Waitangi Day in Melbourne, 6th February

Australia Day has been and gone, leaving a lot of us feeling bereft without a decent reason to drink until St Pats day in March…Thank goodness for the Kiwis and Waitangi Day are here to help (Full disclosure: I was born in NZ but as I can say 6 without people pointing and laughing it’s ok). As there are so many Kiwis in town not to mention a heap of Aussies who enjoy themselves the odd NZ brew, the fine publicans of Melbourne have got together to make them feel at home by providing entertainment, refreshments and laughs from across the sea.

Section 8 are teaming with the Hangi Boys to put on a day of good tunes, great Maori food and kiwi beers. The menu includes Hangi, Kumara sticks AND raw fish salad. Add to that some entertainment from Electric Wire Hustle’s Mara TK, Float, Jellyfish and the team from local reggae-mashup masters Easy Now Recordings.

The George Hotel in St Kilda is planing on a big one with a New Zealand Beer Tap Takeover including the “Hop Federation” Session IPA, and “8 Wired” -Tropidelic Pale Ale & Kiwi beats pumping throughout, they’ll also have Perci (Kiwi boy) from 9pm playing till the wee hours as well…Choice as!

Kiwi Beer Superstars, Panhead, are back again at The Terminus with another huge Waitangi day event and are carting over 10 of their finest brews, some amazing food and the best nz tunes for a huge day of festivities.

The good folks at the Wharf Hotel are calling all Kiwis to join them for Waitangi Day 2016! With live Kiwi tunes from 1pm and a serve of New Zealand classics such as Steinlager, Tui,  Monteiths & L&P plus Fish and chip platter – $35 and a Kiwi games centre

The Union Club Hotel in Fitzroy are putting on a spread for the homesick Kiwis of the North. Gather your bros for a day on the rooftop soaking in the sun and enjoy the $15 fish and chips, Kiwi flavoured cocktail and shot specials and all NZ playlist all day!

Kia ora Buttercups

All I Want for Christmas is a Decent Coffee

 

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Getting a decent coffee on Christmas Day can be a bit of a chore for those of us without the equipment to make one themselves. Fortunately for us, there are a few fabulous people willing to get up, open shop and make one for us, allowing us to carry on with our day in caffeinated bliss. Christmas Baristas of Melbourne, we salute you!

Where to go for Coffee in Melbourne on the 25th December

(this list will be updated as more come to light)

South of the Yarra

Beavers Tail Social Club (160 Barkly St, St Kilda) – Open 8am-12pm for coffees and nibbles

Bibelot (285-287 Coventry St, South Melbourne) –  Open 8am-1pm for coffees, fresh bread and pastries

Dead Man Espresso  (35 Market Street, South Melbourne) – Open from 8am-2pm  for all your breakfast and coffee needs

Depot de Pain Black Rock (28 Bluff Rd, Black Rock) – Open 7.00am-2.30pm with full service

Drugstore Espresso (194 Toorak Rd, South Yarra) – Open from 7.30am-11.30am for coffee

Fergus (301 Wattletree Rd, Malvern East) – Open from 7am-11am for coffee and pastries

Finders Keepers Cafe (89 Riversdale Rd, Hawthorn) – Open 8am-11am for coffee and pastries

Frank and Ginger (101 Orrong Rd, Caulfield) – Open 7am-11am for coffees

Gardiner and Field (43 Union St, Armadale) – Open 7am-11pm for coffees only

Hobba (428 Malvern Road, Prahran) – Open 7am-11am for coffees and pastries

Mailing Room (206 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury) – Open 7am-11am for coffees and pastries

One Origin Specialty Coffee (83 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern) – Open 8am-1pm for coffees and pastries

Platform Espresso (1529 High St, Glen Iris) – Open 8am-12pm for coffees only

Snowpony (95 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn) –  Open 8:30am- 11:30am for coffee and small bites only

Sprout Cafe (48 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea) – Open 8am-1pm with full service

St Ali (12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne) – Open 7am-6pm with full service

Two Lost Boys (20/2 Maddock St, Windsor) – Open 8am-12pm for coffees only

CBD

Arbory (Flinders Walk, Melbourne) – Open from 7.30am – 1am for coffee, drinks, all the things

Depot de Pain at The Blackman (452 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne) – Open 6.30am-2.30pm with full service

Queen St Rescue (189 Queen St Melbourne) – Open from 7.30am-4pm with full service

Sun Moth (28 Niagara Lane, Melbourne) – 12pm till late for all your coffee and craft beer needs.

