Time Out Melbourne

Fitzroy’s little local delivers on music, beer, cheesesteaks and good conversation

Since their opening last year, the Catfish has made quite the splash in the craft beer world (see what we did there?). Their taps are always charged with something new, rotating through excellent craft beers like Nail Red Ale, which tastes like a bitter and refreshing strawberry rhubarb pie. You might even encounter something unique, like the only keg of 8 Wired Brewing Co’s First Blood IPA to make to Australia. The beers are listed on a big chalkboard, but you’re better off asking jovial publicans Kieran Yewdall and Michael Shaughnessy. They know every drop, and speak of them proudly like chuffed dads in long, easy conversation across the counter, one elbow down, broad smiles beaming on all who enter. And despite their supremely laid-back attitude, this pair of beervangelicals is not content to simply pour the work of others. This year they’ve collaborated with Cavalier to create Catfish Imperial Pilsner, now found in several venues around town. Bitter and floral with a nice alcohol kick that gives it weight and finish, this is a high-octane pilsner you’ll want to be friends with, and they’re planning more collaborations in the future. Catfish is serious about live music, too, being open seven nights with live acts on most of them. You might encounter blues or surf rock in the front bar, or touring groups in the upstairs band room, complete with its own bar and pool table. When there’s no band, they’re playing soul and delta blues on vinyl, often hosting guest DJs. To cap it all off, the kitchen is occupied by Sparrow’s, cranking out the most authentic Philly cheesesteaks in Melbourne. If you hit it too hard on Saturday night, drag yourself to Catfish on Sunday for a bowl of chili fries and a pint of ‘Muddy Maria’, lovingly mixed with a homemade concoction of seasonings and only $10 till 5pm. The comfortable conversation and the spare brick walls give this little bunker the feeling of a a place you can go to when the world is just a bit too much; where you have very own log to hide under and can be a happy little catfish.  

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Updated on 15 May 2015.

By Fred Siggins   |   Photos by Eamon Siggins

The Catfish details

30-32 Gertrude St, Fitzroy 3065

Telephone 03 9417 6420

Open Mon-Thu 3pm-1am; Fri, Sat noon-1am; Sun noon-11pm

The Catfish website

The Catfish map

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