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Crafty Pint

Your Guide to Australian Craft Beer / Sunday 21 September 2014

Blackhearts & Sparrows

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Blackhearts & Sparrows started out as a home for boutique and obscure wines but, in a reflection of the nation’s changing drinking habits, has increasingly become one of the best places to unearth good beer. They might still call themselves wine purveyors, but their three stores across Melbourne – in Brunswick, North Fitzroy and Windsor – also stock scores of craft beers from home and abroad.

Just as Australian and New Zealand winemakers turned perceptions on their head, now the countries' brewers are doing the same, with Blackhearts & Sparrows one of their biggest supporters. The staff have a close relationship with many local breweries, enabling them to get their hands on limited release beers – and they’ve even stepped into the role of educator through their role in events like the Atticus Finch Beer School, at which 16 beers from across the world were sampled in the company of some of the brewers behind them.

Lining the shelves and filling the fridges, you’ll find Aussie brews rubbing shoulders with everything from European Trappist and Weissbiers, to North American Pale and Amber Ales – plus a selection of Asian beers, ranging from refreshing rice lagers through to the out there selections from Hitachino Nest and Baird.

Knowledgeable staff with a passion for beer and regular brewer hosted tastings complete the beer side of the business, while if you ever fancy a change, there’s a good selection of craft ciders and, of course, the wines that kickstarted the whole endeavour in the first place.

NB The Blackhearts & Sparrows shown on the map is the North Fitzroy store. They can also be found at:
131 Lygon Street, Brunswick
88 Punt Road, Windsor
516 Macaulay Road, Kensington
186 Carlisle Street, East St Kilda