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Top Spots in Melbourne To Celebrate St Patricks Day

CBD/ Southbank

  • Boilermaker House (209-211 Lonsdale St, Melbourne) – Boilermaker have got Stomping Ground Snakes Out Chocolate Stout on tap and house-made Guinness pies to match their special St Paddy’s Whisky Flight ($42). Four Irish Whiskeys to get you started on a big night.
  • Elephant and Wheelbarrow Bourke St (94-98 Bourke St, Melbourne) – Come down to your favourite british pub in the CBD for breakfast on this most Irish of days for only $20, a pint of the nectar of the gods included. Or if you cannot make breakfast, come down later in the day, and enjoy classic Irish grub, wash it down with a Guiness or two and enjoy give aways throughout the day. To book your spot, call 9639 8444.
  • Fed Square Good Beer Week Showcase (Fed Square, Melbourne)- Over two huge public sessions on Thursday and Friday evening, 36 breweries from Victoria and beyond will showcase their beers. As the official launch of the Good Beer Week 2017 program, it will also serve as a sneak peek to the ten-day beer festival in May, with food vendors from Good Beer Week serving up some of the best dishes they have to offer. nce again, there will be free masterclasses, meet the brewer sessions, and attendees will have the chance to vote for the Bintani People’s Choice beer and brewery of the Showcase, to be announced at the final Friday evening session. Tickets are just $50 a head.
  • Irish Times Bar (427 Little Collins St, Melbourne) – Looking to head to a real Irish pub this St Patrick’s day? Then look no further- The Irish Times with it’s genuine Irish pub style wrap-around bars, traditional dark wood interiors, cosy fireplaces, beautiful stained glass windows and rugby memorabilia’s is the perfect place to be this 17th of March! Kick start your day with a Scrumptious Full Irish Brekky for only $20. Enjoy the best Guinness in town along with green giveaways, all-day Irish menu, Bagpipers and Live Irish Music all day!
  • The Last Jar (616 Elizabeth St, Melbourne) – Come and celebrate St Patrick’s Day the traditional way at The Last Jar, starting with a big Irish breakfast from 8am, live Irish music all day, and of course, Guinness, Kilkenny, Magners & craft beers flowing on tap! There’ll also be live Irish music all day with two separate stages for live music.
  • Loch and Key (L1/34 Franklin St, Melbourne) – Loch & Key and Teeling Whiskey are throwing the BIGGEST party of the year to date. Come rekindle your inner Irish and celebrate St Patricks Day in style away from those jam packed Irish bars. Kicking off at 5pm, join Loch & Key where they are certainly not short of all things Irish, not to mention the staff. With a fine selection of Irish Whiskey on the wall, come enjoy some Teeling Whiskey Cocktails on the balcony and Listen to some Celtic Punk from The Ramshackle Army kicking off the event from 5:30pm – 6:30pm, with more traditional Irish tunes playing out throughout the evening. Chow down on an Irish inspired menu by in house Chef Mark (Santos) O’Loughlin from 5pm – 10pm. Drinks Specials will be running the entire Day, Night…and  morning …Slàinte Mhath
  • Meat Market (54 South Wharf Promenade. South Wharf)  – Join Meat Market & Jameson’s Whiskey ambassador, Max Hart for an evening of exceptional food & whiskey. Enjoy a cocktail on arrival followed by a 4 course meal matched with 4 outstanding whiskey’s including 2 of Jamesons newest additions from the “whiskey makers series”. Tickets are $79 a head and you can buy them here.
  • P.J. O’Brien’s (Southgate, Southbank) – P.J’s will be hosting a Big Irish Breakfast from 8am ’til 11am which includes a Pint of Guinness or Glass of Sparkling $25 per person or $12 for the wee ones. They will be open from 8am until late with Live Irish Music, Irish Dancers and Pipers and plenty of Guinness flowing throughout the day and night!
  • The Turf Sports Bar & Grill (131 Queens St, Melbourne) Come celebrate St Patricks Day at Turf Bar this year with food specials with an Irish twist all day. Irish Drink specials from 5pm. Irish music from 5pm till late.
  • Young and Jacksons (1 Swanston St, Melbourne) – St Patricks day party falls on a friday, which is very dangerous for those of us who like to raise a glass (or ten…) to the emerald isle.  This year Y&Js will have no less than 12 hours (with breaks; for beer of course) of live music! Jig your little heart out to some traditional Irish music, before setting in with Stuie Music and then rockin’ out to Mamma Jam through to the early hours. There will be extra Guinness on tap, and more than enough Jameson Irish Whiskey to match demand, and they have a heap of merch to give away! They even have a special Paddy’s day menu, and yes, there is colcannon, Irish lamb stew, and even a chocolate & guinness cake (yuuuummmmm)!

