Bar, Beer-to-go

468 Bridge Rd
Richmond, VIC 3121

+61 3 9421 3838 | map

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Photo of ddaedalus
Reviewed by ddaedalus from New Zealand (Aotearoa)

4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25
Great outlet. Great srevice and knowledge. Some beers really should be refridgerated that are simply stocked on shelf, not good in a melbourne summer. Staff are great, vibe is great, and selection is amazing. Still, would prefer a smaller selection of more frequently replenished chilled stock as opposed to a mix of stagnant shelf stock and fresh core stock.
Feb 22, 2015
Rated: 4.15 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Jan 31, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by SmashPants from Australia

Dec 03, 2014
Rated: 4 by ubiq3000 from California

Aug 20, 2014
Rated: 5 by Furtanken from Australia

Jul 10, 2014
Photo of wordemupg
Reviewed by wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5
Stopped by a Friday March. 28th, 2014 at 4:30 and again a few hours later after checking out Mountain Goat Brewery just up the road. It was peaceful before everyone finished work and I had a few minuets to check things out without bumping into people. The guy working seemed cool and pretty much made me try what they had on tap, just 4 to work my way through but a couple from 8 wired, Lost Coast DIPA, and Jaipur from Thornbridge not bad for 4 taps. Hundreds of beers and a few I didn't expect like 3F A&T, Speedway Stout, and Victory At Sea, a beer I'd been trying to track down for years. I ended up grabbing Guinness Foreign Extra Stout from Nigeria along with some locals and my Victory At Sea. Onsite consumptions no problem, drinking Stone And Wood Pacific Ale while I shopped, very cool concept. After dinner the place was packed with a constant lineup and people bumping in to you. People eating on a table down the middle of the place and a small patio outside, standing room only. Not much service after dinner as the two guys working were stretched pretty thin, to bad because on my first visit when they were slow I had great service. I'd love to come back on a peaceful afternoon because these guys knew beer inside and out but they were slammed. Great place, great concept, buying beer and eating while you shop is awesome, I'd love to see something like this back home but the liquor license just wouldn't happen.
Jun 12, 2014
Photo of Hoptron_3000
Reviewed by Hoptron_3000 from Australia

3.93/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75
A great selection of craft beers and ciders from Australian, NZ, USA, UK & Belgium. Always a couple of taps for growler fills and in store sipping. Not too much seating but I believe there is now a beer garden out back.

Can always find something interesting that isn't stocked at the big bottle shops.
Jun 06, 2013
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Reviewed by MrKennedy from Australia

3.53/5  rDev -20%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5
Visited the new store a week or so ago on a trip down to Melbourne. Still to do the out the back, beer garden, but open for business with the shop, beer and cheese.

Nice spot on Bridge Road, Richmond, some cafe style seating outside and a big bench down the middle of the smallish shop. One wall with imports, the other wall with Australian and New Zealand beers. Small, but decent glassware selection and the odd book to buy as well.

OK atmosphere, not bar like, but not feeling like you are drinking in a store when you shouldn't. The staff member was pretty happy to talk beer while i purchased a beer to have on-site ($2 premium for small bottles, $3 for medium and $4 for large over the take-away prices).

Quality range, most of the latest imports are stocked as well as decent regular imports and local brews. Again a shortage of refrigeration for hoppy beers, just a couple of fridges there to look after at best a third of the stock. Growlers are tap-filled, not counter-pressure which is another drawback and stopping me from grabbing one to take back home.

Service in-store was quite good, the staff member knew what he was on about, was able to recommend some new beers that they had just got in (Hoptimum) and also take about what good bars in Melbourne had on tap at the moment. Very handy as a beer tourist.

I've also been a mail-order customer of Slow Beer and the business it spawned from (Cloudwine Cellars) for 5 years at least. During that time the service has fallen off a cliff. Last order took 13 days to receive. I've received boxes through purchases and trades from Hobart, Perth, Adelaide, Los Angeles, London, Copenhagen and Brussels in a shorter timeframe than that. Follow up is slow to almost non-existant. It is almost as if you need to chase things up on Facebook so other customers can see your dilemma to elicit a response.

