The Great Northern Hotel

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pub
good for groups
outdoor area

The Great Northern Hotel isn’t Alistair Carragher’s first rodeo. After starting up Feral Brewery with a mate in WA, he made the reverse sea change to the historic pub in 2008. If any bar can demonstrate the craft beer revolution, this 1883-classic might just be it.

Carragher bolstered the taps to an impressive 21. They pour a lot of American labels. It’s the only place you’ll find California’s Lagunitas and there’s a lot happening under that moniker, including pale ale, IPA, Czech style Pilsner and even a 9.2 per cent ABV Cappuccino Stout.

The bar is still loyal to the Aussies – Stone & Wood, Moo Brew and 2 Brothers all have permanent taps. So too for Carlton Draught, because you can’t take Carlton Draught out of Carlton.

Wines are mostly Australian and are kept pretty constant with around 16 reds and 16 whites. The attached bottle shop offers plenty more to take home.

Food is standard pub fare best enjoyed in the huge beer garden under hefty HD screens, watching whatever sport is going (UFC included). Dogs are encouraged.

The ’70s-style bistro got a modern makeover in 2016, but the front bar’s old timber panelling has thankfully been retained. Likewise for the signed painting of Alex Jesaulenko’s iconic specky, recently found out to be the work of Anthony Pavlou, the son of a former Carlton player and director.