Clifton Hill Brewpub

There's little doubt that Melbourne has led the way when it has come to embracing craft beer wholeheartedly. It's the capital of the state with the greatest number of breweries, its pubs and bars embraced the new wave of brewers earliest and is home to one of the world's best beer weeks, when May sees Good Beer Week, GABS and the Australian International Beer Awards combine.

Yet it doesn't have too many in the way of brewpubs, be they pubs with a brewery attached or breweries with a venue attached – even if that is starting to change. Head further away from the CBD and they're becoming reasonably populous but there's no area like, for example, the inner west of Sydney. Flying the brewpub flag since 2014, however, has been the former Clifton Hill Hotel.

Now the Clifton Hill Brewpub and in its fourth incarnation as it has evolved with the times under the stewardship of the same family, the corner hotel now has a 600 litre microbrewery at its heart. Designed and installed by Costa Nikias of La Sirène fame, who also helped devise the launch beers, it has evolved from an place where just a quarter of the taps featured beers brewed in house to one where the brewers now fill all but a couple of the 16 taps with a rotating lineup of increasingly adventurous offerings. The brewery is surrounded by glass so inquisitive souls can watch the brewer in action.

The setup means that beers, from regulars such as Queens Parade Pale and Dark Ale through to limited releases that incorporate IIPAs and sours, travel less than ten metres from brewery to tap. With a barrel program up and running and some core range and limited release beers being packaged too, there's plenty to keep going back for.

The reinvention of the pub goes further than the installation of the brewery. Out went the TAB and the band room to the rear and in came a cleaner new look and an expansive dining room and cosy outdoor garden at the rear. Behind that is the Thirsty Camel bottleshop that first opened its owners to the potential in craft beer; it now has an entire wall of fridges dedicated to nothing but quality local and international craft beers too.

From late 2017, the brewery has also started releasing short runs of beers packaged in 750ml bottles. Often barrel aged and funky, they hold monthly launches at the venue. The first, a raspberry gose, got them off to a flier too, taking top spot in a Crafty Pint blind tasting.

Name
Clifton Hill Brewpub
Address

89 Queens Parade
Clifton Hill
VIC 3068

Phone
(03) 9489 8705
Website
Hours

Mon to Thurs: Midday to Midnight
Fri and Sat: Midday to 1am
Sunday: Midday to 11pm

Clifton Hill Brewpub Regulars

Clifton Hill Brewpub Lager

Tapped August 12th, 2018
Since taking the decision to fill pretty much all of their 16 taps with their own beers, the brewers at the Clifton Hill Brewpub have been filling them with all manner of beers: malty reds, big IPAs, sour stouts, barrel aged stock ales, fruit sours and so on. But pubs still need a lager for those who don't want to take their palate on an adventure, and this is theirs. One of three core beers to be canned in winter 2018, it eschews the experimentation oft found elsewhere in their lineup for something… Read more
Style
Munich Helles
ABV
4.7%

Clifton Hill Brewpub IPA

Tapped August 12th, 2018
This American IPA first hit taps at the Clifton Hill Brewpub in 2016 and has been one of the handful of beers that's stuck around since, surviving the regular rotations. And it's done do by changing little over that time and staying true to the classic US IPA template. The hefty late addition of US hops go to work serving you with fruity, piney hop aromas and flavours, not to mention a resinous bitterness. Balance comes in the form of a toffee like malt backbone to create an enjoyable IPA that sits… Read more
Style
American IPA
ABV
6.4%

Clifton Hill Brewpub Queens Parade Pale Ale

The Brewpub's original beer and most approachable of the pale ales that have followed takes its name from the pub's home and sits somewhere between an Australian and American pale in style: a little bit piney and floral on the nose and a hint of tropical fruit to taste but with the bitterness kept well short of the point where it might to scare off newcomers to craft beer or indeed anyone wanting an unobtrusive session beer. The biscuity malt character plays as much of a role in a beer originally… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
4.5%

Clifton Hill Brewpub American Pale Ale

If the Queens Parade is a toned down pale, the American Pale Ale is what more seasoned beer drinkers would probably choose for their hoppy session beers. A much deeper hue than the Queens Parade, bordering on amber, slightly higher in alcohol and considerably hoppier, it's all about citrus and pine hop flavours and aromas, with enough added to the boil to lend it a biting, resinous bitterness that sits alongside caramel and biscuit malts before creating a finish that's lean and dry too.… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
5.0%

Clifton Hill Brewpub Dark Ale

A beer that crams more into its 5 percent than you might expect, the Dark Ale offers up layers of malty goodness, from soft cocoa and caramel to hints of roast and coffee. A combination of English and Kiwi hops add to the picture, giving the beer a touch of both tropical, fruity characters and an earthy bitterness too. Yet, for all that, it's really about the malts, with a good depth of flavour in a beer that's balanced, delicious and probably our pick of the brewpub's core range.… Read more
Style
Brown Ale
ABV
5.0%

