If you were asked where you could find one of Australia’s finest bottleshops, one filled with quality wine from Australia and around the world, chances are it would take you some time before you landed on Diamond Creek. But for nearly 50 years, the suburb in Melbourne’s outer northern edge has been home to Nillumbik Cellars, which is owned and operated by the Di Pietro family who have long been dedicated to friendly service and stocking the best liquor and one of the widest ranges of wine, they could find.
The craft beer side of the business might not have quite as long a history as the wine side but Nillumbik Cellars’ embrace of diverse beer styles has been as pioneering as the bottlershop’s commitment to wine. In the early days, that saw them buy beer from some of the country’s first craft breweries, like Little Creatures and Holgate, along with classic beers from the UK, Belgium and Germany. But soon, that beer lineup started expanding and before long, it grew again and again. It means that today, the fridges and shelves are filled with an impressive collection of beers from Melbourne, the rest of Australia and the world.
The beer selection is overseen by Harry “Escobeer” Griffith, who keeps the fridges freshly supplied with frequent new releases alongside the wide selection of core range beers. Keeping true to its history as a pioneer, Nillumbik Cellars’ also holds an impressive array of cellar stock so if you’re looking for a Belgian beer or Australian barleywine that’s been kept safe during the passage of time, Diamond Creek might be your best bet.
Fortunately, if you don’t live nearby, the online side of the business, Wine Sellers Direct, is as comprehensive as the physical store. It features everything from new release IPAs to rare gems from the cellar and has a mix of popular deals on cases of craft beer.
Aside from the excellent wine and beer selection, there's also a wide range of spirits on offer, including scores of whiskies, and an onsite café and deli selling cheeses, meats, breads, chutneys, sweets and the like. The cellars also run a popular service hiring out glassware for events which, given the Di Pietro family’s long history in the suburb, it’s safe to say that they’ve been an essential part of birthdays across generations.
In 2015, they purchased the adjacent shop and, after a fair delay (thanks to the local council attaching the liquor license to the wrong address), the new area created even more space for wine and beer tastings. It also saw Nillumbik open an excellent spot for regular wine, beer and spirit tastings, with brewery reps showcasing their wares once a fortnight. That area also serves as a fantastic spot to actually enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, with locals often wandering in for a quiet night catching up over a beer pulled straight from the fridge.
Since 2012, the family has also run another bottleshop with a great range of craft beer in Melbourne, Greythorn Cellars. As if they were destined to always prove the saying that a rolling stone gathers no moss, in 2023, they also started work on yet another expansion to provide more space for excellent beer, wine and spirits and to welcome people inside.
It seems a fitting move given that as a pioneer, Nillumbik Cellars have always shown that a few changes can always be welcome. Particularly when accompanied by a friendly smile and something delicious to drink.