- Crown Cellars
Corner Bathurst & Elizabeth St
- (03) 6331 4137
Mon - Fri: 6.30am to 8pm
Sat and Sun: 10am to 8pm
Prior to a trip to Launceston a few years back, The Crafty Pint had been advised by someone in the know to check out Crown Cellars, a bottleshop that had started filling its shelves with all things crafty. One thing we forgot to do before arriving was look up the address. We needn't have bothered. Within minutes of driving into the town we spied a giant, flickering sign atop a lamppost in the street ahead.
"WE ARE BEER GEEKS TOO!" it declared boldly.
These days, the sign instead tends to declare an allegiance to Tasmanian producers of the finest beer, cider and spirits. Quite right too with the drive-thru Thirsty Camel offering by far the widest range of quality, small and independently produced beverages of any bottleshop in the north of the isle.
What's more, where there were around 100 craft beers when we first called in, these days you'll find something like 250 – all kept refrigerated. Among them will be packaged product from pretty much every one of the island's brewers, as well as a selection of local craft ciders and ginger beers.
Since 2012, they've been filling growlers too, with a pair of taps ensuring they can supply beer lovers with beers not available in bottle or can. And, while there is a strong local focus, there's no myopic, insular approach here: there's plenty of excellent beer on offer from the mainland and overseas. Throughout summer, you'll find the staff hosting regular tastings too.
Alongside the beer is a wine and spirit selection designed to stand out from the crowd: a strong focus on the rarer Tasmanian wine labels, obscurities from overseas and as many local craft spirits as they can pry from their producers' hands.
The drive thru is completed by Crown Coffee, a graffiti strewn espresso bar offering top notch coffee on weekdays, perfect for getting your day kickstarted after a late night polishing your beer geek credentials.