Are you a beer, spirit or wine person?
Are you a beer, spirit or wine person? Whichever way you swing, Melbourne's drinking scene will impress and intoxicate you.
We work hard to find you the best travel deal, so it probably won't come as a surprise that we play hard too. We took one for the team and checked out some of the fun places that you can enjoy a good drop. Though we must admit, it wasn't all work and no play this time around.
Passing The Bar(s)
The only way is up on a warm evening in Melbourne and we haven’t found a rooftop bar that we don’t love. Our central city pick goes to Good Heavens, for its Palm Springs-like vibe and tropical cocktails. In Fitzroy, just a short Uber or tram ride from the city, is a pub that’s stood the test of time (over 150 years in fact) – Marquis of Lorne is an old fave, from the front bar at street level up to the beer garden on the roof.
Melbourne’s live music scene has always been part of its culture. Pubs like The Corner Hotel in Richmond or St Kilda’s iconic Hotel Esplanade, known simply as the Espy, have hosted all the great gigs. There’s no better way to get down and grungy in Melbourne than to visit these two legendary band venues.
A hidden gem is Lane Bar at the Novotel on Collins, where they make a mean espresso martini (you’d expect nothing less in coffee-obsessed Melbourne). It’s tucked away above the tree-lined sidewalks of Collins Street, yet so central that you can nip in to relax between meetings or during a shopping spree.
Brewing Up A Storm
At last count there were about 106 craft breweries in Greater Melbourne, 49 of those being close to the centre of town. That’s one mighty pub crawl.
We want a job at Bonehead Brewing, just so we can have fun designing their quirky cans and coming up with crazy beer names. The Taproom in Kensington pours their hand-crafted limited and seasonal beers, as well as offering some ring-in wines.
Catch the 48 tram from Collins Street in the city to Bridge Road Richmond and there you’ll find Burnley Brewing. It was voted Best New Brewery in 2019 and is still winning awards for German-style beers with a distinctly Melbourne flavour. It’s also right across from a relaxing stay at Amora Hotel Riverwalk Melbourne.
On top of all the breweries, Victoria has around 77 distilleries. One that’s worth the wait to visit is Patient Wolf Distilling Co. The chic urban distillery in located in the backstreets of Southbank and from the bar you can see the German-made copper still where the magic happens. You can even take a Spritz Masterclass.
Put A Cork In It (Or Not)
An hour out of Melbourne and you’re in scenic wine country. The Victorian regions of the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, the Surf Coast and Macedon Ranges are all world-famous for their unique blends. And you know that means a lot of amazing wineries. We can’t even contemplate covering them all, but here’s a couple that we wouldn’t want to miss on our winery trail.
Yarra Yering, an iconic name whispered in excited tones by wine connoisseurs.
The family-owned estate of Montalto on the Mornington Peninsula won the coveted James Halliday Australian Chardonnay Trophy in 2021 with their Tuerong Block single vineyard wine. Obviously the wine is good, but the restaurant dining is delicious too and they offer fabulous picnic menus to enjoy in private sites.
How To Survive A Boozy Day?
Many Melburnians love making a day of it, but when you’re on holidays you don’t want a hangover to put a damper on things. But if you play by these "rules," you'll be able to survive a winery tour or session with friends with no regrets in the next morning.
Here are three survival tips to on how to be a “good” drinker:
- Don’t skip breakfast: before you jump on the winery tour the old adage to line your stomach has some merit. Eating first will slow down how quickly your system absorbs the alcohol. Hit that breakfast buffet and pre-load with carbs, avocados and eggs, but avoid the fatty foods once the drinks start flowing.
- Stay hydrated: no, not with more alcohol. If you alternate a glass of water with a boozy drink, it can reduce dehydration and prevent nausea. Don’t skull a bottle of water though, that can have the opposite effect. Some people swear by eating a banana too, because they’re naturally hydrating due to their electrolyte content.
- Don’t mix it up: three or more different kinds of drinks and you’re almost guaranteed to feel it the next day. But if you know that’s where it’s heading, then the rule of thumb is beer, wine then spirits. Watch out for the wine though, a bold Shiraz could have twice as much alcohol. Plus, sugary mixers can be more deadly at the end of the night.
Of course, responsible drinking is always going to win out in the long run. Make sure you’ve got a designated driver or a plan to get where you need to be safely. No sense in letting a few drinks ruin more than your holiday.
While we went the extra mile to blow the froth off as many coldies as possible, Melbourne’s a big place. There are a lot, we’re talking thousands, of great places to enjoy a drink. These are just a few of the ones that stood out for us. Now it’s over to you to enjoy trying some of these or finding your own favourite places for a beer, wine, cocktail or bevvy of your choice.