Buying your beer used to be an arbitrary choice based on which beardy CUB advertising campaign tickled you the most. No more. Aside from the hipsters ironically drinking Foster's cans at Huxtaburger, we’ve become a town of craft beer drinkers, and people like Chris Menichelli are coming to the party with kegs blazing.
Slow Beer is the best-stocked beer shop in Melbourne. That’s a fact. The shop had to shift digs from Hawthorn to Richmond last year to accommodate the 1000 plus inventory of local and international craft brews. Crazy red rice Hitachino ales from Japan knock labels with limited release local brews and fruit-forward gear from the Yeastie Boys in New Zealand.
Ordinarily we’d tell you to make off like a bandit with a mixed bag (you get a ten percent discount on a dozen), but the beauty of this joint is that you don’t have to.
Between the heaving fridges and shelves sits a broad communal table where you can prop it up with selections straight from the fridge, or have them pour one out for you from one of the five brews on tap. What those will be is anyone’s guess. They rotate constantly, but rest assured you'll wind up sipping something freaky, amazing and probably in limited supply. Breweries are collaborating like it’s mating season at the zoo, while others are begetting their own one-off batches (Little Creatures have just made a Day of the Long Shadow winter beer) that will never again see the light of the line.
If that saddens you, ask if they can sort you out with a 1.8L refillable growler (that’s a flagon to youse) to take home. Want a proper glass? They sell ‘em. Want to know which beer to pair with cupcakes? They run food-matching events that go far beyond the obvious beef and beer.
This is definitely a bar for beer enthusiasts (there’s a lot of nerding-out going on) but with a cheese and charcuterie platter and a 10 percent Sierra Nevada Hoptimum in hand, you may be surprised at how into hops you can get.