to bring its A-game, and Stomping Ground doesn’t disappoint. Its vital statistics – a former warehouse transformed into a thumpingly busy industrial-chic beer hall where there’s space for a kids’ play area and the tanks gleam behind a wall of glass – match up nicely with the beer-geek ethos and a menu that goes matchy-matchy in the best possible way.
Open: Sunday to Thursday 11:30am-late, Friday and Saturday 11:30am-1am.
100 Gipps Street, Collingwood; (03) 9415 1944
Kooinda Boutique Brewery
It started as Australia’s first residential licensed brewery, with the family swimming pool used to cool the beer as it transferred to the fermenter. These days Kooinda is in slightly more official digs, complete with a taproom with recycled furniture, retro arcade games and a chocolate-rich Traditional Milk Porter.
Open: Fridays from 4pm.
28 Culverlands Street, Heidelberg West; (03) 9440 5426
Two Birds Brewery
Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen – the two birds in question – can lay claim to Australia’s first female-owned brewery. A former sheet-metal factory in the inner west, it’s now home to colourful murals, an Americana menu and 12 beers on tap. The festival-friendly Taco Beer, made with corn, coriander and lime peel, is dangerously drinkable and you can grab a growler or squeaker (translation: different sized flagons) to go.
Open: Thursday 4pm-late, Friday 4-11pm, Saturday 12pm-late, Sunday 12pm-late.
136 Hall Street, Spotswood; (03) 9762 0000
2 Brothers Brewery
Moorabbin brewers and brothers Dave and Andrew Ong fell in love with the American craft-beer scene, requisitioned a couple of copper-clad tanks from New York City and transplanted them back home. Hit their brew-hall for live music, a brewery tour (every Thursday at 6.30pm), tacos, pizza and beer tapped straight from the tank, including the Kung Foo rice lager with summer written all over it.
Open: Thursday 4-11pm, Friday 12pm-12am, Saturday 12-5pm.
4 Joyner Street, Moorabbin; (03) 9553 1177
Top image: Stomping Ground