North of the Yarra

Admiral Cheng Ho (325 Johnston Street, Abbotsford) – Open 7am-10am with all proceeds are going to the charity Sol De Mañana

Ampersand Coffee and Food (863 High St, Thornbury) – Open 7am-11am for coffees and pastries

De Clieu (187 Gertrude St, Fitzroy) – Open 9am-3am with normal menu

Depot de Pain at Rathdowne Village (693 Rathdowne St, Carlton) – Open 7.00am-2.30pm with full service

Everyday Coffee (33 Johnston St, Fitzroy) – Open from 9am-12pm for take away coffee with all profits going to charity

The Long and Short ()314 Victoria St, Brunswick) – Open 8am-2pm for coffee and sweets

Sookie La La (593 High St, Northcote) – Open 8am-12pm for coffees and pastries

Halloween and The Day of the Dead Hit Melbourne

SkullThis time last year, all the thoughts were on racing with barely a hat tip in Halloween’s direction but this year it seems that Melbournes’ bars have done an about turn and have fully embraced their dark side with day of the dead shenanigans galore. From dive bars to tequila joints to chocolate surprises, Melbourne is donning it’s costumes and capes and getting ready to show off it’s spooky self.

Northside Nightterrors

Catfish Bar (30-32 Gertrude St, Fitzroy) – Starting at 7pm in the upstairs bar at The Catfish there will be 3 One off Halloween themed kegs from Dainton, Exit and Kauji! Dressing up is highly encouraged as door prizes will be awarded on the night and the BEST DRESSED will receive a free brew day with Dan Dainton at the soon to be complete Dainton Family Brewery.

Two Row Bar (351 Smith Street, Fitzroy) – Two Row are putting on 5 Halloween inspired taps as well as goodie bags, treats, tricks and prizes for great costumes! The party will kick off at 2pm and spook on through til close… $30 will get you the first 2 beers of your choice and treats to take home! You can get tickets here.

Mr Wow’s Emporium (97b Smith St, Fitzroy) – Day of the Dead rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed perhaps for as long as 2,500–3,000 years. Mr Wow’s rituals include drinking Tequila Tromba, eating tasty treats provided by The Voodoo Jerk Truck, paying homage to their favourite dead celebrities with handmade shrine and painting faces to celebrate this deadly holiday.Dress in your best Day of the Dead costume and join them for a night of macabre madness

Foresters Hall (64 Smith St, Collingwood) –  Join Foresters for an old school Monster Mash/Kaiju tap takeover (I’ve meet these guys and they are spooky as all get out). With an additional upstairs haunted house with a spooky band (Ooooohhooo)and prizes for best dressed, you are assured to have a monsters ball.

Carwyn Cellars (877 High St, Thornbury) – 5 different tacos, 6 amazing Day of the Dead/ Taco/ Chilli inspired beers on tap, Mexican inspired drink specials, inc. jugs of Paloma, a Mexican Food Market presented by El Cielo, inc. free food tastings across their range and free tastings across a range of 15 Mexican craft beers & a range of Mezcals, you should be scared stiff to miss this one!

The Brunswick Hotel (140 Sydney Rd, Brunswick) – Come to the Carn-evil and bear witness to 14 live and untamed bands summoned from the darkest corners of deepest Melbourne to perform over two stages! If that isnt getting you monsters drooling we have two devilishly good DJs on both stages for you to shake your bones and rattle your chains too. Old man gully beef burgers will be serving up mouth-watering burgers from 5pm-late (may or may not contain traces of old men)  Prizes will be given to the best costumes the carnies see, so think heart attack and work your way up!

