Archive for the ‘Pubs, restaurants, outlets’ Category

Mrs Parma’s

In light of the parochial nature of this blog, it’s very hard to think of a better place to sample some beers than Mrs Parma’s in Little Bourke Street. They specialise in Victorian microbrewed beers and have a great range.

The staff are friendly and knowledgable and always up for a chat about the beers on offer. The crowd changes from suits at lunchtime or just after work to a very eclectic but generally older (ie not teenagers) assortment later in the night. Due to the very nature of the place, the drinkers are usually discerning and more sensible than your average city bar.

They also serve a huge range of excellent parmigiana based meals. The menu would be the envy of many establishments, even given the slightly parma-obsessed nature of Victorian pubs.

Mrs Parma’s is very well-known among Victoria’s beer lovers and has been written about by a few people. This article from ‘All Ale the Big V’ sums it up nicely.

By the way, if you would like to re-live the bad old beer days of the 80s and earlier, you can always opt for a pot of Carlton Draught.

There are lots of other great pubs around with beers available from all corners of the world (and I’ll write about some of my favourites in the coming weeks) but if your particular interest is in local brews then a visit to Mrs Parma’s is a must.



Lots of great beer but where to drink it?

After a long break (from blogging, not tasting) I find I have lost enthusiasm for posting my thoughts on every beer I taste. I will certainly write about any that stand out from the pack but for the next little while I intend to concentrate on another pressing issue – the best places to sample Victoria’s great craft beers.

Research starts …

I’m baaaaaack

Its been a few weeks since my last post due to some time spent in Tasmania, a state that produces some fine beer but seems to hide it quite well. I was in the North of the state and it was impossible to find an outlet that stocked any local beer more adventurous that Cascade without travelling to Hobart. Seems a pity as there are certainly some good brews to be had.

One thing I did find was a copy of The Great Aussie Beer Book (actually it was a gift from my ever-resourceful brother) . Published in 1984, it outlines the state of brewing and drinking in that era. It claims that there were only 6 brewers in Australian then and includes details for their history and the beers they brewed – only some of which still exist. I’m not convinced this claim is entrely accurate as I am sure I had a few beers at the Loaded Dog Pub Brewery in North Fitzroy in the early 80s but it makes for a good story. The book also some good descriptions of pubs and pub culture though the ages. The variety of beer available now is a welcome change but I’m not sure if pub culture has improved particularly!

On the Victorian beer front, I have been enjoying a few Bridge Road brews recently, in particular their Chestnut Lager and also a few Porters.

I hope to write some more about these in the next few days before another period of blog silence due to a holiday in the sun.


What to drink at a restaurant?

I had dinner with friends last night at a great Thai restaurant. I had to settle for a mass produced beer and chose a Singha. A pleasant enough beer although unremarkable after the flavoursome ales I have been drinking lately.

A good reminder of the pleasures of craft brews.

The plan is that one day I will know exactly what local brew would have best complemented the food (not that this will help at that particular restaurant as it was BYO wine only and had a limited range of beer)