Listers, I’d like us all to take a moment to pay our due respects to whoever invented the happy hour—one single hour of power during which consuming large volumes of your beverage of choice becomes significantly more wallet-friendly. But, as any seasoned barfly will know, no two happy hours are created equal, and the bargain bevvies on offer can often resemble something dredged from the dodgy part of the Yarra. So meet the hoppy hour—Melbourne’s best happy hours for beer drinkers that feature brews you actually WANT to sip on. Time to get thirsty!
The Gem Bar & Dining Room, Collingwood
5pm–7pm, Tuesday–Friday | $3 pots, $6 pints, $12 jugs of tap beers
The Gem Bar & Dining Room in Collingwood is one of our favourite northside after-work drinks spots—cosy, characterful and with a top range of beers on tap. With a beverage selection that includes Little Creatures’ top beers (uh, how tasty is Rogers?!), Founders' All Day IPA, Bridge Road Berwery's pale ale ,porter and red Celtic ale, and Guinness, there’s no way you can pass this Collingwood bar without dropping in for a pint. Now with two bars—yup, they’ve opened a new tap beer bar and dining room upstairs—you’ll find a cracking menu here too. Bargain pints AND Texas loaded fries?! You’re gonna be here for the full two hours, folks.
East of Everything, Camberwell
Tuesday nights | Half-price tap beers
Half Cut Tuesday at Camberwell bar East of Everything celebrates the mighty half-price pint. With delicious local tap beers that rotate frequently, this is one happy hour in Melbourne for the true beer adventurer. Last time we dropped by, we were treated to the tasty Red Hill Brewery red triple ale, Hargreaves Hill’s interpretation of a Berliner Weisse beer, and the ever-cheeky Yeastie Boys IPA, starting from $3 a glass. East of Everything, we like your style.
The Last Jar, Melbourne CBD
5:30pm – 6:30pm, Friday | $6 pints of tap beers
If you haven’t been to Melbourne Irish pub The Last Jar, and you’re a fan of the heartier things in life (and by that I mean Guinness and potato-based foods), seriously, clear your calendar and head there for their Friday night happy hour, pronto. Serving Guinness, Kilkenny and a token Aussie beer (cough*Carlton*cough) for only $6 a pint, it’s the perfect way to start the weekend. Oh, and they do whiskey-cured salmon, proper pork scratchings AND a potato and mustard sandwich. Does it get any better, Melbourne beer lovers?!
4.30pm–6.30pm, Monday–Thursday | $6 pints of Monteith’s drinks
If you’re a fan of the lighter things in life (ie. not Guinness), get yourself to Howler in Brunswick for their Monteith’s pilsner and cider specials every Monday through to Thursday. The venue also plays host to some amazing live music and film nights in Brunswick, making it the perfect place to lock in some, ahem, ‘culture’ with your beer-based catch-ups.
The Royston Hotel, Richmond
4pm–6pm, Monday–Sunday | $4 pots, $7 pints of tap beers
With five permanent taps, SEVEN rotating taps and a traditional hand-pump for stouts and ales on site, Richmond institution The Royston Hotel is a true beer-lovers paradise. Every day, you’ll find local beers (we’ve heard they’re currently serving up Mountain Goat’s finest tipples) for only $7 a pint—grab a few mates, a few pints and get yourselves to their pool room for a spot of competition/pretending your pool cues are lightsabers.
The Prahran Hotel, Prahran
5pm–7pm, Friday | $3 pots, $6 pints of tap beers
The Prahran Hotel is one of the best venues for Friday night happy hours in Melbourne. Doing the double, you’ll find all tap beers on offer for two whole hours from 5pm, including Fat Yak, Stone & Wood and occasional local guest beers, as well as $3 glasses of selected wines for you fans of the vine. Better yet, the first hour is a dedicated Karma Kegs hour, during which profits from your pints will be donated to local charities. Sipping for the struggling? I’ll drink to that!
Foresters Hall, Collingwood
4pm–6pm, Monday—Sunday | $5 schooners of tap beers
Beer fans, brace yourselves. Forester's Hall has a massive FIFTY TAPS on the go at all times, serving up some of the best craft beer from Melbourne and beyond. During happy hour, you’ll find $5 Moon Dog schooners, $5 wines, $8 margaritas, $10 espresso martinis…basically every drink under the sun for a bargain price. And with pizza until 2am, it’s the perfect Melbourne happy hour for groups who need fed and hydrated.
40 Thieves & Co, St Kilda
4pm–6pm, Monday–Friday | $6 pints of Lebanese beers
Looking for something a little different? 40 Thieves & Co’s happy hour in St Kilda serves up three Lebanese beers (to accompany their delicious Lebanese menu) five days a week for only $6 per pint. A great way to try something out of the ordinary—as well as get your fill of epic Middle Eastern food—without forking out for that ‘imported’ label. Cheers!
Know of another Melbourne pubs or bars that serve epic penny-pinching pints, or have a favourite happy hour in Melbourne that I absolutely need to check out? Let me know about it here…Mine’s the first round!
Image credit: Tash Sorensen for The Urban List