Clifton Hill Brewing

Melbourne has always been a city packed with good pubs and, more recently, it’s wholeheartedly embraced small breweries too. Nowhere is that more evident than in the city’s inner north, where good pubs line backstreets and breweries have taken over industrial areas.

Clifton Hill Brewing combine those two excellent elements of Melbourne under one roof, with the welcoming venue housing one of the country’s most tightly tucked away breweries. Although the pub itself is well over a century old, it’s been flying the brewpub flag since 2013, when the family who own and operate it decided to refresh the Queens Parade Hotel while retaining its history.

It means the pub still does much of what it’s long done well: quality pub fare and live music on weekends remain cornerstones of the corner watering hole. But at its heart sits a 800-litre microbrewery that’s surrounded by windows, meaning inquisitive heads frequently peer in to see how the beer in their glass is being made.

Indeed, we’re not kidding when we say the brewery space is incredibly tight: the entire system sits inside an impossibly tiny room that makes moving malt around and canning days a constant game of Tetris. Those beers pour across the pub’s 18 taps, with the core range made up of six somewhat approachable beers and the limited releases allowing the brewers a chance to run wild. But whether it’s a limited release or the brewery’s longstanding Dark Ale or a brand new double IPA, the fact that beer is served mere metres from where it’s made is an awfully strong indicator of freshness.

Since early 2023, their beers have spread their wings further afield following the relaunch of their core range in cans. Their design and Clifton Hill Brewing’s logo were inspired by the pub’s stunning ornate windows that have long watched over the beer drinkers within its four walls. Arguably one of the best places to buy them is from the brewpub’s own drive-thru bottleshop, which features a wide selection of craft beer brewed far outside the pub’s four walls too.

As a true local, the family-run pub is the kind of place that regularly fills with locals but its historic charm and ambience has the kind of power to turn first-time visitors into frequent patrons. There’s a variety of spots in which to enjoy a beer within the pub itself, including the front bar and dining room, and there are fantastic people-watching spots along Queens Parade.

Like the beer, the expansive food menu changes throughout the year, but step in for a meal and you’ll always be welcomed by classic pub fare, including dishes that feature beer as an ingredient.

In a city bursting with beer, pubs and breweries, you'll often hear people talk about the need to do something new, to offer a point of difference. But there's also a lot to be said for centuries-old traditions and by ensuring the food is served hot, the beer is fresh and interesting, and the welcome is warm, Clifton Hill Brewing nails what has long made local pubs and breweries good locals.

Clifton Hill Brewing

89 Queens Parade
Clifton Hill
VIC 3068

(03) 9489 8705
Open Hours

Sun to Thurs: midday to midnight
Fri and Sat: midday to 1am

This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

Clifton Hill Brewing Regulars

Clifton Hill Brewing Dark Ale

A beer that crams more into its 5 percent ABV than you might expect, Clifton Hill Brewing's Dark Ale offers up layers of malty goodness, from soft cocoa and caramel to hints of roast and coffee. The hops add to the picture, giving the beer a touch of fruitiness and an earthy bitterness too. Yet, for all that, it's really about the malts, with a good depth of flavour in a beer that's balanced, dry, delicious and probably our pick of the brewpub's core range.… Read more
Dark Ale

Clifton Hill Brewing Pale Ale

If Clifton Hill Brewing's Queens Parade is a toned down pale, their American Pale Ale is what more seasoned beer drinkers would probably choose for their hoppy session beers. A much deeper hue than the Queens Parade, bordering on amber, slightly higher in alcohol and considerably hoppier, it's all about citrus and tropical hop flavours and aromas, with enough added to the boil to lend it a biting, resinous bitterness that sits alongside caramel and biscuit malts before creating a finish that's lean… Read more
American Pale Ale

Clifton Hill Brewing Queens Parade Urban Ale

Clifton Hill Brewing's flagship beer and most approachable of the pale ales that have followed takes its name from the pub's home and sits somewhere between an Australian and American pale in style: a little bit piney and floral on the nose and a hint of tropical fruit to taste, but with the bitterness kept well short of the point where it might to scare off newcomers to craft beer or indeed anyone wanting an unobtrusive session beer. The biscuity malt character and building hop bitterness plays… Read more
Pale Ale

Clifton Hill Brewing IPA

They've brewed a fair few IPAs at Clifton Hill Brewing over the years but this particular IPA has become a mainstay for the brewery. Sure, it's changed slightly over time and become leaner to better suit modern tastes but it remains a classically bold American IPA. The hefty dose of late-addition US hops provide a blend of piney, resinous and tropical aromas and flavours, while the sizeable bitterness is balanced by the slightly sweet malt body. Like much of the brewery's core range, it's an easy… Read more
American IPA

Clifton Hill Brewing Lager

Since they started filling the pub's 16 taps with their own beers, the brewers at the Clifton Hill Brewing have been rotating through all manner of beers: malty reds, big IPAs, barrel-aged beers, fruit sours and so on. But pubs still need a lager for those who don't want to take their palate on an adventure, and this is theirs. Having said that, if you wanted to take your palate on a journey to Munich, you could do far worse than use this helles-style lager, which immediately conjures the region's… Read more
Munich Helles

Clifton Hill Brewing Raspberry Sour

Clifton Hill Brewing's Raspberry Sour is one of those beers that immediately found its way into the hearts of locals and, since then, it's found a permanent spot in the brewery's lineup. The beer started life as a Berliner weisse before being packed with fresh raspberries that lend it its stunning, vibrant pink hue. Along with the fresh raspberry flavour, the 3.8 percent ABV and its clean tartness make for one particularly refreshing beer.… Read more
Rapsberry Sour

