Best Breweries in Melbourne

Updated 1 month ago

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Beer is all over town, but there’s something special about drinking it right where it was made. Apart from the fact breweries serve it fresher, you’ll often get the chance to try new and limited releases other venues don’t offer. Throw in the typical relaxed warehouse vibe, pizzas or other snacks, and these are great places to lose an entire afternoon.

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  • After many, many visits to this steampunk-lite brewery from the team at The Local Taphouse, we've come to the conclusion there's no style brewer Ashur Hall can't master. Whether you're settling in here or at Stomping Ground’s Moorabbin site, the basics – pale ale, lager – are flavoursome yet drinkable. At the other end, the milk stout is as good as any going around. Every beer is helpfully rated green, orange or red, depending on how much it will challenge drinkers.

  • Lots of breweries around Melbourne dabble in sour and farmhouse-style beers, but none have committed as fully as this one. Here, you drink among several hundred old wine, bourbon and whisky barrels used to age lambics, imperial stouts and more. But there are also plenty of options for more casual drinkers, including a pale ale, pilsner and the gorgeous, raspberry-infused Miss Pinky.

  • It all starts with a cosy front bar echoing a classic Melbourne pub. But further inside, Bodriggy’s Abbotsford home is revealed to be a much more ambitious venue, with a ’70s Australian cocktail bar upstairs and a kitchen that goes above and beyond standard brewpub fare. Here, it’s all about familiar Central and South American flavours, with some interesting diversions along the way.

  • Only in recent years has Moon Dog paid attention to convention and started brewing pale ales, lagers and other barbeque-friendly beers. Before that, it wasn't unusual to arrive at the Abbotsford OG and find nothing but monstrous barrel-aged stouts and intensely sour cherry ales available. That anything-goes spirit lives on at Moon Dog’s Preston HQ, which is decked out with a pool, hidden tiki disco bar, giant beer garden and an indoor waterfall. There’s truly nothing else like it in Australia.

  • Wolf of the Willows is one of Melbourne's most exciting and consistently excellent beer brands. In 2021, it finally got a place to call its own – a production facility featuring 115-seat taproom with 12 rotating beers. Also on the menu: hard seltzers, cold brew coffee and mud crab burgers.

  • Inside an old furniture warehouse, this stylish and compact brewery produces some of the most complex beers in Melbourne, from farmhouse styles that mimic the flavour characteristics of wine, to coffee ales brewed in collaboration with Proud Mary. It also packs in a schmick restaurant (and beer garden) serving an inventive Southeast Asian-influenced menu akin to what you might find at a restaurant like Sunda or Aru.

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  • A few years ago, a couple of ex-winemakers took a different approach to brewing inside this charming 1880s warehouse. Today, it’s where you’ll find some of the city’s benchmark IPA styles (we’re particular fans of the hazy J-Juice) and plenty of limited releases. The Footscray site is also home to Dart Distilling, Hop Nation’s own small-batch spirits brand.

  • “Leading you into temptation” is this brewery’s motto, and believe us, there’s plenty here to tempt you. A husband-and-wife team have combined their passions (home-brewing and American barbeque, respectively) to create a spacious, modern brewpub with a young gun pitmaster in the kitchen. Legit Carolina pulled pork and Texas-style brisket await.

  • Melbourne-born brewery Kaiju is headquartered in a converted warehouse with capacity for 156 punters. Slide into a retro orange booth and try small-batch exclusives, double IPAs and the brewer’s revered tropical pale ale. You can also expect perfectly crisp Neapolitan-style pizzas.

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  • The more hardcore elements of the beer community were upset when Asahi acquired Mountain Goat in 2015, but actually, not much has changed since the sale. Victoria's second-oldest craft brewery is still making an outstanding core range – including the classic Steam Ale – plus interesting one-offs and seasonals.

  • Hop-forward IPAs are the main game at this soaring warehouse brewery, but sours, saisons and dark beers are also on frequent rotation. Pair with a charcuterie box or pizza and you’re all set.

  • An Abbotsford taproom from one of Brisbane's most popular breweries. The team ships its most in-demand beers twice weekly, fresh from Brisbane. Pick one of 12 pours, then order some food from local favourites, including Rita's Cafeteria and Kelso's Sandwich Shoppe.

  • This four-man operation punches well above its weight, with an imperial stout, a black IPA and an easy-drinking American pale ale, plus other experiments and one-offs. The hard seltzers here are also noteworthy: this place is a pioneer for this emerging drink category.

  • Most breweries are relaxed, but this one feels like chilling in a mate's garage. With much better beer, of course. The well-rounded selection covers classic English styles, hoppy American IPAs and sour and barrel-aged ales.

  • A few years after selling its first keg out of Stone and Wood’s Byron Bay brewery, Fixation Brewing Company found a home in Melbourne for its dank and juicy brews. If you love to drink IPAs, this place does them better than most.

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  • It took Dan Dainton seven years to get his own brewery. Now that he has one, there's no stopping his parade of cheeky, outlandish beers. Past highlights include the Bad Daughter choc-orange porter (it tastes exactly like Terry’s Chocolate Orange) and Cherry Sack Attack, a sweet-ish ale made with cherry juice and “absolutely no sack”.

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  • In America there's such a thing as an east or west coast-style IPA. The latter is known for its unrestrained use of big, bitter hops with tropical or resinous characters. It's this style US expat Casey Wagner loves the most and brews the best, though you'll also find pale and amber ales on offer.

  • This small, two-man operation has plenty of personality. The stand-out among is four core beers is Prickled Pink, a rich, mouth-filling wheat beer fermented with prickly pear. It also happens to be pink.

  • Grant Morley was a scientist before he ran a brewery. His scientific precision shines through at his 70s-designed brewpub – where you’ll find tropical-tasting hazy IPAs, American pale ales, English dark milds and more. You can even enjoy a pint with food from one of the excellent nearby restaurants.

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  • The Scottish craft-beer brand found a home in Coburg’s historic Pentridge Prison. Head to the beer garden – set in a former prison yard – or the taproom in a grand old bluestone building. Find Australian-exclusive brews, sticky-glazed chicken wings and a full plant-based menu.

  • This colourful 350-capacity outpost for the beloved Beechworth brewery offers 30 taps, two bars and a jet-setting menu of crowd-pleasers. And it’s a working brewery, too, which means all of the Bridge Road favourites, plus site-exclusive special releases.

  • At a converted suburban warehouse, try wild-fermented beers by one of Australia’s most established brewers. Complex stouts, lagers and farmhouse drops sit alongside grazing boards and beer-spiked cocktails.