Time Out Melbourne

The saggy sofas have been replaced with delicious ales at this reinvention of the Comfortable Chair

It’s official. We‘re calling bullshit on anyone who claims not to like beer as a beverage. Of course that's not you, but if you have a friend who still needs winning over, march them to the Alehouse Project, stat.

This is the latest dedicated craft beer bar to join the burgeoning throng of its ilk – East of Everything, Slow Beer, and the multiple breweries like Matilda Bay who are opening their vats to the public. And while the Alehouse isn't serving the largest number of craft beers in town (that crown is still held by the Local Taphouse), the range of beer styles across their dozen taps is knock-your-socks-off diverse.

There are dark, malty dunkels, fruity saisons, sharp sours, and sweet, potent barley wines. And because you possibly don’t know what these are, and many taste so compellingly not-like-beer, we challenge you – beer lover or not – to grab a sample paddle, sit down with Tom Delmont at his monthly beer school session ($30) and find something that doesn't hit you just right.

Take the Scarlet Sour. Brewed hyper-locally at Temple Brewery around the corner, it’s a hibiscus and cranberry infused pint of fresh, tart and dry – and God’s gift to those who are feeling a little dusty.

No denying it, this is a spiritual home for beer nerds. You’ll find single-batches and seasonal brews (when brewers make a small quantity of something tasty, or crazy) and rare international numbers – we try an Italian Saison that we’re told will never be back. And there’s something really nice, and kind of sad about that. Beery events (beer launches and other beardy gatherings) take place here regularly too, but don’t take all that to mean this is an exclusive club.

Beyond the well curated beer list, this is your typical gig-playing, vintage-video-game-stocking pub. A deep room of exposed brick, lined with sturdy tables upon which to bash your fists and pitchers at the weekly quiz nights, with a tree-shaded courtyard for dispatching with balmy nights and sunny Sundays. They have a short but fair list of local wines and cocktails (not their strength, mind), and a solid offering of snacks. Antipasto boards of brie, dips and pickled veg will carry at least four of you through a few jugs, and platters of crunchy chicken nuggets in their spicy little batter-jackets make this place a party for everyone.

If you're not already part of the craft beer revolution, it's time to get onboard. You can start right here.

Updated on 3 Sep 2015.

By Gemima Cody   |   Photos by Graham Denholm

The Alehouse Project details

98-100 Lygon St, Brunswick East 3057

Telephone 03 9387 1218

Nearby Stations: Jewell

Open Mon-Fri 3pm-late; Sat noon-late, Sun noon-11pm

The Alehouse Project website

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