Selection is very good, very wide ranging from Aussie and NZ micros, right through to Belgian and British classics and moving with the times with the US range. Growler/tap selection was fantastic with Brewfist Spaceman on with Mikkeller Black and two other imports.

Prices are sharp, some of the best in the country for craft on most lines. Some others aren't quite as sharp. Surcharge for drinking in isn't bad either, with beers served in nice unbranded tulips.

Great store that i'd patronise regularly if i lived in Melbourne and i will if i visit the city again. As a mail-order customer i can't see myself ordering again unless the service improves greatly. But given my past experiences, i'm not really game to try, so how will i know?
Jun 04, 2012
Photo of mulder1010
Reviewed by mulder1010 from Australia

3.39/5  rDev -23.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4
Kind of torn on this as the shop is really good and Chris is a good guy. have traded with him before and used to order from his shop a bunch for stuff I wanted that was not available in Sydney like Victorian stuff or US stuff.

Shop still stocks a lot of really good stuff but now that Innspire is not the dominant importer in Australia his shop is not really needed for my beer purchases. He still has suggested good stuff to me and my GF when she is in Melbourne for business. last beer I bought from him was a Mountain Goat Thornygoat and that was by suggestion to my GF. Well done!!

the shop is excellent and so is the selection but the downfall of slowbeer is the shipping. brutally slow and brutally poor. From the order process, communication, and shipping time. I get tracking numbers on boxes from other shops, yet I get none and a longer shipping time from melbourne to Sydney as opposed to Perth to Sydney. I and friends have had boxes arrive internationally quicker than from Slowbeer and that is a tragedy as the shop is excellent for range and price. yet at this point it is easier and quicker to purchase at other stores in Sydney, order from Perth or drive to Newcastle and waste gas to get probably older product.

Honestly this is a great shop in Melbourne and if in Melbourne I highly suggest it but if ordering interstate it would be the last shop I would ever order from in the entire country for beer as just the turn time is too long and the lack of communication is woeful at best.
May 07, 2012
Photo of spicelab
Reviewed by spicelab from Australia

3.79/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 5
This review encompasses the online arm of Slowbeer, and is based on approximately 10 orders between $80 - $440 made over the last 2 years. Although I can't really comment on atmosphere, in fairness to the other reviews I've defaulted to the average (4.5)

Slowbeer has almost certainly got the widest selection of Australian beers (despite missing out on some NSW and WA stuff), and with few exceptions (some Cantillon and Scandinavian beers leap to mind) the best selection of imports of any store in the country.

Combined with the lowest prices (again, with very few exceptions) there is a strong case already for not going anywhere else.

Unfortunately the service lets the place down badly. The only stage of the ordering process that involves any sense of urgency is the initial response after you put in the order. Generally you'll get a response well within 24 hours, sometimes in less than an hour.

After that you quickly (or more aptly, SLOWLY) start to discover how accurately the store has been named.

Call me an taskmaster, but if I'm told that "everything is in stock" I don't expect to wait a week or more for an invoice. When you follow it up, you get some kind of dog-ate-my-homework excuse.

It gets better (i.e. slower) after you pay the invoice which comes with the cut-and-paste email telling you that the beers are "packed and ready to go". If you're lucky, the order might arrive in 5 working days (and that's after allowing for an additional day or two to take into account direct transfer or credit card payments to clear). This is despite the assurance that interstate shipping - VIC to NSW at least - should take 2 days.

But more often it doesn't arrive after 5 days. So again you have to follow it up with the store, and again you receive excuses that sound reasonable enough in isolation, until by the 3rd, 4th, 5th time and beyond it becomes increasingly apparent there's a pattern of laziness and neglect.