Northside/Westside

  • Bridie O’Reilly’s Brunswick (29 Sydney Rd, Brunswick) – Doors will open at 9.00am for a full on Irish breakfast. You receive a free Guinness with every breakfast ordered between 9-12pm. With pipers and fiddlers from noon till 3pm and live music from 7pm-3am, plus a bunch of prizes and give aways.
  • Dan O’Connell (225 Canning St, Carlton) – The doors swing open at 7am for brekkie, and it’s food, drink and entertainment from then on. Later in the evening, the U2 Show Achtung Baby are ready to rock out on the main stage, along with The Ramshackle Army, Tim Scanlan, The Lawnton Bowls Club & Fishermen’s Friend. They’ve got Irish dancers from The Christine Ayres school of Irish Dancing, the kitchen will be serving up some traditional Irish cuisine, and of course the finest Guinness money can buy. Free before 3pm, 9 bucks after. Get your tickets here.
  • The Drunken Poet (65 Peel Street, West Melbourne) – The Drunken Poet is open from 12pm and will be serving their famous toasted sandwiches and live music from 5pm. Entry is free but get in early, its a small, intimate venue. They will be serving Guinness, Kilkenny, Magners Irish cider, a great selection of Irish whiskeys & Taytos on the day as well.
  • The Lomond Hotel (225 Nicholson St, East Brunswick) – Come on down to the Lomond Hotel this St Patties day and celebrate the special occasion as they will be offering great Guinness give aways all day with the purchase of their lovely Guinness off tap. There will be live music from The Gin Club Two from 8.30 onwards which promises to be a great show. Last and not least there will be three Irish style dishes served from our kitchen.
  • The Quiet Man (271 Racecourse Rd, Flemington) – It’s happening again! Melbourne’s favourite St Patrick’s Day Street Party will be kicking off again for 2017. Indoors, there will be live entertainment as well as food from 9am. Outdoors, the street party kicks off at midday with live bands, food vans, entertaiment and drink stalls.
  • Parkview Hotel (131/137 Scotchmer St, Fitzroy North) – Come join in the fun at The Parkview Hotel, as they celebrate St Pat’s Day. Irish eyes were certainly looking down, when the day just happens to finally have fallen on a Friday.That means after work drinks, Friday member’s draw and much much more. Get together your mates, and come join in for a craic. Kilkenny, Guinness, Irish Car Bombs, or why not a Black Velvet? They’ve plenty to keep you occupied and if you’re so inclined, They’ll even turn your beer green!
  • The Sung (68 Sydney Rd, Brunswick) – Yes that is right….. Its our favourite time of year again! The Guinness will be flowing, and the craic will be mighty! We are open from 10am serving Breakie Rolls and Pints of Guinness! Live music kicks off in the early afternoon right through to the wee hours of the night!

Southside/Eastside

  • Beer Deluxe (329 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn) – It doesn’t matter if you’re Irish by decent or at heart. Come and celebrate Ireland’s national day with Beer Deluxe. With $8 Guinness Tins, $8 Magners Cider Bottles, $8 Midori Mixers,$8 Agwa Bombs, and $12 Irish food specials, prizes to be won including best dressed, plus live music from 6:30pm. You’ll be green if you miss it.
  • Elephant and Wheelbarrow St Kilda (169 Fitzroy St, St Kilda) – The Elephant & Wheelbarrow St Kilda are serving breakfast from 10am with $8 pints of Magners & Guinness all day plus live entertainment and much more.
  • Freddie Wimpoles (125 Fitzroy St, St Kilda) – Everyone is embracing the famous Irish holiday at Freddies. The Irish love a beer and so do they! To get into the spirit, they will be tapping Guinness, but will be taking this one step further though and shucking fresh oysters for $1 on the day too. Something that Freddie when named “Melbourne Winerooms” back in the day was famous for. They will also be tapping a special collaboration beer on the day too, I’m “stomping” my feet and “teeling” the frustration as I cant say anything more about it…
  • The Great Britain Hotel (447 Church St, Richmond) – Get on your best outfit and join The GB as they get into the spirit and celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. Enjoy $8 pints of Guinness, plus sausage, Colcannon and Guinness gravy for $12. You’ll be sure to have a whale of a time! For more information call 03 9810 0082
  • The Local  (22-24 Bay St, Port Melbourne) The Local are going green for Paddy’s Day!  Join them as they serve up $8 pints of Guinness, $5 Irish tasters and $5 shots all day.  Sláinte!
  • Windsor Ale House (42 Punt Rd, Windsor) Join the Windsor for $8 Guinness pints from 5-8pm as well as $15 Irish stew ALLDAY.  Live music from 6pm – The Carry Ons- classic irish covers – Richie McKay- rolling in the rebel tunes

My Pick of the Best Free Entry Events During Good Beer Week

Good Beer Week is on again from May 13th – 22nd. And while I always will be a big fan of the ticketed event (check out the events calendar for more of these), there are plenty of things on which will cost you  absolutely zero to get into. You can meet the brewers try some amazing snacks and learn a few things without having to book. To help you shuffle through them all (yes, there are THAT many) I thought I’d run through some of my favourite free to attend events that I am hoping to drop into. Hope to see you there!

