I love Melbourne’s pubs. I have since I first started drinking in them.

I remember heading across the road to my then local to catch the footy one fine winter’s day. I’ve always preferred watching the footy in a pub. Partly it’s the beer, partly it’s the atmosphere, partly it’s the witty commentary from some guy who’s confused being drunk with being funny.

The game ended and the masses slowly headed out the door. There was just me, the barman and a handful of locals I could tell spent more time on average in this pub than in their own house.

I struck up a conversation with the owner somehow – it’s not usually my thing to talk to people I don’t know. I guess this guy just had that long forgotten talent of talking to customers in order to keep them drinking. He was full of jokes and stories so I was happy to oblige.

Over the next couple of hours I was given a thorough history of this particular backwater pub, as well as a history of all pubs in the city. We talked about pubs in Port Melbourne where famous unsolved murders took place. The history of the infamous six o’clock swill. The fact that many pubs have tiles on the outside.The reason why there are so many pubs in Melbourne. And the reason why every year there are fewer and fewer.

Ever since my appreciation of pubs has changed. I love the unique architecture of Melbourne’s pubs, I love their history, the locals, the beer gardens, the footy, the food, the community, the music and even graffiti in the toilets.

I also, sadly, think the traditional Melbourne pub is dying.

My aim with this blog is to spark renewed interest in this local institution and to bring to you some great history. I want to tell you about my favourite pubs. Tell you about an amazing beer I’ve discovered on tap somewhere. Talk about pubs as live music venues and voice my disdain for the people who move in next door and then complain about the noise. Yes, there will be pub reviews, but I hope to get talking to the owners and patrons of these fine establishments and report back with stories, tips and jokes, and maybe even start some sort of beer-fuelled revival.

In return, if you have any tips for me that I might not have come across yet (I am but one man with one very second-hand liver) please send me an e-mail and I’ll be sure to check it out.



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