Far Side Beers is the kind of craft beer bar and bottleshop no community should be without; fortunately for the people of Hawthorn East, it’s been theirs to enjoy since 2016.
Located on Burwood Road, the front bar features six taps that constantly rotate through what’s fresh and tasty, while out the back is a bottleshop where you'll find hundreds of independent beers to browse and choose from.
Back in the bar, the focus remains on quality products: beers from Victoria and beyond are complemented by a range of craft spirits and a strong wine list. The Far Side bartenders also serve cocktails that change with the season and range from the classics to more modern favourites. Wander through to the bottleshop area, and a broad and long wooden table serves as the perfect spot at which to crack open a new beer find – or an old, more familiar one.
But arguably Far Side’s pièce de résistance is a secret that locals might not want you to know about: the beer garden that sits at the rear. Once a concrete slab, it’s been converted into a welcoming space, complete with sky high tiger mural by local artist Steve Cross. The fact it’s cosy in winter and fills with sun in summer makes it an addition that has long been appreciated by Hawthorn locals, particularly as the area has increasingly played host to new apartments. And, thanks to an open invite to bring your own food along, the neighbouring restaurants are more than friendly too.
So, while Hawthorn might be growing, it’s Far Side that's helped make that community feel welcome. While you're most likely to spend time there with mates, their front bar is one of those places you can pull up to on your own to lose yourself in thought with a fresh IPA for company, or chat to one of the friendly faces who handed it to you.
Meanwhile, beer launches, tap takeovers, and events that feature clothing stores and tortilla makers are just part of an eclectic mix of celebrations that makes the bar and bottleshop feel like so much more than just a place to buy booze.
It does it so well, in fact, that while Far Side Beers was built with locals in mind, if you’ve travelled from afar, you’ll soon feel like one too.