Beer gobletWe couldn’t start this list without starting with the first event of the week, The Good Beer Week Opening Party! Held at the Festival Hub which is Beer Deluxe on 13th May, there will be live music, a host of brewers, both local and international as well a special tasting paddle of the Festival Beers.

Colonial Brewing Co have moved into a new place in Port Melbourne and are using Good Beer Week as an excuse to throw a house-warming party. They are opening their doors on the 14th May, putting on some tunes as well as some Spanish cuisine from the Robert Burns Hotel as well as the world-famous $4 pizzas from Lucky Coq & Bimbo Deluxe. There will be heaps of games and activities for everyone as well as live street art from Mitch Walder, can’t wait to see the new place!

My old Local, The Grape and Grain are hosting a bunch of brewers from south of the Yarra on Sunday 15th May. meet the brewers from Bad Shepherd, Dainton, Kaiju, Exit, Riders and Wolf of the Willows and join them to chat about their beers and b the first to taste the fruits of their one off collaboration brew. Quality beers with quality people in one of the best beer shops in town.

The Local Tap House have invited  over New Zealand’s Garage Project for a fun Monday night speakeasy soiree. Boilermakers and beer cocktails will be the star attractions with Garage Project’s co-owner and Head Brewer, Pete Gillespie,  getting among the straining and stirring.

Also on the Monday and also cocktail focused (what can I say? I like to mix my drinks) is the craft beer based industry cocktail competition where with the only rule being the cocktail must contain some form of beer or hops hosted by Monkey King Bar and Dainton Family Brewery and judged by some of the industry’s leading cocktail bartenders and Dan Dainton. This is a great chance to watch some of the finest cocktail slingers in Melbourne fight for a chance to be crowned King or Queen of the Hoptail.

I’m very much looking forward to spending some of my beer week time at Two Row this year, the headquarters for the Pink Boots Brewers. Taps will rotate all week long with different beers made by women from all over Australia and the world There will be an opportunity every day to learn more about beer from the women who work in it with free educational and tasting seminars at 5:30pm.

A Bar Above in Richmond are hosting the team behind some of Australia’s best craft beer brands on their rooftop across Good Beer Week.  They will also have a food and booze special, with your choice of Buffalo wings or pork ribs as well as a schooner or bottle of the host’s finest brew for only $15. Check out their schedule and reserve your spot here.

Dr Morse in Abbotsford is putting on 4 fabulous free entry events starting with Californian Beers on the 15th, a Two Birds/Newstead collaboration launch on the 17th, Italian sours on the 18th and Japanese Beers and BBQ on the 19th. Expand you beer horizons with some limited edition beers served up with some great food.

Abbycollaby is 6 years old now, the traditional collaboration between the Abbotsford breweries, Moondog, CUB & Mountain Goat, raises money for Collingwood Children’s Farm and is launched on the Wednesday of Good Beer Week. Make a night of it by calling into the Royston Hotel on the corner for their Feral Vs Nail 10 tap combat where to of W.A’s finest put it all the line to see who comes out on top. Finish it off with a short walk down the road to see Slow Beer and indulge in some beers, boilermakers and  picklebacks.

One of my favourite parts of Good Beer Week is the chance to learn more about it from some of the industries best. Y & J is on board with this by hosting Beer School, a week of classes, talks and activities around beer. With the help from special guest stars from Australia’s top breweries, they will present a series of hour long sessions looking at the basics of beer. Sample beers while learning what makes them so tasty. Running from 2pm each day from Monday to Thursday, they are free for all.

I could not finish this post without talking about some of the great tap takeovers that will be happening around town. Some will be lasting all week like Exits takeover of Slow Beer with 4 one off releases, An Irish Craft Beer tap takeover at The Fifth Province in St Kilda, an all Northern tap takeover at The Stolberg with the guys from Hawkers, Kooinda, and 3 Ravens  as well as the ever brilliant PoO venues (thats Pint of Origin if your wondering). I always try to drop in to a few of these as it’s where you get to see the progression of a brewery as the chance to see a whole bunch of their beers in one spot tells you a story of where they are and where they are going.

Happy Good Beer Week all, let me know if I have missed your favourite out and I’ll add it to the list.

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

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.