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Crafty Pint

Your Guide to Australian Craft Beer / Thursday 28 August 2014

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Australia’s first beer-only bottle shop, Slowbeer is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave for beer lovers. Crammed onto its shelves are 900 craft beers sourced from all over the world, including around 250 homegrown varieties, among them popular favourites and rare, limited release longnecks.

Originally the online beer arm of Cloudwine Cellars, Slowbeer soon demanded its own venue and opened in Hawthorn in 2009 before moving to its current location in Richmond in April 2012. Run by young beer enthusiast Chris Menichelli, it’s his beery take on the slowfood movement that started in Italy with its emphasis on regional character, quality ingredients and appreciation of the culinary experience. Dedicated to the promotion of better beer, it’s worth allowing yourself plenty of time to browse everything from crazy Scandinavian, American and Asian creations to the latest Aussie brews.

There are monthly tastings as well as a range of specialist beer glasses for those who take pride in how their tipple is delivered. And, as of mid-2010, Slowbeer became the first bottleshop in Australia to offer customers the chance to take home draught fresh beer in growlers – 2l glass jugs. International brewers like Mikkeller have already featured on the system, with Bridge Road’s Fifth Anniversary special, the B2 Black IPA, the first local brew on tap.

At its new home, it has expanded its offering to include four taps and the opportunity to drink your beers on premises for a small corkage charge. There’s seating inside and on the footpath at the front. A beer garden is due to open for summer 2012/13. Chris also now offers choice beer nibbles, from artisan cheeses and olives to smoked and cured meats.

Regularly featured brewers