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Crafty Pint

Your Guide to Australian Craft Beer / Thursday 28 August 2014

The Scratch Bar

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En route to The Scratch Bar for the first time, The Crafty Pint was told by two brewers (from different breweries) that they thought it was the best craft beer bar in Australia. A big call, for sure, but one that suggests that whatever it is they’re doing there, they’re doing it well.

So what are they doing there? Well, lots of massive beards for a start. Plenty of humorous decorations appearing in the most unusual spots too. Your fair share (or more) of witty and whimsical slogans adorning the walls. And beer. Lots of beer. More beers on tap in a year than you’ve had hot dinners – many of them brewed especially for the venue (sometimes by people who work at the venue) and never seen anywhere else. And more far out stuff in bottles too. Not that they only serve and sell far out beers – we’ve even attended a “Boring Beer Festival” there celebrating “normal” craft beers – but they do seem to have a soft spot for the esoteric.

You can get cheese platters and the odd wine and spirit too. And admire their collection of toy soldiers. But essentially, what you’re getting is an invite into the playhouse of some beer-loving guys having the time of their lives; or, perhaps more accurately, an invite through a Being John Malkovich-esque porthole into their brains as they have the very beery time of their lives.

They cracked through hundreds of beers on tap in just their first year despite having a venue with a capacity of just 60, have no intention of slowing up, host regular events and are only too willing to take anyone – newcomer or beer nerd – on a guided tour through their beer list, even if they don’t sport a beard. And if that isn’t equal opportunities in action, we don’t know what is.