Time Out Melbourne

Beat old man winter with a stick of firewood and a freshly pulled pint

The Local Taphouse

With 20 of around 100 craft beers rotating on the taps, a bottle shop doing growler refills, an indoor bocce pitch and private rooms for hosting your own roast party, the question isn’t why you’d choose to shake the chill here; it’s why you’d ever choose to leave. St Kilda East.

The Alderman

They have Boggle, a fire, cheap Beck's and a dog. If you're not down with that, we can't help you. Brunswick East.

The Tramway Hotel

This pub first opened in 1873, but its renowned burgers are far better now than they were then. Recent renovations brought art, fire, 2 Brothers beers and gourmet hot dogs to the table. It’s a party to which youll want a ticket on a Saturday afternoon. Fitzroy North.

Acqua e Vino

OK, it's not a pub, but there are few better places to soak up a ‘lil old school ambience before the mantel. Cocktails, Chesterfield lounges, a jazzy soundtrack and purchasable cigars –  like a speakeasy, minus the constant prospect of death by tommy-gun. Yarraville.

The Wesley Anne

You feel like things could turn a bit gothic (or Scottish) as you sit before the flames and beneath the vaulted ceilings in this converted church. Generally though, things tick over in a convivial candlelit fashion while indie bands play and the craft beers flow. Northcote.

The Union Club Hotel

Famous long before its appearance on TV series Offspring, the venerable Union Club nails the atmosphere of a warm, low-key local. Sink into a leather couch by the hearth with some bangers, mash, beer and a bass guitar backing track. Fitzroy.

The London Tavern Hotel

Double check your shirt colour before you hit the footy house. This is, first and foremost, a pre/post game hype-up and consolation pub. Order your Carlton by the jug, make some pals, and share some burning tales of victory. Richmond.

The Napier Hotel

The food is amazing, but it’s not a gastro pub. The Napier is a pub pub, and nothing is going to change that. It’s festooned with memorabilia, gifted with a garden, and dishes up parmas and pies all built for winter (and built for two). Fitzroy.

Prince Patrick Hotel

The crumbling exterior is a façade. It’s a little bit glam in the PPH and you had better put on the Good Shirt if it’s a Saturday night. This is your middle ground between bar and pub, so you also have the option of drinking Pinot in front of that fire. Collingwood.

Thirsty for more? Seeking fireside conversation fodder? Sign up for the James Squire newsletter and get lashings of expert craft beer know-how, delivered directly from the Melbourne brewhouse to your inbox. Learn how to match beers like a boss, find your city's best roast dinner, learn about working in a brewery, or educate yourself on the nitty-gritty of every English ale type known to man. There – you'll have something to talk about when you're next hanging by the hearth at your local.

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Updated on 1 Jul 2015.

By Gemima Cody, Duncan Campbell-Avenell   |  

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