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Great Melbourne Craft Beer Bars

It is the time of year when travel is high on the agenda.

So you might find yourself in Victorian during the holiday period. And if you’re keen on a fresh brew then beer lover and director of Ballarat Beer Festival, Ric Dexter, has compiled a list of the top brewery bars in and around the Garden State that are perfect for craft beer and a bite to eat.

1. Hop Nation, Footscray Former winemakers Sam Hambour and Duncan Gibson wanted to open a brewery in Footscray, an area they felt lacked enough good beer. Hop Nation focuses on natural ingredients, especially hops (for the non-beer enthusiast, these are the flowers of the hop plant, a common beer element). With an assortment of food trucks Friday to Sunday, there’s always something different on offer to eat in the 1800s building. 6/107-109 Whitehall Street, Footscray

2. Stomping Ground, Collingwood Stomping Ground’s brewery and beer hall provide plenty of indoor and outdoor space to eat and drink. With beers divided under headings ‘Easier Drinking’, ‘Moderately Challenging’ and ‘More Challenging’, Stomping Ground has everything for the serious beer enthusiasts. While even the dessert menu contains beer infused dishes, a kid’s play area means it’s still suitable to bring the family. 100 Gipps Street, Collingwood

3. Athletic Club, Ballarat Ballarat local Peter Parry has established Athletic Club Brewery as more than a place to drink beer. For a unique brewery experience, Athletic Club offers fully guided beer making classes where anyone can get the chance to be a brewer for a day. Located only 90 minutes drive from Melbourne CBD, this is the perfect excuse to venture out of town. 47 Mair Street East, Ballarat

4. Bad Shepherd, Cheltenham Bad Shepherd is serving up good old fashioned comfort food alongside an array of craft beers in the south-eastern suburbs. They also offer seasonal brews where Raspberry Wheat Ale with fresh raspberry puree is the perfect drink for this summer. 386 Reserve Road, Cheltenham

5. 3 Ravens, Thornbury With food trucks on rotation to keep your tummies full, beers on tap at this brewery bar are brewed on site from 3 Ravens and Mash Brewing, a WA based company that acquired 3 Ravens back in 2013. Not what you would usually expect at a warehouse style brewery bar, 3 Ravens also contains ‘CoBrew’, a flexible coworking space upstairs allowing local creatives to work and collaborate. 1 Theobald Street, Thornbury

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