Hopscotch, Soutbank

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MELBOURNE | When we were invited to the launch of Hopscotch, Southbank’s new “Urban Beer Bar” we’ll admit that we weren’t expecting too much. For a start, the prime Southbank location means that less effort is required to make a success of a venue compared to more hidden locations (although World Bar, which formerly occupied the site, failed to reach the low bar). Get to the promotional materials and look at the website, and you’ll see street slang used in the way you’d expect a middle aged white marketing person to use it. Moving on, the 30 unique beers on tap are described as “30 flavours of beer” on tap. Not a good sign for a place that is trying to promote (or is that big up) its beer credentials.

With our cynicism goggles firmly attached, we visited Hopscotch for the launch and things were not as expected. The space is one thing that was always going to be good and it’s an impressive change from the old, dark World Bar. The space is open and light, and makes good use of a very open frontage to combine the inside and outside zones. There’s neon, concrete, tiles and bright artwork (by local artist RESIO) which all combine to form something that fits the area nicely – modern and fun.

Impressed by the design of the venue, our eyes then made their way to the beer list and we clearly saw that our initial misgivings were misplaced. Yes, there are some mainstream beers on the taps, you’d expect as much given the location, but this only tells half of the story. Alongside beers like Asahi, Heineken and Melbourne Bitter are beers from breweries like Stomping Ground, Bad Shepherd and Big Shed. There’s also around 20 bottles in the fridges. All up on the taps it’s about a 50/50 split between craft and non-craft. Around 15 unique, genuinely good craft beers on tap any any given time in this part of town is something we’ll gladly take. Even more surprising to us is the fact that there’s actually a microbrewery on site, which will produce a new beer every few weeks to go onto the taps.

For those who aren’t into beer, there are DIY kocktail kits, spiked slushies, or cocktails on tap. The cocktail of the summer, the froze, is available and the signature smokin’ bacon cocktail (vodka, laphroaig, maple syrup, lemon, and candied bacon) sounds interesting too.

Food wise the theme is “street food to share”, with no particular style being represented, rather whatever head chef Adam Baughan feels works. The result are things like beer-can chicken served with mac and cheese, coleslaw, fried brussels sprouts and chicken gravy, or a Reuben sandwich. If it’s snacks you’re after, the Vegemite roasted beer nuts and seeds are very moreish, and you have to try our favourite, the cheeseburger spring rolls. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, there’s even a nitro ice-cream bar serving up light and fluffy creations like beer & bacon or lemon meringue. There’s even breakfast on the weekends – we’ve heard good things about the lemon meringue waffles with lemon curd, burnt fluff, pie crust crumb and lemon powder.

Hopscotch isn’t just a bar that ticks the required boxes in order to survive in this location, it’s a bar we see ourselves going to again, and recommending to visitors staying in this part of town. It’s easy to be cynical in this town, and its nice to be proven wrong once in a while.

Hopscotch

4/2 Riverside Quay
Southbank
Victoria 3006
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9690 6999
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.hopscotchmelbourne.com.au/

Open
Mon – Thu: 11:30am to 11:00pm
Fri: 11:30am to 1:00am
Sat: 8:30am to 1:00am
Sun: 8:30am to 11:00pm

Hopscotch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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