Good Beer Week: Around the beer world on the 86 tram

A ‘tram crawl’ guide to Good Beer Week.

It’s the most magical time of the year. The leaves are drifting from the trees, footy’s in full swing, and Good Beer Week is back. From May 12 to 21, over 300 beer-related events take over Melbourne and broader Victoria with an objective that’s close to our hearts: encouraging more people to enjoy more good beer. Easy.

There are plenty of opportunities to sink some brews (you can check the full program here) but we’ve worked out a handy route that takes in some of our favourite pubs participating in the ‘Pint of Origin’ – where each venue showcases the best beers from specific places in Australia and the world – all along the north-side stretch of the 86 tram line. A ‘tram crawl’, if you will.

Best of all: the ‘Pint of Origin’ events are on all week, and they’re free (entry that is, not the beer).

Here’s your itinerary.

Stop one: The Catfish

30 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Nearest tram stop: 12, Melbourne Museum or 13, Gertrude St

During Good Beer Week, Gertrude Street’s The Catfish will be taken over by a whole host of brewers from the US state of Oregon, including beers from Breakside Brewery, Commons Brewery, Upright Brewing, pFriem Family Brewers from Hood River, Gigantic Brewing and Baerlic Brewing Co. Take it easy though, you’ve got ways to go.

Stop two: Forresters Pub & Dining

64 Smith St, Collingwood

Nearest tram stop: 15, Smith St

Your second stop is on the corner of Gertrude and Smith. Our neighbours over in New Zealand have one of the most exciting brewing scenes on the planet, and during Good Beer Week, Forresters will honour this with visits from the guys behind Garage Project, a weeklong NZ-hits karaoke party (Lorde or Neil Finn; take your pick), NZ Brewer Speed Dating and kiwi food and drinks. Sounds choice.

Stop three: Beermash

306 Smith St, Collingwood

Nearest tram stop: 19, Johnston St

Øl or öl, it’s all worth a skål. Jump off the tram at Smith St’s Beermash, which is turning into a mini Scandinavia during Good Beer Week with a range of northern European beers taking over its 20 taps. There’ll be beers from Mikkeller, Omnipollo, Amager, Nøgne Ø and To Øl and more.

Stop four: Terminus Hotel

492 Queens Pade, Fitzroy North

Nearest tram stop: 25, Clifton Hill Interchange

Steady on your feet now, you’re nearly done. Hop off the tram at stop 25 and head to Terminus for a hit of hometown hops. The pub will be focusing on Melbourne, with Melbourne music, Melbourne food specials, a Victorian hops showcase, special local brewery releases, and ‘meet the brewer’ events with some homegrown legends of the beer world.

Stop five: Carwyn Cellars

877 High St, Thornbury

Nearest tram stop: 41, Blyth St

Well done. You’ve made it. The final stop. Carwyn Cellars, way up the north end of High St, is hosting an all-round US-themed blowout, where they’ll be pouring over 100 beers from America (including heaps of limited releases and exclusives) with Tex-Mex barbecue being served all week long. Tap takeovers are changing nightly, with beers from Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, Oskar Blues and more. The full rundown for the week can be found here. Once you’ve had your fill of the States, it’s time to turn around the get the tram home.

(Lead image: Alex1991/Wikimedia)