If you ask us, there’s nothing better than Friday nights catching up with mates over a craft beer or two. And you know what’s even better? Drinking it at the brewery it came from. Luckily, Melburnians are spoilt for choice.
So, how do you choose? To make it a little easier, we’ve narrowed down our six favourite places to grab a lip-smacking brew and some seriously delicious bar bites.
1. Moon Dog Brewery & Bar
Bored of stock-standard stubbies? A visit to Abbotsford’s Moon Dog Brewery & Bar is the perfect antidote. In addition to their core range of ales and lagers, the guys at Moon Dog are always experimenting with new flavours.
From seasonal delights like their Cake Hole Black Forest Stout and Splice of Heaven Pine-Lime Ice Cream IPA to specialties like the Melon DeGeneres Watermelon Sour Ale and the Jaffawocky Choc-Orange NEBIPA, the hardest part will be deciding which to try!
They also run free brewery tours every Thursday night and Saturday night if you’re keen on seeing what goes into your fave beers.
2. The Crafty Squire
Okay, so we’ve all sampled James Squire’s creations before, but there’s nothing quite like trying one of his brews in the place it was made.
As the only working microbrewery in the CBD, The Crafty Squire boats all your favourite James Squire beers, plus a range of hand-crafted ales brewed onsite. We’re talking pilsners, pale ales, cider and limited-time seasonal brews.
They’ve also got some great pub grub on offer, including schnitzel, parma, steak, burgers, share plates and more.
3. Urban Alley Brewery
One of the newer breweries on Melbourne’s craft scene, Docklands’ Urban Alley has made a name for itself as a champion for high-quality, sustainably-produced beer.
They’ve got everything from classic English brown ales (Urban Dark) and Munich Helles (Urban Lager) to modern brews like the spicy, dry Sunroom Saison and the fruity, summery Ruby RRIPA. For the non-beer-mad tag-alongs in your group, there’s an extensive wine list and cider selection on offer, too.
Craving more than a pint or two? If it’s a hearty feed you’re after, you’ll find it at Urban Alley. Think iconic pub bites like pizza, parma, burgers and steaks, plus foodie delights including crispy skin salmon, braised beef cheeks and chilli garlic prawns.
Sounds good? Well, you’re in luck, because right now, Scoopon is offering a two-course feed complete with your choice of beer, wine or soft drink from just $49 for two people and $95 for four. Start messaging your mates!
4. Westside Ale Works
The beer wizards at this South Melb nano-brewery take their inspo from the iconic beers of the USA’s West Coast, with a focus on pale ales, IPAs, double IPAs and seasonal brews.
With a constantly-changing tap list, you’ll never get bored of the same old lagers. Can’t commit to just one? Try their tasting paddle and sample anything from their growing range of beers.
Plus, with mouthwatering American-style pizza on the menu, you won’t have to drink on an empty stomach.
If you’re lucky, you might get to meet the brewery’s resident pup, Spuds!
5. Mountain Goat Beer
Richmond’s Mountain Goat Beer may look like an unassuming garage from the outside, but step inside and you’ll find a beer-lover’s paradise.
In addition to their regular range of ales and lagers, you can expect plenty of quirky limited edition brews. Past specialties include the Pulped Fiction Blood Orange IPA, Silence of the Rees Coconut Porter and the Westy Kong Hazelnut Brown Ale.
Whichever brew you choose, it’ll pair perfectly with the onsite bar’s delish pizza offerings. They also run free brewery tours every Wednesday night, so you can see what goes on behind the curtain.
6. Hop Nation Brewing Co.
The brainchild of two former winemakers, Footscray’s Hop Nation Brewing Co. is as passionate about sustainability as they are about producing world-class bevvies.
In addition to their own brews, like the Jedi Juice NEIPA, The Buzz American Red and The Punch Mango Gose, they’ve also got a selection of cider, wine and non-alcoholic drinks.
It’s also the perfect place for a laidback arvo with your mates – you can bring outside food and even your four-legged friend! We’re sold.
Feeling a little thirsty? Make your way to Scoopon now to satisfy your cravings for a great brew and a hearty feed at some of Melbourne’s hottest breweries, wineries, restaurants and cafes!
Read more: 5 Aussie Wine Regions You Need to Visit