When you want an apple you go to the greengrocer; when you crave some fresh bread you head to the bakery... and when you want a memorable beer, make your way to Beer DeLuxe.
Tucked in next to the National Gallery in Federation Square, Beer DeLuxe is not so
much a single venue but an entire complex (salon, cafe, hamburger bar, beer garden & restaurant) devoted to exposing the everyday beer
lover to a wide and varied selection of great brews. It's a place that prides itself on bringing the world's best beer to one
place. From local microbrews to quality imports, here beer is the religion and you,
the dedicated worshipper. You won't find a pot of VB here.
The 'Beer Salon' is where we found ourselves late one Saturday night, a large split level space which features long beer-hall style tables and a collection of
quirky light fittings across the ceiling. A large blackboard feature wall adorned
with witty, beer related musings provides plenty of chuckles amongst punters.
The aptly named 'Beer Bible' is an enormous selection of bottled beers, divided into
12 different styles, from breweries as local as Richmond to far flung corners of Europe
and Asia. The glossary is a great addition (especially to beer newbies as myself) to decipher the detailed descriptions of
each beer style.
The bar staff are friendly and extremely knowledgeable about their products. It is
obvious they are passionate beer drinkers themselves and were happy to answer all
the nerdy questions my beer nut drinking partner had. For non-believers there is also a fully
stocked spirits bar, short wine list and a thoughtful selection of boutique ciders.
While beer is the main focus, the Salon also offers a generous menu of tasty tapas
style morsels, designed to perfectly pair with your drink. Also on offer are pizza,
pasta and salads at average Melbourne CBD prices.
Outside the beer garden features its own separate bar with cheery red umbrellas and
dark timber benches in an attempt brighten up the stark cement and geometry that is
Fed Square. However a lack of foliage, bar a few spindly trees makes it feel a
little bare and it lacks the character and friendliness of a great beer garden.
During the week the Beer DeLuxe is abuzz with the lunchtime and after work business
crowd. It's suits a plenty with a smattering of uni students and the odd tourist.
Weekends are a quieter affair with most choosing it as a meeting point for a few
drinks before heading elsewhere.
Beer DeLuxe is the beer equivalent of fine dining. It is pricey but the experience
of trying some new and exciting is well worth it. With an ever changing selection of
beers, it's the sort of place you can keep coming back to and always be pleasantly
surprised. Even the sceptics will leave converted.