Melbourne’s craft beer scene is truly frothing wonderful. We seem to really love brewmasters who’ve decided to take matters into their own hands, create their ales, and sell them in mini-breweries with great atmospheres.
No more relying on pubs and bottle shops – these beer maestros are creating their hoppy wonders right under their own roofs. It seems like a new one pops up every week, so to help you keep track, here are some options we’ve deemed the must-tries right now.
If you’re in the mood for a ripper time in Abbotsford, look no further than Bodriggy Brewery – the go-to joint for those who crave fun dive bars, killer live music spots, and mouthwatering casual eats. This is a massive space where good times flow as freely as the beers from a bank of taps that’ll make any beer aficionado weak at the knees. And we’re not just talking your run-of-the-mill brews – Bodriggy boasts limited releases that’ll keep even the thirstiest blokes satisfied.
Bodriggy’s got a vibe that’s a bit more grown-up than your typical family-friendly brewery. With regular DJ sets, live bands and even stand-up comedy setting the mood and a menu that’ll make your taste buds salsa, it’s an adult playground. The beers are split into the pub, core and limited series selections, and they even have a house-made seltzer.
If you wander upstairs, you’ll find a venue-within-a-venue called Stingrays, a small ’70s-style cocktail saloon open on Fridays and Saturdays until late.
Stingrays’ XPA – a tropical, summery beer that is full of flavour and the perfect pairing with a little bit of sunshine.
“Sign up for BODSQUAD and receive loads of value, like a key ring for club membership, 10% off the Froff Shop, 20% off limited release, periodic free merch, an exclusive party at Stingrays, and priority entry to Bodriggy Brewpub. We also recommend checking out DEATH BY TACO every Monday (except for public holidays) for $15 tacos and Froff combo deals, $5 tacos $10 Margis.”
We’re staying in Abbotsford for a second, in an old brick warehouse where Josh and Jake Uljans and Karl van Buuren created the OG Moon Dog location (why is it OG? More on that later).
Picture a vast, lofty room decked out with mismatched vintage sofas, old-school picnic tables, murals that’ll make your eyes pop, and potted palms giving it that touch of tropical cool. Yep, that’s Moon Dog, where laidback beer lovers let the Moon Dog team push boundaries with inventive concoctions. They’re basically mad scientists of the beer world. If you’re more of a classic sipper, the Love Tap lager and Old Mate pale ale have your back. Step out of your comfort zone, though, and try their seasonal and specialty offerings.
The Hazy IPA is juicy, low in bitterness and very tropical thanks to the Mosaic, Amarillo and Simcoe hops; it’s fruity and approachable and pairs perfectly with the woodfired pizzas from a caravan parked out the front!
“We always head down for trivia on Tuesdays and bingo on Wednesdays! Also, the free pool and $25 pizza & schooner deals on Wednesdays can’t be beaten.”
So, why did we call the above Moon Dog the OG? Because it has spawned a second location in Preston called Moon Dog World, a brew space tucked away in the light-industrial nooks.
This brewery is the go-to spot for young families up north wanting a cheeky bevvy without straying too far from home sweet home. It’s a warehouse that’s basically a ’90s kids’ obstacle show on steroids. No slime at the end, but you’ve got an indoor lake flaunting a fountain, a river running through the joint, and a full-blown indoor playground. It’s like they mixed a brewery with a funhouse, and the result is Moon Dog World.
Open seven days a week, this place is like a parental playground – perfect for those who’ve mastered the art of adulting and parenting simultaneously, with a 72-tap bar boasting a mammoth retractable roof, a beer garden that’s practically a slice of paradise with a lagoon and waterfall, Moon Dog World knows how to keep the good times flowing.
There’s more on the horizon – in March 2024, brace yourself for a brand-spankin’ new Moon Dog experience; Moon Dog Wild West in Footscray!
The Mill Brewery started with Mirek Aldridge and his trusty 70-litre homebrew setup, a humble Corona grain mill, and some good old homebrew dreams. Flash forward to late March 2017, and boom – The Mill Brewery is born. Mirek’s upgraded his game to a 600-litre system, but he’s still rocking the same homebrew kit to tinker with small batches before going all-in on the big leagues.
The Mill’s got a lineup that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance – a vanilla porter, a black IPA for the bold sippers, and an easy-drinking American pale ale for the laidback crew. To keep things interesting, they have two taps for guest beer and cider and a short wine list featuring the best local and international drops.
Nestled in a quiet spot near Smith Street in Collingwood, The Mill is a small brewery with big vibes. It has long red gum tables, a bar practically calling your name, and brewing equipment proudly displayed at the back.
The El Toro IPA is a west coast IPA with perfectly balanced bitterness from Azacca, Cascade and Citra hops. It’s crisp, it’s clean, and you can drink them all night long.
Stomping Ground were among the first to kick-start the whole craft craze, and boy, did they nail it. They’ve got their finger on the pulse of what people really want: a laidback spot where you can kick back with the kiddos, order a couple of pizzas, and dive into some seriously fun brews.
You’ll find them in a warehouse tucked away in the backstreets of Collingwood, drenched in light, surrounded by greenery, and using that perfect combo of rusted iron girders and paint-peeling timber. It’s basically your dream backyard vibe, no matter what the weather throws at you. Stomping Ground doesn’t mess around with just a handful of taps – they’ve got a whopping 25, guaranteeing a selection that’ll make your beer-loving heart skip a beat. Grab a tasting board, settle in for the arvo, and let the good times roll.
Into The ‘Wood Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout is a beer that definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you like a bold, dark, thick beer, then it definitely is for you.
Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes where the magic of brewing unfolds? Now’s your chance to satisfy that curiosity with Stomping Ground’s Brewery Tech Tours! Every Saturday and Sunday, the doors swing open at 3pm, inviting you into the heart of the brewing universe and a 45-minute journey that unveils the mysteries of the brewing process. Plus, on Friday, you can enjoy $2 oysters, and Wednesdays bring the sizzle with a Steak Night extravaganza.
Brick Lane Shed was brought to life by the wizards at Techne Architecture & Interior Design. As part of a whopping $450 million redevelopment of the Munro site, this is the spot to enjoy a brew after a trip to the Queen Vic Market. What sort of brew, you ask? Well, with thirty-six taps throughout the venue, including the core range, seasonal specials, and one-off Pilot Batches, the answer is essentially anything you want.
Wild Sky is a delicious Zero Carb Pale Ale that offers refreshing melon and citrus flavours while keeping your diet on track with only 87 calories per can.
The midweek slump becomes a happy dance at Brick Lane as Wednesday to Friday, between 4 pm and 6 pm, it’s Happy Hour o’clock! Thursday nights are the time for the Trivia Extravaganza kicking off at 7 pm, and we very strongly recommend pairing all of this with Brick Lane’s delicious Vegan Pizzas. Scrumptious and ethical? Why wouldn’t you?