Clifton Hill Brewing Specials

Clifton Hill Brewing Ginger Beer & Pub Squash

Published February 14, 2023
Clifton Hill Brewing has a long history when it comes to making in beer and a much longer one serving it but it’s not all you’ll find when you walk inside. The brewery also likes to experiment beyond just beer - although we aren’t miles away in the case of their Ginger Beer. The traditional drop uses an all-grain pale malt base alongside literal kilograms of fresh ginger and freshly-pressed ginger extract. The result is an incredibly refreshing and dry thirst quencher that is packed with fresh… Read more
Ginger Beer & Hard Lemonade
4.5% & 6.0%

Clifton Hill Brewing Kiwi IPA

Published February 7, 2023
Beer and brewing can be a bridge between people places and Clifton Hill Brewing’s Kiwi IPA is a cross-continental connection in a glass. On the one hand, there is much about the orange and slightly chewy IPA that resembles a classic, old school American IPA given how earthiness and spice are hallmarks of craft beer’s early hops. But those hop notes come courtesy of New Zealand’s Motueka and Riwaka and aren't alone in this IPA, with fresh and juicy guava and lime joining the party too. Will… Read more
Kiwi IPA

Clifton Hill Brewer's Series: Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

Published June 11, 2018
You'll often read or hear about the importance of dealing in subtleties when playing with flavours – particularly big flavours – in beer. And when it comes to big in beer imperial stouts are up there, as is the potential impact that can be gained by ageing one in a barrel previously used for bourbon. But, had brewers stuck to the rules, we wouldn't be where we are now: in the midst of beer's most kaleidoscopic era to date. Which brings us to this Brewer's Series release from the Clifton Hill… Read more
Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

AIBA 2018 – Gold Medal

Clifton Hill Brewpub Brewer's Series Raspberry Gose

Published February 13, 2018
The evolution at the Clifton Hill Brewpub continues apace. In its earliest days, the in house microbrewery at the former Clifton Hill Hotel was responsible for just four of the 16 beers and ciders on tap – and tended to play safe with those. Then the decision was taken to take over all but a couple of the taps with the brewery's own beers and the extra room to play with saw the likes of imperial IPAs, session ales, hopped up reds and more appear, the diversity increasing further as a number of… Read more
Raspberry Gose

Clifton Hill Brewpub Winter Seasonals 2017

Published July 3, 2017
With Melbourne’s winter well and truly set in, breweries across the city have released a wide variety of more seasonally appropriate limited releases. The Clifton Hill Brewpub is no exception, with several beers now gracing its taps best suited to drinking by the pub’s open fire. First off the rank is the Rauchbier, which pours a crystal clear amber before its bacon like smokey aroma lets you know it's a beer for the colder months. Flavour wise, it’s a malt-driven affair with clear aromas… Read more

Clifton Hill Brewpub Centenary IIIPA & Friends

Published February 10, 2017
It's coming up on a year since the Clifton Hill Brewpub decided to remove almost all guest drops from its fonts and let its young brewer take over and fill 13 of them with beers from the in-house brewery. It's clearly proved a smart move as they're in the process of ordering new, larger tanks to help meet demand. It also means they've just hit brew 100 and to mark the occasion they've brewed their biggest beer yet. The Centenary brew is an imperial IPA with which brewer Ben aimed for 10 percent ABV… Read more
Imperial IPA

Clifton Hill Brewpub IPA / India Weizen / Redneck Falcon / Summer Ale

Published June 23, 2016
A few weeks back, we were happy to report that the Clifton Hill Brewpub was embracing its brewpubbiness at last, steadily gobbling up more of the 16 taps in its front bar with its own beers. Then the count was about to hit eight with the manager insisting that 13 was imminent. And he was right, with every tap barring one cider, Guinness and Carlton Draught now pouring beers brewed a few metres away. The Stout we tasted back then has since nabbed their first silver medal at the Australian International… Read more

Clifton Hill Brewpub Stout & Irish Red

Published May 16, 2016
For all that Melbourne leads the way as Australia's craftiest city and Victoria is home to the greatest number of brewing companies in the country, there's little in the way of brewpubs around the city. One of those few is the Clifton Hill Brewpub, where a refurb saw a 600 litre microbrewery installed in 2014. Yet, for the first couple of years, you'd rarely find more than three or four of its 16 taps pouring beers brewed on site, with most instead dedicated to other local and international craft… Read more
Stout & Irish Red

Clifton Hill Brewpub

Clifton Hill Brewpub New World Pilsner - RETIRED

Published February 26, 2015
Wheat beers are a funny one. Sure, not too many are brewed in Australia, fewer still brewed anywhere close to the standards of the originals from southern Germany. But even when they are done well – even with those quality imports – they remain possibly the most divisive or unloved by many of styles. We know plenty of people with an honest appreciation of good beer who will happily declare, on sampling a good one: "I can tell it's a good wheat beer. I just don't like 'em." When the… Read more
New World Pilsner

Clifton Hill Brewpub

Clifton Hill Brewpub Weizen

DISCONTINUED & REPLACED BY A NEW WORLD PILSNER Bavarian wheat beer is a style that isn't brewed too often Down Under and, in our experience, one that benefits more than most from being consumed fresh. Chances are, you won't get a chance to try one much fresher than 8m from where it was brewed, with this one a beer that leans more towards the spicy clove end of the weizen spectrum (as opposed to the banana end) and manages to combine a pleasingly full mouthfeel with a relatively dry finish. Expect… Read more
Bavarian Weizen