A lazy Melbourne Pub Crawl!

The east side of Melbourne’s CBD is a little quieter with fewer shops and more offices. During the weekend this area becomes very quiet and many visitors find that most of the night life opportunities are closed.  It is a little sad really as there are a few hotel options in this locality and travellers can be left wondering why did I come here.? But hidden away in some of the back streets and major roads that become quiet at the weekend, are some great pubs and bars. Here is our pick of some great bars to explore if you are in the east end of Melbourne’s CBD.

The Deck

Located off King Street, just north of Flinders Street and hidden down a back alley behind the pub, is a small rooftop bar called the Deck. This is an interesting little bar, although actually it is not that little, with a view out over the railway track to South Melbourne. Our first visit here was in the rain (so typical of Melbourne) so its appeal was not that great. But you cannot let a bit of rain mar your view on a bar!  So a few days later we returned to bask in glorious sunshine.

 

Highlander

Highlander bar was a nice surprise when we stumbled upon its doors. Meeting the rather lovely lady owner, we chatted about her plans and the ambience of the bar. She told us about the proposed plans to create a rooftop bar, which last time we visited had not started. This is a sumptuous and sassy bar and is certainly a good place to take a first date!

 

 

The Mint

The Mint is a little bit more up market than many of the bars in the east end of Melbourne’s CBD and is handy to Flagstaff Gardens. Adjacent to a rather ornate historic building, there is a nice atmosphere to this place and a sort of a view over the tarmac to the adjacent building.

 

 

All these bars can be found easily in the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app.

The best boys weekend ever! A Day Out in Melbourne

On November 30, 2012, in CBD, by Jonno

 

Yeah! don’t even think about going out for a beer with your mates!

My mate is becoming a dad in a few weeks and as one last hurrah we are trying to get a boys weekend to Melbourne going. It’s tough as a lot of our friends have children and wives. The children are the excuse the wives use to temper our enthusiasm for going away. Yeah we have all been there, some say “Yeah, course you can go” but you know it’s gonna be a long time before that debt is paid.  Some are just adamant that you cannot go! The underlying concern is one of trust and the expectation that you’ll have a few beers and shag every 18 year old in the city. Well, that only happens in our dreams!!!!!

 

So if you do manage to get that elusive leave pass, where do you go?

 

Well a good choice is always one of the capital cities and to be honest, Melbourne would have to be the best choice. Sydney is OK, but its more spread out and there are not as many great bars to check out. The best thing about Melbourne is being able to jump on a tram to get from one side to the other. And, hey, it’s not that far to walk anyway!

 

So getting your flight is an Internet search as is the hotel. But where to stay? Melbourne has lots of hotel options, but you need to get as central to the CBD as possible. That makes it easy to get around and stumble home! However, that will be determined by how much you can afford. Those with unlimited cash reserves should head to the Westin, perhaps the best hotel in the CBD, but at $600 a night, it’s pretty pricey. Check out Agoda or one of the other last minute hotel sites.

 

If its footy season then you got to get yourself some tickets to watch a game at the MCG. (click here to see a virtual tour of the ground).  Sadly it will probably be a Collingwood game, but then it’s always great to watch them lose. I love the way when they are behind their fans go home at three quarter time, bless em!  If there is no sport, then your options are perhaps bar related (honestly are you going on a boys weekend to go to the museum???). If the weather is good, then get down to the Yarra river and Ponyfish Island. Right in the heart of the river, this is a great open air bar and a good afternoon starter. From here you can just wander back into the CBD and drop into one of the bars in Federation Square – Beer Deluxe or the Transport / Transit bars are always a great choice.

 

From Federation Square head up to the Carlton Hotel on Bourke Street. It’s very popular and you’ll see why with a sumptuous lounge bar and a great roof top terrace.  They have security, so if you have been hard at it for the afternoon, you may be declined entry. Another alternative is Miss Libertine on Franklin Street. This has more of a club pub feel, but a cracking pub none-the-less.

 

Whatever your choice of bar is, our Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app will guide you effortlessly to all that Melbourne has to offer and what is better, if you get split up, our in app SMS feature makes letting your mates know where you are so simple.

 

 

 

 

CITY CIRCLE TRAM PUB TOUR

On September 17, 2012, in CBD, Docklands, by Jonno

All Aboard – It’s Free!!!

City circle tram – free pub crawl!

Our business is reliant on the sale of our app for the iPhone, which many will know, will guide you to almost every pub and bar in Melbourne’s CBD, Docklands and Southbank. We think we have em all, but, hey even we can miss one or two! Every now and again it’s great to share some of our in- depth research with our followers. So this month we have pulled together a great little tour around the city with 4 great pubs / bars for you to visit and some interesting things to look at on the way. When the sun is out and the mercury rises above 20 degrees, what better way to pass an afternoon, than by wandering the streets of Melbourne?

 

Great Pubs and a Free Tram Ride

Firstly, we must point out that being drunk on the tram is not acceptable – so take it easy!

The city circle tram does bog laps (as my other half would say) around Melbourne CBD every day between 8am and 6pm. It’s a great way to see the city and get familiar with where you are and where everything is. It is also a great way to explore some of Melbourne’s interesting bars and attractions. The great thing is – it’s free!

This great little tour takes you to the four edges of Melbourne, starting in the north and ending in the west. As its using the tram you can go in any order you like, but we think the order we have selected fits an afternoon session rather nicely.

Head to Flagstaff, where a very short walk will get you the The Mint. Located in an old house, this is a bit of a posh sort of place, but the al-fresco area is nice and secluded and over looks a great historic building. The food here is pretty good too as we often come here for a burger and a beer to discuss business when in Melbourne. Having a good feed is always a good way to start a session we find.

