Time Out Melbourne

The Beaufort: punching your liver in the groin since 2012

The Beaufort, if you’ve yet to make its acquaintance, is a pickle-pushing, swash buckling, rock’n’roll dive-bar (minus the scunge), where you can get a Cherry’n’Jerry (cherry Coke, Sailor Jerry rum), grease your wheels with some deep-fried pickles, and carve ‘hold fast!’ into the bar. Really – they’ll even give you the tool to do it.

This joint is a nautically themed hangover in waiting, captained by one Dave Kerr. A bartender from way back and sometimes-bars-writer, he’s done enough time on both sides of the plank to know what makes a good boozer.

It goes without saying that there’s tat. Candles burn, King Kong sits behind the bar, and while we lament the $6000 worth of taxidermy fish that were dreamed of but never came to pass, we respect the bartender who prioritises a Hoshizaki ice machine over stuffed carp.

It’s likely there will be arm-wrestling, and inevitable that there will be shots, so you might want to stretch out at one of the many tables if you’ve got a couple of pals. If, on the other hand, you’re here to talk rigs over a few schooners, the anatomically educational bar is the place to be. Just be prepared to take a few pickleback hits – that's a whisky shot with a pickle-liquor chaser, since you’re asking, and it's the reason your night will go wrong.

You might want to at least start with good intentions, and for that there's Shaky Pete’s Ginger Beer. It’s a scurvy-wasting tankard of house-made ginger syrup, lemon and gin, floated with Extra Special Bitter. Picture a mild mannered shandy, cutting loose on shore leave – and all the more delicious for costing but $12.

They’re serving proper mixed drinks at mixed drink prices here, and amen to that. Bloody Marys; a genuine Dark and Stormy of Goslings rum, ginger beer and lime, and Whisky Macs – that fiddy-fiddy mix of Stones Green Ginger wine and whisky, it's occasionally on tap, and $12, on the nose.

Kerr wants this to be a bar for everyone, especially locals, so while he’s offering the drinks he likes: rotating craft beers (currently Growler brown ale), and a sharp Boulevardier (rye, Campari, vermouth), destitute students can still enjoy a frosty tinnie for a fresh $5. How egalitarian.

Between the beers, the fat cheeseburgers, and what sounds like one hell of an ice-cream sandwich (deep-fried sugar coated bread, slapped around cornflake-milk flavoured ice cream) the Beaufort is like a kick to the liver and a fond embrace all in one.

Bring some pals. Wear your boat shoes, and get pickled.

Which Melbourne bar is the best?

Updated on 22 Oct 2015.

Photos by Graham Denholm   |  

The Beaufort details

421 Rathdowne St, Carlton 3053

Telephone 03 9347 8171

Price per person including drinks Up to $50

Open Mon-Thu 4pm-1am; Fri, Sat 1pm-1am; Sun 1-11pm

The Beaufort website

The Beaufort map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

Ike’s Rack Shack

12m - The Beaufort has entered the smokin’ fray with red gum and hickory...


110m - This one is purely for the meat eaters. Go there and grab the pork knuckle,...

Five Points Deli

110m - We knew something was coming. And we were right. The New Mexican expats...

Longhorn Saloon

110m - Pitch up to 118 Elgin Street during the day and you’ll find a...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

La Latteria

143m - Got milk? These guys do – any way you want it. Carlton’s dairy dealer...

Music Swop Shop

163m - This musician’s haunt on the corners of Lygon and Elgin Streets has been...

Porcelain Tea Parlour

165m - Scarlet Killally's shop opened after a successful Pozible crowd-funding...


171m - There’s no mistaking what you will find in this shop with a massive bling...

More venues nearby

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

Get the Time Out weekend planner. Straight to your inbox, every Thursday.
Read more