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Melbourne, Australia

After four long days of driving from Sydney on an epic road trip (no wonder Aussies laughed at us when we told them our plans!), we rolled into Melbourne a little weary and pretty relieved to be out of the van for a few days.

We were very happy as our accommodation for Melbourne was nicely located walking distance to Slowbeer, Australia’s first dedicated craft beer store, which is always a bonus. It’s a great little bottle shop which also had a few tables and chairs so you can enjoy their four taps with a quick drink in or simply grab some take home beer.

It was here that we discovered the epic Golden Stout Time from Big Shed Brewing – a perfect end of the night beer and unbelievably tasty… it’s literally like the Australian ice cream Golden Gay Time.  This made us even more excited to hang out with the team once we got to Adelaide.

As it was early in the week, the guys at Slow Beer recommended we held off our craft beer adventures till later in the week but we still managed to pop into Terminus Hotel– one of two in the city, serving a fair range of craft with their own brews on offer as well, and then on to Stomping Ground – a huge bar and brewpub.  Beers on offer were solely their own creations as well as a decent range of all other alcohol on offer should you want to veer away from the craft.

The beers were good, in particularly the double IPA, but it was a shame the sour was finished as the hot weather had really got us in the mood for a nice crisp pint.

Drat!

We utilised our time in Melbourne to head out to the Yarra Valley wine region to explore what this region, famous for its Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs & sparkling wine had to offer. First stop was Yering Station vineyard for a superb wagyu beef steak lunch accompanied with a fantastic view of the valley and some awesome wine, followed by a tasting in their wine room.

The sparkling Chardonnay was incredible, as were the rest of the wines we sampled, and then off to De Bortoli Wines for a few more samples and a cheese pairing to match. Splendid.

We arrived back in town and headed straight to Boilermaker House. Not only does this super cool venue offer around 850 different whiskies all of which are alphabetised on the many shelves they occupy (with a sliding ladder off of the beauty and the beast library), but it was also IPA week in there, and so all of their 12 taps were laid over to some top IPAs.

We headed to Moon Dog brewery for the first drink on our last day in this cool city.  Very eclectic décor – plastic flamingos, random sofas that any self-respecting granny would have been proud of in the 80’s… but they had a great beer list, including a vanilla and black truffle porter. If beer isn’t your thing, then the ingenious guys here have also whipped up a few beer cocktail recipes, offer a decent range of wines and there’s also pizza available. Oh & I think this may have been the first and only brewery we visited where they served caviar.

We then had to take the lengthy trip out to the West of Melbourne in Spotswood to visit Two Birds Brewery’s “Nest” – Australia’s first female owned craft brewery. Very much a family friendly tap room, the atmosphere was welcoming & fun and the beer was flowing a plenty. Great spot.

We did hit multiple other points on Melbourne’s craft beer scene, but these were by far our favourites to explore in this fab city.

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