Clifton Hill Brewpub Weizen

DISCONTINUED & REPLACED BY A NEW WORLD PILSNER Bavarian wheat beer is a style that isn't brewed too often Down Under and, in our experience, one that benefits more than most from being consumed fresh. Chances are, you won't get a chance to try one much fresher than 8m from where it was brewed, with this one a beer that leans more towards the spicy clove end of the weizen spectrum (as opposed to the banana end) and manages to combine a pleasingly full mouthfeel with a relatively dry finish. Expect… Read more
Style
Bavarian Weizen
ABV
4.5%

Clifton Hill Brewpub Specials

Clifton Hill Brewer's Series: Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

Tapped June 11th, 2018
You'll often read or hear about the importance of dealing in subtleties when playing with flavours – particularly big flavours – in beer. And when it comes to big in beer imperial stouts are up there, as is the potential impact that can be gained by ageing one in a barrel previously used for bourbon. But, had brewers stuck to the rules, we wouldn't be where we are now: in the midst of beer's most kaleidoscopic era to date. Which brings us to this Brewer's Series release from the Clifton Hill… Read more
Style
Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
ABV
10.0%
Awards

AIBA 2018 – Gold Medal

Clifton Hill Brewpub Brewer's Series Raspberry Gose

Tapped February 13th, 2018
The evolution at the Clifton Hill Brewpub continues apace. In its earliest days, the in house microbrewery at the former Clifton Hill Hotel was responsible for just four of the 16 beers and ciders on tap – and tended to play safe with those. Then the decision was taken to take over all but a couple of the taps with the brewery's own beers and the extra room to play with saw the likes of imperial IPAs, session ales, hopped up reds and more appear, the diversity increasing further as a number of… Read more
Style
Raspberry Gose
ABV
4.4%
Bitterness
5 IBU

Clifton Hill Brewpub Winter Seasonals 2017

Tapped July 3rd, 2017
With Melbourne’s winter well and truly set in, breweries across the city have released a wide variety of more seasonally appropriate limited releases. The Clifton Hill Brewpub is no exception, with several beers now gracing its taps best suited to drinking by the pub’s open fire. First off the rank is the Rauchbier, which pours a crystal clear amber before its bacon like smokey aroma lets you know it's a beer for the colder months. Flavour wise, it’s a malt-driven affair with clear aromas… Read more
Style
Various

Clifton Hill Brewpub Centenary IIIPA & Friends

Tapped February 10th, 2017
It's coming up on a year since the Clifton Hill Brewpub decided to remove almost all guest drops from its fonts and let its young brewer take over and fill 13 of them with beers from the in-house brewery. It's clearly proved a smart move as they're in the process of ordering new, larger tanks to help meet demand. It also means they've just hit brew 100 and to mark the occasion they've brewed their biggest beer yet. The Centenary brew is an imperial IPA with which brewer Ben aimed for 10 percent ABV… Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
ABV
10.8%

Clifton Hill Brewpub IPA / India Weizen / Redneck Falcon / Summer Ale

Tapped June 23rd, 2016
A few weeks back, we were happy to report that the Clifton Hill Brewpub was embracing its brewpubbiness at last, steadily gobbling up more of the 16 taps in its front bar with its own beers. Then the count was about to hit eight with the manager insisting that 13 was imminent. And he was right, with every tap barring one cider, Guinness and Carlton Draught now pouring beers brewed a few metres away. The Stout we tasted back then has since nabbed their first silver medal at the Australian International… Read more
Style
Various

Clifton Hill Brewpub Stout & Irish Red

Tapped May 16th, 2016
For all that Melbourne leads the way as Australia's craftiest city and Victoria is home to the greatest number of brewing companies in the country, there's little in the way of brewpubs around the city. One of those few is the Clifton Hill Brewpub, where a refurb saw a 600 litre microbrewery installed in 2014. Yet, for the first couple of years, you'd rarely find more than three or four of its 16 taps pouring beers brewed on site, with most instead dedicated to other local and international craft… Read more
Style
Stout & Irish Red
Stockists

Clifton Hill Brewpub

Clifton Hill Brewpub New World Pilsner - RETIRED

Tapped February 26th, 2015
Wheat beers are a funny one. Sure, not too many are brewed in Australia, fewer still brewed anywhere close to the standards of the originals from southern Germany. But even when they are done well – even with those quality imports – they remain possibly the most divisive or unloved by many of styles. We know plenty of people with an honest appreciation of good beer who will happily declare, on sampling a good one: "I can tell it's a good wheat beer. I just don't like 'em." When the… Read more
Style
New World Pilsner
Stockists

Clifton Hill Brewpub

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