It might be possible to stomach this level of disinterested customer service if the store was upfront about it. The website could include a policy statement along the lines of "Orders will be packed and sent when we feel like it". At least you wouldn't come out of the experience feeling like you'd been played like a violin.

This review may seem harsh, but I've been very careful to make sure I've negotiated the online ordering process enough times before reaching these conclusions. Until Slowbeer acknowledges its regular customers and drops its relaxed approach to customer service I won't be ordering there again.
May 07, 2012
Photo of GavHaak
Reviewed by GavHaak from Australia

4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
A great store, only been in person once. Chris is great to deal with and always willing to help, plus quick to respond.

Have used the Internet site mainly and it's always worked well. Looking forward to the new website launching soon, also very keen to try the growler service at some stage!

Only negatives for me is the out of date website which is being remedied and the lack of a lot of US beers such as Dogfish Head and Stone. Still, can't stock everything, and I believe they don't stock any grey imports unlike others.

Keep up the good work!
Sep 08, 2011
Photo of burnheartsMKE
Reviewed by burnheartsMKE from Wisconsin

4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Chris at SlowBeer was about the most professional, competent, enthusiastic and genuinely passionate about beer kind of sales-person you would ever want. This small shop radiated a craft-beer-positive vibe; focusing on Australia and New Zealand, but also digging deep into the both the old & new school European brews (and a couple export-friendly American labels). Chris asked me a few questions about my tastes then started bombing me with suggestions. It was a great shopping experience and I happily shelled-out mucho dinero to both support his shop and satiate my greedy ways.

Highly recommended.
Mar 06, 2011
Photo of koolk
Reviewed by koolk from Australia

4.85/5  rDev +10%
I used to shop at Cloudwine for wine and the occasional beer over the years and was a bit disappointed to see the Camberwell shop close. Great service, selctions and prices. That is until this "offspin" opened just around the corner in Hawthorn.

Easily the best beer shop in Melbourne. Takes all the good factors of the other good beer shops in town and adds to them (or removes them, more appropriately). No macro swill. No wine. No random dusty bottles of four year old Ethiopian lager. Just the best available from here and abroad. A great cross section of Oz and overseas.

Chris is a friendly and informed guy, willing to help out with suggestions as well as shoot the shit. My biggest issue would be that the best stuff always seems to be out of stock in the shop, but if you are on the email list then this shouldn't be a concern. The great emails let you know when beers have arrived, which is great if you love the rarer stuff like one off brews or imported sours. The best prices going in Melbourne plus a discount for 12 or more. Plus take away growlers at a decent price. I like it.

This shop is a brave endeavour and even though I now live in the South East I will still spend as much of my beer money there in the hope that it helps it succeed (and grow). Every serious beer geek in Melbourne should be shopping here.
Jul 02, 2010
Photo of jbowers56
Reviewed by jbowers56 from Australia

4.85/5  rDev +10%
Great place. Very well laid out store, with a very high quality range. The only beer store in Victoria with no macro/megaswill to be seen - a fantastic accomplishment. The only time I don't buy beer from here is when I happen to be driving past Purvis or Acland st cellars and find something that is not stocked at slowbeer, or I am buying a readily available beer by the case.

There is only one employee on at any time, as far as I can tell. Chris, the owner/only staff member I've seen working there, is a very friendly and approachable guy. He is more than happy to discuss opinions on various beers as well as share his more than ample knowledge when recommending choices should you ask.

While the selection is perhaps not as large as one other bottle store in Melbourne, the quality of the beers presented is very high, and the product is nearly always much fresher than can be found in other stores due to the high turnover rate and chris' apparently selective nature in the imports that he chooses to stock. Also important to note is that most of his prices are notably lower than those offered by other stores of similar nature.

This would have to be my favourite beer store, at least that I have been to so far! With the upcoming introduction of growlers, I think it is more than fair to say that Slowbeer is playing a huge role in changing the Australian craft beer scene.