 

Jump back on the tram and head to Parliament. Well, it was many years ago when Melbournians thought they ruled the country (some in Collingwood still think they do!).  True to political form, the pollies egos became too big and they needed their own state, Canberra. On the bright side, it’s handy for porn and drugs we hear (never been there). My favourite quote on Canberra is from Bill Bryson. Canberra – slightly better than breaking a leg.

 

Siglo rooftop barThere are a few options in the Parliament area, so we have 2 choices. For those wanting to have a “posh” drink, it is hard to go past Siglo. Their rooftop area is gorgeous overlooking the street tree canopy with hints of the Parliament building popping through. It’s table service here and the wine list makes it worth it. If a pub is more your thing, then the Cricketers in the Windsor hotel will satisfy that thirst for a beer. This bar has become quite famous in Melbourne, not sure why as it really is nothing special. It has recently been refurbished, but it’s really just a different colour.

 

Back on the circle route, head down to Federation Square. This place was so controversial when it was built. The architecture upset lots of people, but I reckon it was a bold and impressive decision not to develop this area in a normal office box layout. The sandstone paving is fabulous and every time we are here it’s normally packed. So a good indication that a lot of people like it! There are two great options here, actually there are more than that but we are losing the point! For a “posh” drink head to Transit, the rooftop bar in the Transport building. Great views over the river out to Albert Park and the city. Want something more beery, well delve deep into the heart of Federation Square to Beer Deluxe. It has everything the label suggests!!!!

It’s hard to leave Federation Square, but our final destination is down in Docklands by the water. The Woolshed pub is a converted warehouse and has a great selection of beers, wines and even some fancy cocktails. The staff were really good here when we visited and being off the CBD circuit I think that they get a more regular office crowd. And friendliness is what we love in our pubs!

 

Enjoy this tour and please don’t get trashed and upset the tram driver, you’ll spoil it for every one. We reckon a pint in each bar is more than enough, before you settle in at the Woolshed.

 

 

 

In January 2012 I took my best mate from Uni, Spud, on a 5-stop beer crawl / walk (actually, cycle) starting in Carlton and finishing with a great boutique beer bar on Lygon Street, Brunswick. We had a terrific afternoon sampling the craft beers at each, and soaking up the ambience of one of Melbourne’s newest breweries, Temple Brewery in Brunswick.

When to start this Carlton and Brunswick bar hopping, and where to eat

We kicked-off at 2pm on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but mainly because Spud had to be home by 5pm to help with the little ones. I’d suggest you start at or after 3pm though, as Atticus Finch only opens from 4pm. You could also reverse the order we did it and eat at The Great Northern, the nosh looked nice. Alternatively, do it in the order we have it below but after Atticus Finch skip the Alderman, head down to Mr W then have The Alderman as your last and either order food in there (which is passed in from next door, some great Sicilian food from we Bar Idda we’re told). Or, a few doors down (left out the door) is the highly rated Rumi, great middle eastern food.

The map or route for this top Melbourne bar crawl

As you can see from this map of our happy trail, the area is a little further north than Jonno has covered in our Best Melbourne Pubs & Bars iPhone app, but I felt it was good to share this route:

1. The Great Northern, 644 Rathdowne Street, Carlton

Web: www.gnh.net.au

This wonderful oasis boasts 18 craft beers on top. What a find! For a co-founder of The London Pub Crawl Co. this pub held a special place in my heart. The variety of beers on tap reminded me of the 160 English pubs Jonno whittled down from the 7,000 in London, and stuffed in our London pub iPhone and Android app.

2. Temple Brewery, 122 Weston Street, Brunswick East

Web: www.templebrewing.com.au

A sleek and modern brewery in an industrial pre-fab concrete park, tucked away just off Lygon Street (close to the Quarry Hotel). We found the staff pleasant, the beer spot on and from the look of the dlighted faces on other punters eating there – the food looked OK too. Our favourite beers straight from the tap that day were the Temple Bicycle Beer (of course) and Temple Saison.

3. Atticus Finch, 129 Lygon Street, East Brunswick

Web: www.atticusfinch.com.au

This stylish bar has some exquisite beers in the fridge. Some of the blurb from their website evokes the best picture I can convey:

“Enjoy a locally sourced epicurean treat while sinking into one of the comfy booth seats or relaxing in the spacious rear courtyard. Escape the everyday and become immersed in old world charm with a distinctive modern day twist.”

4. The Alderman, 134 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Web: n/a

This was our favourite for the day. Maybe it was the fact we were the first ones through the door soon after it opened at 3pm, or that the owner was working behind the bar that day and entertained us with a good chat and some history of the place. The selection of craft beers were impressive and the art deco interior and really well done courtyard outback captivated us for more than the mandated “1 beer per place” rule. In the colder Melbourne months the fireplace is perfect to cosy up to for a wintry ale. Check out the rustic dart board in the little courtyard.

5. Mr Wilkinson, 295 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Web: www.facebook.com/Mister.Wilkinson

My cousin Chris first introduced me to this gem. We were dining at Hellanic Republic and – knowing my love of beer and all things pubish – he suggested we meet here beforehand. It is a top little bar at the north-end of Lygon Street. The staff know their beers, are friendly and the décor of a lot of wooden surfaces with some old televisions thrown in make it a unique feel.

 

While none of these pubs, bars or the brewery are in our popular Best Melbourne Pubs & Bars iPhone app, when we do get to collecting all the data on pubs and bars further afield than the CBD and Docklands each and every one of the above will make the list. Both Spud and I highly recommend this beer walk, and our preferred mode of transport is the good old bicycle. Be sure to drink and ride responsible of course!