The Best Craft Beer Bars in Melbourne

Melbourne is now home to more craft breweries than tram stops, and a crop of excellent bars have grown up to support the ever-growing scene. Below is a list of the best places—from a makeshift brewery bar to a brewpub built into a former 19th-century boarding house—to not only find some of the finest Australian brews, but a selection of excellent craft beers from Belgium to America, often with an strong menu of bar food to match. —Fred Siggins

  • 1

    Catfish

    Housed in a former 19th-century boarding house, Catfish is just about the best place in Melbourne to drink local craft beer. The list changes weekly, all the music is on vinyl and a Philly cheesesteak joint (Sparrow's) is wedged into the bar's kitchen. In other words, you'll find everything you need to turn a pit stop into an afternoon affair.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • bar food
  • 2

    Cookie

    Cookie is a Melbourne institution and a great first stop for visitors wanting to jump right in and get a taste of the Melbourne scene. Located on the first floor of the historic Curtain House in the middle of the Central Business District (where you’ll also find the live music venue, Toff), this beer hall and restaurant is home to a constantly rotating line-up of European and Australian craft beers. It’s always busy and, as unlikely as it might sound, it also sports one of the best Thai menus in town.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • full menu
    • bar food
    • craft cocktails
    • day drinking
    • historic
  • 3

    Forester's Hall

    The team behind The Terminus Hotel and The Royston recently opened this Collingwood mash-up of a craft beer bar, live music venue and dance hall. With a huge space complete with the largest selection of craft beers on tap in Australia and a license to stay open late, Forester's is the beer nerd’s answer to clubbing.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • live music
    • dancing
  • 4

    The Local Taphouse

    The guys at The Local Taphouse were championing craft beer long before it was cool. This St. Kilda den, complete with dark wood and vintage couches, has 100-plus bottles and 20 taps, which constantly rotate between local and international dunkels, saisons and IPAs. If you're hungry, head upstairs to the bistro room for beer-battered chips and other beer-soaking (and soaked) food, as well as a rooftop garden with a big open fire during the winter.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • outdoor / patio
    • games
    • bar food
  • 5

    Moon Dog Brewery & Bar

    Started by two brothers and a friend—who had to live in the warehouse until they could afford rent on proper rooms—this makeshift brewery is now open to the public, serving their own suggestively named brews in a space decorated like a permanent garage sale. If you get hungry there's a rotating cast of food trucks that park out front each night.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer

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