Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Local Taphouse - Crafting Experiences

So the Country Liberal Party kicked Labor out of government in the Northern Territory overnight. I found it amusing that the NT Times reported that there was a complaint that the Liberals defaced the photograph of a Labor candidate on an election poster. It proved to be a non-event when it was articulated to the complainant that the Labor candidate actually looked like that. So... did you hear that The Swans, Collingwood and Carlton lost? We also lost the Bledisloe Cup. No shock there.

I have been to The Local Taphouse in St Kilda East now three times in the last month. It is one of my favourite places that I have found and I am thankful for pursing this blog as it requires me to leave my comfort zone of the Melbourne CBD and surrounds.

After walking 10km the first time to get to the corner of Carlisle Street and Chapel Street in St Kilda East, as you can imagine, I was very thirsty so I was really motivated to get stuck into what they have on tap, which seemingly is always changing. Before ordering though, I had to step back for a minute and appreciate the ambiance of the boozer. Dark, classic old world furnishings, what looked to be comfortable lounges, a fireplace and stools near the window. I think I found my "local" even if it is a 10km walk away and not the direction that the crow flies.

I then explored the upstairs bar. The same beer was available on tap, even more varieties were available for purchase in the bottles. Both the downstairs and upstairs bartenders were very knowledgeable and were very keen to assist me in my trip around the world. The beer garden outside is a relaxing place with heaters and a fire raging and although the umbrellas do not provide good shelter form the climactic Melbourne weather, I do not know many that do especially when on occasion hail seemingly comes down horizontally.

The second time I ventured into the boozer, I had taken public transport and was motivated to continue tasting as fast as the beer came out of the taps. I was not disappointed. The fire roared, punters engaged upon pleasant conversation and everyone just seemed civilised. Who would have thought I was in St Kilda East!

My last experience, I met my learned friend who actually lives in St Kilda East but has never frequented this place. We started sampling the various beer available before moving on to wine. It was his decision to move to wine, not mine, as I never thought I would be in a bar that specialises in craft beer and be drinking wine. He did offer to pay for it so, who was I to argue. A condition was put on me that food needed to be ordered though to which I agreed.

I lamented in my review on Merrywell that the "chilli" that was served in a paper cup at that fine place tasted like bolognaise just without the spaghetti. I was desperate for a "proper" chilli at The Local Taphouse because the one that I ordered at The Local Taphouse was bizarre. It may have started out as an American chilli but somehow morphed into a mild curry and was served on a bed of dry rice. I wasn't impressed, but really, do you go to the Local Taphouse to be impressed by the food? My learned friend had the steak and commented that the cut was impressive in a snide remark since it was $30 however the salad should have had some sort of dressing and the chips were cold. In fairness, we were sitting outside in the beer garden at night in the 6C weather and given the amount this learned gentleman likes to talk and smoke, I believe that the food just cooled down naturally.

Regardless of whether or not I use my feet, the train or a cab, I look forward to returning to The Local Taphouse. The are constantly updating what they have on tap on their site so there was no point in describing what beers I drank as besides just saying "they were awesome" I do not know else to contain my glee. Go there for the beer, the ambiance, the professional knowledge, the beer garden and the convenience of public transport. It is that simple. See you there.

The Local Taphouse, St Kilda East

The Local Taphouse
Link to review
184 Carlisle Street  St Kilda East VIC 3183
(03) 9537 2633
My Rating: 14.5/20
Service: 3/5
Ambiance: 4.5/5
Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 3/5
Comment: Check website for what is on tap

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

At the time of posting my thoughts on The Local Taphouse, 90% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon I have also found to have good taste and also like it.

The Local Taphouse on Urbanspoon