In a Brunswick carpark by the train-tracks is a forest retreat - and it serves great beer. Well, perhaps not a forest exactly, but it has a custom-built bar with its own swaying trees and hanging garden.
Howler, a converted woolshed designed by Chris Stanley from the Splinter Society, unfolds onto an incredible open space, which funnels into a more intimate bar. Manned by cocktail guru Chris Lemelu, Howler’s bar boasts one of the nation’s most eclectic beer lists. On offer are beers such as Japan’s immaculately weird Hitachino Nest and delicious oddities from America’s beardy north.
For the peckish, there's a decent menu of small bites, plus beef, pork, chicken and fish burgers. There’s also a dedicated performance space out back, with a pretty rad line-up of local indie acts, electronic oddness, and noisy art bands from the world over.
Out front, you’ll luxuriate under one of Melbourne’s most banging sound systems with a lineup of DJs who know how to use it. Howler is extremely popular, so the fact your friends are probably already there can only be an added convenience.