City Critters

Nieuw Amsterdam (106-112 Hardware St, Melbourne) – Celebrate the most tantalising and horrific night of the year by traveling down the rabbit hole and experiencing Alice in Amsterdam. Dress to your heart’s desire. Drink specials, late night food menu till 2am, DJ’s and cocktails till 5am. No cover. Best dressed can win a voucher to te value of $100.

Fed Square (Flinders St/Swanston St, Melbourne) – Join Melbourne’s Mexican community at Fed Square for the world-known tradition of Day of the Dead. Day of the Dead is a beautiful cultural tradition that celebrates life and remembers loved ones who have passed away. Head to The Square from 11am – 5pm to meet one-on-one with the Mexican artist who creates ephemeral ground tapestries and be part of the creative process. From 5pm – 8pm, bring your friends and family to enjoy the main event – a colourful celebration with music, dance, activities and plenty of selfie opportunities!

Asian Beer Cafe (Level 3, Melbourne Central) – The Asian Beer Cafe are throwing a Halloween Costume Party that’s going to be bigger and better than ever before! There will huge prize giveaways all night long, and entry is free! Don’t forget to dress to impress!

Vamos (1/37 Little Bourke St Melbourne) – Vamos is celebrating its first anniversary on Oct. 31st, come and celebrate this very special night, full of invited guests and surprises! Bands and flamenco dancing are to be part of the event, as well as a Dj expert in Latin American music playing some gems in vinyl Live Latin American music and flamenco dancer and it’s HALLOWEEN so dress up and join the fun. Expect some surprises! It’s going to be an amazing evening! Tickets are $30 a head and you can get them online here.

South of the Yarra Screams

Collection Bar (328 Bridge St, Richmond) – Another Halloween is upon us and all the over indulgent pumpkins have been itching to get out. This year The Collection are turning things up a notch with a $100 tab going to the best dressed!  The All Hallows’ punch will be flowing all night along with other drink specials and a late night burger menu to keep the stomach lined.

Ormond Hall (557 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne) – Put your sanity to the test and dare to be admitted to The Asylum, Melbourne’s most thrilling Halloween event. For the first time since its closure in 1895, Melbournians are now able to walk the halls of one of Australia’s oldest insane asylums. The history of The Asylum is enough to sicken the stiffest of nerves. Renowned for being run by sociopathic matrons and sadistic neuro-surgeons; very few patients treated in these wards ever left with a cure of their psychosis. Sanity was not the mission. Hysteria was the goal.Tickets are $25 and you can book them online here.

Halloween Outdoor Cinema (St Kilda Primary School, 2B Brighton Road  St Kilda) – St Kilda Primary School will be transformed into an outdoor cinema showing, The Minion Movie, Hotel Transylvania, The Original Rocky Horror Show and Inside Out. There will be a range of Halloween based activities to get the kids involved along with mobile food trucks , vendors and entertainment. Entry is gold coin donation

Cadbury Treat Street Party (Maitland St, Glen Iris) – Glen Iris will be at the heart of Melbourne’s Halloween  celebrations this year as Cadbury prepares to free the joy on the spookiest day of the year by turning one lucky suburban street into an enchanting Cadbury Treat Street for the community to enjoy.  Maitland Street in Glen Iris will be transformed into a magical Halloween-themed destination, which will become one of Melbourne’s biggest and most joyful Halloween street parties. Residents and visitors to the Cadbury Treat Street will celebrate as a community at a street party hosted by Cadbury, featuring non-stop entertainment, party games, a community BBQ and thousands of Cadbury treats to be given away to bring the festivities to life. Melburnians are invited to head to Maitland St in Glen Iris from 4.30pm-6.30pm on Saturday 31 October to visit the Cadbury Treat Street.

What’s on in Wine this Weekend

I know I usually do a post covering some of the highlight events in the coming month but as I have been absolutely awash with wine events this weekend, I decided they deserved a post all of their own. So without any further delay…lets get winey.

Starting with Saturday and Pinot Palooza is back in town! It’s changed venues this year to the more accessible (and roomy) convention centre. There’s more to this outing than just Pinot (though that is reason enough in my book) there will be sparkling, cider and food from the likes of Huxtaburger, Jack Horner, Sample Brew and Burn City Smokers. Tickets are just $60 and you get a free glass as well as all the wine tastings (no tokens here). Get all your ticket info here.

