June 22nd, 2011 by Crafty Pint
The good burghers of Melbourne’s inner southeast aren’t exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to craft beer venues. But those that they do have, such as The Local Taphouse St Kilda and Chapel St Cellars, are so good any beer lover would happily welcome them in their neighbourhood. And now the choice has got that little bit wider, with the opening of The Local Bottle Store & Provisions in Carlisle Street.
It’s the next stage in the expansion of The Local Taphouse, one which offers a big range of bottled beer, growlers, a selection of small producer wines plus a deli stocking quality breads, meats, cheeses and the like. It adjoins the existing Taphouse on one side; later in the year, an extension to the main bar will open on the other side featuring, among other things, a bocce court and an upstairs terrace.
Taphouse co-owner Steve Jeffares says: “We have tapped almost 600 different beers since opening and almost all of them are not readily available from bottleshops. People regularly leave the venue asking where they can get these, and other, great beers locally. Now we can recommend somewhere.
“While we have space for 2000-plus bottles, we will start with about 400 beers, 50 wines and 25 ciders as well as artisan cheese, bread, smallgoods and other provisions. There will be some specialty glassware, books, magazines and merchandise too. Initially, we will have two growler taps but as we will soon be expanding to 40 taps in the Taphouse next door, we could – in theory â offer 40 beers for growler fills.”
He says they will be organising tastings and other special nights at the store as well as tying in promotions with Taphouse events. They are also planning to introduce growler bikes to Australia, which some of you may have seen on display at the last Fed Square Microbreweries Showcase.
“The growler bikes are European transport bikes which were first used in the 1930s,” says Steve. “We intend using them to deliver goods to people in our neighbourhood. Weâll do it a few days a week initially and see how that goes. We have one bike to start with but will get more if warranted.”
When the bikes are operational, to have your favourite draft beer delivered to your door all you need to do is phone 1300-GROWLER to order and pay, although Steve admits: “Weâre a little worried about this number as, being in St Kilda, we could get phone calls looking for a different home delivery!”
He says The Local Bottle Store & Provisions is a different business to The Local Taphouses and envisages opening more in the future, with Melbourne CBD and Sydney likely to be next in line. The idea would be to incorporate tasting areas where people can crack open any bottle they have paid for, paying a small amount for âcorkageâ, and drink it on the premises.
The store is at 186 Carlisle Street and is open from midday until 8pm (Sun to Wed) and midday to 10pm (Thu to Sat). Call (03) 9537 3300 or 1300-GROWLER, or keep up to date via the store’s blog or Twitter.