The Portland Hotel & James Squire Brewhouse

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The Portland Hotel & James Squire BrewhouseThe Portland Hotel & James Squire Brewhouse
33 Ratings
The Portland Hotel & James Squire BrewhouseThe Portland Hotel & James Squire Brewhouse

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

115-127 Russell St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

+61 3 9810 0064 | map

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Added by rastaman

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View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of SlightlyGrey
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of Act25
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

I'm never unhappy in a brewery pub. But it was really quiet here, and the food was on auto-pilot.
No one here at 9 on a tue at 9.
Over priced $12 flight that would cost $5 at carton.
Beer and food selection low. But it's a fun, large place and the one of the comfortable pubs in Melbourne.
Service was great.

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Photo of 31Sam13
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of ddaedalus
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2.25 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Brewers seldom available. selection is limited and bar staff are not knowledgeable.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Agentveba
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of bylerteck
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of heygeebee
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

My my - what a gap in years between reviews on this place!!!!

Went on a Sunday arvo at Fur or so in January.

The pub is wooden. Wood everywhere, floors walls, you name it. Multi stepped floor and a fair few nooks. We sat at the window, you can also sit at tables the pavement. All very 'city-pub, anywhere, the world'-ish really, Difficult to tell what it would be like when full.

Had the Red Ale which was good, selection is all the Squires plus one of two others. The Stout was not available, and the bar-tender could not tell me when it would be back on - ie hours, days, weeks. A Wit also available, and Hop Thief, over and above regular JS range. Bar staff pleasant but not beer nerds.

Didn't have food, restaurant next door.

Overall, an OK, if basic, venue.

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Photo of soju6
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The Brewhouse has a relaxing and friendly atmosphere and is quiet in the afternoon. The Bartenders i spoke with seems quite knowedgable about the beers. Before & after a "Footie" match the place is usually packed. The Brewhouse has 8 craft brews on tap, 3 are exclusive to this brewhouse only. Something for every taste. I first visited back in 2007. Still has the same quality brews. My favorites brews were the Highwayman and Golden Ale. Good pub grub is available, although you have to order at the bar. The restuarant next door has a more extensive menu, but have to wait for the brews. Worth a stop if visiting Melbourne.

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Photo of Otterburn
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Good place for nice brews. In the heart of Melbourne. Downtown.Its a very tourists friendly location. All around there is animation and lots to do. Nice pub with fresh beer
I try the special red ale of the month, tHe Hellfire. Wich was pretty good and tasty so I order another one.

Not very crowd, it was the afternoon, and it was a nice place to stop try one of their brews.

The service was alright and the girl who gave me the beer was beautifull.

I didnt try the food, and I,m not sure there is at the pub, but, you can order at the restaurant
that is situated right on the other side of the building, you can order at the bar and they prepare the food in the kitchen of the resto
so its alright! french fries looked pretty good

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Photo of chaosworrier
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

After a less than ideal experience at the Belgian Beer Café Bluestone, I was thoroughly impressed with this brewhouse.

They had a wonderful range of brews, including several only available on the premises. They also introduced me to the concept of sampling beers by putting little glasses in a board.

All of their beers had wonderful, distinctive characters. I place a high emphasis on how knowledgeable the barstaff are on beer and was pleasantly surprised that they all seemed to not only enjoy beer, but also enjoy talking to customers about it.

As I had to meet my wife for dinner, I did not eat on the premises.

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Photo of brendan13
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Visited on a quiet Wednesday night.
I would imagine this place would get pretty busy on a Friday night as an after works drinks place. People there seemed to be drinking the JS range or wine.
The beer was fresh and yummy. I asked for a Portland Pale which was out so I got a Golden Ale. I walked around to the other side & saw they had Speculator on tap around there. DOH!
As well as this they also had The Craic on tap as well as all the beers that are available in bottles. They also have a few other Lion Nathan beers.
Didn't have to wait long at all to get a beer but it was very quiet.
I didnt have any food but looking for the menu I'd describe it as up market pub grub. All the meals had beer suggestions.
I ended up having the Golden Ale, Speculator, Porter & Craic. All were pretty good.
Overall if you find yourself wanting a pub in the city that has decent beer then this is the place. If you want a huge selection Cookie is only 5 minutes walk away if that.