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If you fancy something a bit more out of town, Woodend Wine Store are hosting their annual Grand Tasting at Macedon Ranges Hotel and Spa. With a range of exhibitors including Michael Hall Wines, Craiglee, Epis, Calender Cheese, Chambers of Rutherglen as well as beers from Exit, Tooborac and boatrocker, and gin from Kangaroo Island spirits all for just $25 a ticket ($30 on the day) which includes a shuttle from the wine shop and your very own tasting glass. More details here.

If you fancy kicking back for lunch, Luke from Vinified has just the thing for you. He is hosting a Champagne and Chardonnay by the Sea lunch at Captain Baxter in St Kilda. A great chance to take in the foreshore while learning more about the flavours and styles of Chardonnay from around the world. Lunch is $79 a head and you can get more information here.

Sunday is Vinitalia Day. I went to this last year and it was brilliant from the tastings to the masterclasses. This year the event is open to the public and promises to be more fabulous than last, featuring a selection of premium Italian wines presented by local importers and retailers. More than 40 companies  are expected to be there to offer their most prestigious Italian labels to taste and buy, all accompanied by delicious Italian food. Tickets start from $35 and you can get more information here.

Vinitaly

If you’re hoping for a slightly more chilled  Sunday, Toorak Cellars are hosting Vinteloper winemaker David Bowley for a free BBQ from 3-6pm to celebrate the launch of his new vintage releases! All of David’s new releases will be on tasting with the opportunity to pick some up at some great prices. There will be tunes, food, great wines and good times and it’s free entry! Check out their Facebook page for more details.

 

 

What’s on in September

So how amazing was August? Starting with a weekend at Bendigo on the hop then tasting wine with Cellarhand as well as hanging out at Black Pearl with the Please don’t tell guys from New York and trying all the things at Top Shelf finishing with a blind beer tasting at Foresters Hall in an Australia vs New Zealand spectacular (The Kiwis won BTW), I am just a wee bit ready for a nap. Not that this will happen this month as it’s already far too full. So without further ado, here are some of my picks for September and don’t forget to check out the events calendar for more amazing dinners, tastings, masterclasses and festivals.

Pink Boots society are a fabulous group looking to promote women in the beer industry and once again are gathering for another brewday at Two Birds Brewing. This time they are brewing a Cherry Saison using proper fresh cherry juice.Mash in for Pink Boots Members and those interested in joining Pink Boots is at 9:00am, Two Birds Brewing will be open to the public from 12pm. Come brew or just pop in after midday and watch the ladies at work.

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Jack Daniels is putting on a pop up bar in Fed Square with a difference. The difference being that the bar will be built by donation of materials and skills.  Donate items you no longer need such as paint, tools, wood and chairs and in exchange for them we’ll give you some of your favourite Jack Daniel’s products. “The Bar That Jack Built” will be open to the public a three-day Jack Daniel’s birthday extravaganza from 18-20 September. If you’re interested in getting involved or even if you just want to pop along for a drink, check out their facebook page here.

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Melbourne’s top Mexican chefs, artists and musicians are preparing to take food and culture lovers across the states of Mexico when the Mission Foods Mexican Festival hits Melbourne to celebrate Mexican Independence Day on Sunday September 13th at Federation Square. A great day out for foodies, families, and anyone who loves a great taco! Entry is free, more info here.

Tacos

Looking for a beer festival with a difference? How about one held in an old prison? Here’s a chance to walk through through one of Australia’s more notorious beer gardens in the grounds of the old Pentridge Gaol. Indulge in a fantastic journey of sampling and tasting some of the best craft beers and ciders available in Australia. Tickets are $15 and you can get yourself one here.

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From the 18th September to the 25th September, Hophause are hosting their annual Oktoberfest festival with events featuring food specials, sausage eating competitions, Oompah music, Family Sundays with a kids menu and activities, plus plenty of prizes for the grown ups. Check out their full range of events here.