Edit: I also really like that chris labels the price on all the beers. This is really helpful for people such as myself who, as a student, need to be mindful of how much we are spending.
Mar 05, 2010
Photo of Bisho
Reviewed by Bisho from Australia

4.85/5  rDev +10%
This little shop in Hawthorn is my favorite place to buy my imports from.

Chris is very friendly and knows his beer. He has a good selection from all over the world (especially my favourite Belgians!) You will not find any locally available mass produced internationals here, only the good stuff!

He does have a great selection of locally made boutique microbrews that are gaining in popularity here. It's great to see that somebody is giving them thier full support.
KUDO's to you Chris!

You can place orders online and shipping costs are quite reasonable. I live relatively close so I just place my order in the morning and pick it up that afternoon!

Opening hours are from:
12pm-8pm Thurs, Fri, Sat &
2pm-7pm Sundays.

Because of the growing popularity, stock levels are sometimes very low but at least I know my beer is fresh when I get it.

My only real gripe would be that I generally spend $200-300 a fortnight in the place but that's hardly Chris' fault! :)

Oh I almost forgot - You will get a 10% discount on the already reasonable prices if you order a dozen or more!

Jan 07, 2010
Photo of dgilks
Reviewed by dgilks from Australia

4.85/5  rDev +10%
Slowbeer is a great little shop in Hawthorn with an impressive range of local and imported craft beer. Chris' service is top notch and he was a pleasure to deal with in the store. The range of beers is pretty much second to none in the country. Unfortunately, this has meant that Slowbeer is very popular and they struggle to maintain stock on some lines meaning that a large number of beers that have been in recently were out of stock. The flipside is that the stock is fresh and of a high quality.

A strongly recommend Slowbeer for their range and for keeping their prices as reasonable as is possible in Australia.
Dec 05, 2009
Photo of laituegonflable
Reviewed by laituegonflable from Australia

5/5  rDev +13.4%
Where to start? A little shop with a huge heart.

I kind of knew what to expect, or at least I'd seen the store in my dreams, but walking in took my breath away. The shelves are stocked, crammed full of magic elixirs, pixie juice, utter ambrosia. I must have spent at least half an hour just going from one shelf to another, delighting myself with the unbelievable range on display.

Having communicated with owner/proprietor Chris via email and twitter, I kind of knew what I was in for as far as service went, because he seems like a nice guy who knows his beer. If anything though I was pleasantly surprised, very chatty and helpful, had a really nice talk about beers from all over the world. I don't consider myself a neophyte when it comes to beer but he was really able to recommend well, and spoke my language when it came to comparing a potential purchase to another beer I may have had. Great stuff.

Oh, incidentally, he also cracked open a bottle of Mikkeller Black to share with me, and while it was probably a cunning business ploy - a 17.5% stout to get me drunk and wanting to buy - I took it instead as a generous gesture. Plus if it was just a business ploy, he needn't have bothered, the store's range sells itself.

I ended up filling a box with 16 bottles - many of them 500mL and above - for around $250, which I think is very reasonable considering what I got.

Like Chris I haven't had the good fortune to visit the US, but I genuinely believe a store like this could exist very happily in Boston, Portland or Philadelphia. I did actually get a pilgrimage kind of feeling when I was on the tram down there. It's a mecca for beer in Australia and a must-visit if you're ever in Melbourne.

I'm hanging out for the day when the Sydney beer scene is vibrant enough to justify one up here.
Dec 01, 2009
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Reviewed by FlyingWombat from Australia

4.85/5  rDev +10%
Wonderful new beer specialty shop in Melbourne, which truly stocks ONLY beer! The Slowbeer guys began their operation as an online service, but have now opened a shop front in a great location. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable and make no fuss if you just like to browse. Most of all, the prices are fantastic compared to the other specialty shops in the area. Regular beer tasting session are a bonus and have been handled very nicely. The only downside is that is is very small, but that aspect hardly detracts from the excellence of the shop.
Nov 23, 2009
Slowbeer in Richmond, Australia
Place rating: 4.41 out of 5 with 18 ratings