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 stores across Melbourne also stock scores of craft beers from home and abroad.
Lining the shelves and filling the fridges at their Fitzroy North store (their main beer outlet), 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 more out there selections from Hitachino Nest and Baird.
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 occasional beer events, some featuring guest brewers. If you ever fancy a change from malt and hops, there’s a good selection of craft ciders and, of course, the wines that kickstarted the whole endeavour in the first place, all inside some of the sexiest looking bottleshops in the land.
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