Slow Beer

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Beer Travel - Bells Hotel (South Melbourne)

Had an hour to kill before dinner in South Melbourne so a refresher at Bells seemed appropriate enough. I should really have done my homework before penning this note but I would think Bells is the pioneering brew pub in Melbourne. The Ratebeer database indicates that 16 beers have been produced over the years but my visits over the past 2 indicate the core range probably doesn't exceed 5 or 6. Tonight the Hells Bells and the Summer Belle were on tap.

I've never been overly enamoured with the house brews but nevertheless they provide a viable alternative to CUB and Lion Nathan products. For a relatively mainstream pub there's a decent range of beers on tap (say 12), albeit, CUB specialty brands and affiliated imports. This pub puts particular emphasis on meals with much of the floor space devoted to dining. The tucker, generally speaking, is quite good.

The beers?

The Hells Bells (10/20) is a simple, inoffensive brew that is almost Vienna in style (sweetish caramel malts and low hop input). Consistent if not spectacular.

Whilst perhaps an object of interest for the beer geek in the past Bells now comes across as a bit of a relic from a by-gone era. For most punters I think Mountain Goat and Emerald Hill will hold more interest, albeit in less orthodox surroundings.



  • Mate, the only beer really worth ordering there is the stout – but it’s killer stuff. Better than anything Mountain Goat or Emerald Hill have ever done for mine, and in the running for my single favourite Aussie beer. But obviously the surrounds are far superior at... well, just about anywhere.

    As for the range, they changed all the brands a few years ago when there was a change of brewer, so a few are long gone. They briefly expanded from the core 4-5 beers with stuff like the pils and Pop Bells which were both pretty interesting, but then that brewer quit and they just about ran out of beer. They’re back up to capacity on the core brews now, but it remains to be seen whether the new brewer will continue the one-offs/seasonals.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:47 pm  

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