I am loving having a new city to explore and would like to introduce you to a couple of new favourites of mine:

The Local Taphouse, St Kilda
I didn’t have the best introduction to The Local. Wandering around in thirty-plus degrees, I walked past it twice. When I did realise that was what I was looking for, I thought it was closed. But, after I’d calmed down, I realised there was a flight of stairs leading up to what may will be one of my favourite bars in Melbourne.

The Local is small and perfectly formed with a bar area, outdoor deck, and an air-conditioned lounge. There’s twenty beers on tap from Australia and the world and you can get a tasting tray of five beers for $15. The Local have the best method for ordering tasting trays. The staff member (in my case a friendly ex-Hop Garden Kiwi) hands you a sheet with the tap list, you circle the beers you want, and you’re handed back with list with the beers filled in on diagram. Simple. No debates over which beer is which.

My selected brews were: Birrificio Toccalmatto Sibilla (a nice little Saison), Temple Brewing Scarlet Sour (needs more sour), Bridge Road ‘The Scrotch’ and 4 Pines Brewing Zumbo Charlotte Wit (the last two were good, but I’d let them warm up too much). The stand out was True South Summer Ale – a Kolsch I could’ve drunk all afternoon. Clean, balanced, and refreshing. The food was amazing too; a pulled pork sandwich with more pork than bread, pickled cabbage, and apple sauce. But more amazing food was yet to come when I visited….

Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew

….and had the best burger of my life. And I’ve had a lot of burgers. It had crumbed mushrooms, peppers, spinach and best of all there were ten craft beers on tap. Ten. At a burger joint. Mind-blowing, I know. To go with my burger I had the Mountain Goat The Naz Chocolate Porter (very yummy) and a Kolsch I can’t remember the name of, which was good, but not as good as True South (seriously, I need to find more of that Kolsch).

The venue is as cool as the name. A long, slightly dark room with a grill along one side, the chairs and tables are funky and the staff are friendly. I will definitely be heading back to Brother Burger, as least another nine times – more if they add more burgers to the list!

The details:
The Local Taphouse, St Kilda
184 Carlisle Road, St Kilda

Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew
413 Brunswick St, Fitzroy