Easily the best bottle shop I visited while in Australia. They had an impressive array of imports. Lots of English, Belgian, and German offerings, even a few from Canada and the U.S. (Rogue and Sam Adams)
It was here that I finally found the "boutique" beer I was looking for. They had at least a couple of dozen Australian breweries represented. I actually had a hard time narrowing down my selections, because of my limited luggage space. I settled on a nice mixed sixer and a couple of 750's that cost me a total of a bout $50. Steep by U.S. standards, but par for the course locally.
I was shocked to see a familiar pshycedelic pink and gree cap. What the hell did they have from Three Floyds?!? It turned out to be Oat Goop, their collaboration with Mikkeler. I couldn't even find that in PA! I couldn't spend the $42, but it was still cool to see a familiar face so far from home.
I mainly visit the Brighton branch of this 3 store operation (with the other being in Camberwell). That being said I popped into the South Melbourne store when I was at South Melbourne market just to check it out. It's a lot smaller but still the shelves are packed with great beers from aussie micros to top class imports.
As already mentioned the price is great. Weihenstephaner for only $4.70. Even Dan Murphys is $4.99 and some other places close by are as much as $5.95. Big difference when you drink a bit of that like I do. They are always getting new stuff in so if you are after something in particular then just ask. If it's available in Australia they'll probably get it in.
I was at the Brighton store and they'd just received a fair bit of Belgian stuff and a few days later received a large amount of English ales including some they hadn't had in ages. I spent lots of money on beer that week.
Edit 20/4/09. Recently have been a big supporter of the imports from Innspire such as Rogue, Mikkeller, Meantime, Flying Dog etc.
These beers are pretty pricey but they are still charging resonable prices given the circumstances. Also lots of good Belgian stuff, including the elusive Cantillon.
I'm surprised no one has reviewed this yet, following a lot of enthusiastic comments about Cloudwine from Melburnians on the forum.
It's a small almost anonymous store, with the Chimay sign outside the only hint of the wonders within. It's really a wine store, which specialises in really great wines at each pricepoint, mostly from wineries that are not widely available in other retailers - a nice philosophy that seems to extend to the beer as well. The beers are hidden around a corner at the back of the shop, like an Alladin's cave of loveliness. There are around 100 Australian micros and 200 great beers of the world, mainly Brit, German and Belgian. No arsing about with mediocre macrolagers either - some fantastic beers here and plenty of new things to try and old favourites you don't see too many places. Guaranteed kid in a sweetshop feeling.
Oh and what's more it is cheaper than anywhere else I've come across in Melbourne: plenty between $2-3 and the no more than $6.50 for most brit ales. The guy in there is always very friendly, approachable and helpful although I've not quizzed him on beer much so far.