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Photo of jarmby1711
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Visited the Portland on a 38C day on a rare trip to the city.
i remembered this pub in a former incarnation as a divey pis house.
things have certainly changed over the years.
I only experienced the reataurant part and ws only there for a quick meal.
The large space is quite noisy as there is a concrete floor.It wasnt particularly crowded at the lunch time we were there,but I imagine it would be rowdy come Friday night.
The 2 staff on duty were friendly , skilled and competent ( unlike most places I have visited in the yarra Valley recently).
The menu was reasonably standard for a pub , not offering anything unusual or too inventive.
The bruschetta was as good as i have had ,Fresh clean tomato,onion and oil on a good chunk of bread.
Flathead fillets were fresh thick and not overly battered .
asparagus and mushroom strudel was about as inventive as things got and was well done.
I thought that there may have been a few more JS beers on show They had Pilsener,Amber Ale visibly on tap and a board with Portland Pale and Highway man Ale.
The highway man was off but Speculator and craic were also available.
I would like to revisit on a cooler day with the thought to settling in to geta better feel for this place,as i am sure it would impress more under different circumstances

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.25/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I really miss this place. I practically had to drag some of my friends to come with me to find this place during my stay in Melbourne, but by the time we left, they had smiles on their faces. This place has a really cool atmosphere with lots of wood, fun facts about James Squire, and beer itself. You can also look in and see some of the equipment they use to make the beer. The special beers they have there are top notch. I also visited the one in Sydney, but I have to say that I liked this one slightly more. In all my ignorance as an American, I thought you had waiters who came up to you, rather then walking your ass up to the bar and ordering your food from there. Food was excellent by the way. If I had the oppurtunity to go back, I would in a split second. Even though I complained about the quality of Aussie beers in comparison to American ones while I was there, I still gotta say that I would love to get my hands on some of the beers from James Squire. Thank God Cooper's has made their way over here. Cheers

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Wow! I can't believe I've never written a review for the Portland! I've only been there a couple dozen times and even took the above pic. Geez...what's with me?!

The atmosphere in the place is quite cool. Old-timey-looking drawings and pictures line the walls, giving James Squire's life history. Three big plasma screens and a projector show whatever's on tele at the moment. The brewhouse is neatly displayed in the corner, and pretty much the full range of James Squire beers are available on tap. In the back room you'll find a couple pool tables and the Portland Hotel's restaurant is attached. They produce some mighty good meals. Anyways, James Squire Brewhouse is my bar of choice to grab a daytime beer. The staff is helpful and knowledgable for the most part, and you might be lucky enough to run into Doug, the head brewer for James Squire. He splits his time between the big brewery in Sydney and the small one in Melbourne. In addition to the usual suspects (Pilsner, IPA, Porter, Golden, Amber) you'll find some brews that are only available here (Portland Pale, Speculator, Highwayman, Currency Lad, or my personal favorite Hop Celebrator).
The place definately gets kicking on Friday and Saturday nights and it loses the beer bar atmosphere and becomes more like a night club, complete with smoke so thick that you can't tell what flavour beer you're drinking, so don't make a weekend night your first visit.

Regardless, The Portland should be on your must visit list if you're doing a CBD beer tour.

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Photo of BeerNutta
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Hmm... JSB is a great place with great atmosphere. The beer is great and if you want to eat snacks then its fine. I felt however, for the bigger meals such as steak, it was a bit pricey.

However other than that, it is a great place to stop, chill and have a beer. Their selection was pretty good as well. Although I'm told that sometimes, some house beers are not availiable. Which is fair enough. But if they are all there, you should be able to find a beer for even the pickiest beer drinker.

P.S. If you dont like crowds. Do not go on friday or saturday nights. Its packed. Not cool. Unless you single and wanna pick up.

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Photo of diablo14
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

always my favorite place to go for good beers on the weekend, the portland hotel as great beers, great service and when youve got time for a meal, great food.

i get great service, but its hard not to be a little biased because they all know me in there and know what i like. they have all the malt shovel beers on tap, and tooheys old and new. imports include becks and speights gold medal ale. best thing about the place though is they always have at least two, but sometimes as many as four or five of their own. all of which are pretty darn good beers. governors pleasure and portland pale being among the best.

usually packed early on a friday night (but then everywhere is in melbourne at that time), any other time its quite kicked back, and theres chairs and tables outside for a beer in good weather. the food is also pretty handy, with several meat and seafood dishes, many cooked incorporating james squire brews. the highlight has to be the james squire porter mud cake. the beers prolly better in the cake i must say.

if youre a historical type, the colonial look of the bar and tidbits of info all over the wall make for some interesting reading. you also get a clear view of the microbrewery, although even when theres beer on the go you dont see too much happening. if you ask nicely theyll take you in for a look.

if youre in melbourne and youre looking for a place with variety, on the tap and on the menu, and just want to relax, the portland hotels the perfect place to go.

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The Portland Hotel & James Squire Brewhouse in Melbourne, Australia
Brewery rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 33 ratings