Visit the Tandleman's Beer Blog site

Did you know that Melbourne has more trams than anywhere else? Well, I think that's what was said. I can confirm at least the place was hoaching* with them. A line on every corner, it seemed. Anyway, on our free day, we made use of them to explore. As well as walking our feet off, we visited one of the best markets I've ever been in - and I've visited plenty. The quality and range of the food was outstanding. We ate in one of the most Chinese Chinatowns I'd ever set foot in - we were the only gweilos in a very big restaurant. We also visited the oldest pub in Melbourne, the Mitre, where I enjoyed pints of Cooper's Pale Ale and observed, in the Central Business District at least, that lunchtime drinking was alive and well in this part of the world.
Of course, we went to the various tourist spots - and enjoyable they were too - but the lure of beer was strong, so we decided that a little train journey to a nearby suburb of Abbotsford was a plan. Two microbreweries were the aim and that required a visit to the fabulous Flinders St Station and the nearby Prince's Bridge Hotel, a large and handsome pub and just the place to people watch. This had a fine front bar and a larger room to one side where some people ate and some simply socialised and drank. The bar was basically full of drinkers of all ages and became so busy in our late afternoon visit that the main doors were closed and the less obvious side door were used to limit the ins and outs. This was a fab pub, and we left with considerable reluctance. We got on the wrong train. Well, not exactly wrong, but it was a limited stop which overshot our target station by one. We crossed over by going down to the road and amazingly a different micropub than the one intended was just over the street. Be rude not to, we remarked. Bodriggy Brewery was quite small and very welcoming, and we enjoyed the banter with the barman and locals. I even won a free pint on a (free) scratch card - well, it was a half pint, but they gave me a pint anyway. Going for a pee, I was shocked to see that behind the cosy front bar was a huge beer hall with the brewery at the back. Blimey. How had we not noticed that? Again, the staff were great - they even charged my mobile for me - and we had a fine time checking out the beers. Sadly - a recurring theme - none were remotely dark.
We checked Google. Stomping Ground Brewery was only a ten-minute walk away. This was a much busier, more family oriented brewery. We ate there and enjoyed the beers and ambience. We noted the age range of those visiting was more diverse than at home, and frankly all the better for that. Disappointingly, there were no dark beers again, but there was some shiny kit..So, a successful day. No pint or schooner issues were encountered. In the more southern parts, it seems imperial pints are fairly to very common. This didn't last, though.
More Aussie beer culture. Pints were commonly unetched nonics, even when lager was served, which was strange to this writer at least. Branded glasses seemed rare beasts though the pint barrel jug, sadly was not. More of this soon.

Next week I'll cover the outback and the North. Beer glass oddities will feature. In the meantime,I'm off to Dundee and the CAMRA Members Weekend and AGM.
* Look it up