Good Beer Here: Mechanics Institute Bar

‘Good Beer Here’ is a celebration of pubs, bars and restaurants with great beer. They might not be a “craft beer venue” but they can still have a kick-ass beer list. It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.

The Bar …

Mechanics Institute Bar

Rear 222 William St, Northbridge | Open from midday Tuesday – Sunday

The last time I was at the Mechanics Institute Bar it was after a work dinner, we walked into the bar, ordered drinks and when Billy Joel’s Piano Man came on the speakers we all sang loudly. Thankfully a few other patrons joined in too.

My visit before that night was on my own in early October. I enjoyed a chat with the bartender, a friend of mine, and I couldn’t help but stop mid-sentence and smile because Queens of the Stone Age started to play on the sound system. This was followed by Rage Against the Machine. Gold. Having worked in some places with really horrible music, such as a French version of Hit the Road Jack, I do appreciate some good tunes in a bar.

Mechanics is a small bar located in Northbridge near the State Library. Like most small bars it’s better known for cocktails than beer but they haven’t slacked off in the beer department.

Stroll up to Mechanics and get tasty burgers delivered by their friendly Flipside burger neighbours.

The Beers …

Anything on tap?

There are two taps which change pretty regularly, changes that seem to depend on availability rather than a strict rotation schedule. In October they had Tiger and Monteith’s Crushed Apple Cider whilst on a previous visit there was one of the Mountain Goat (VIC) Rare Bread beers, their limited release label.

Bottles?

It isn’t a huge list but there’s about a dozen interesting beers in their fridges. There’s local brews like Mountain Goat Summer Ale cans and Burleigh Brewing 28 Pale Ale plus international favourites likes Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss and Saison Dupont. The list is on rotation so expect to see new and different brews on a fairly regular basis.

Mechanics Institute Bar
Photo from my visit in October 2014
Photo from Mechanics Institute Facebook page
Photo from Mechanics Institute Facebook page

girl + Perth

A quick visit to Perth for a few Saturday night drinks and delighted to find that there was excellent beer at every corner.

Meelup Beach

It has been almost two years since my partner and I moved from Perth to the south west. Swapping a city for country lifestyle is easily one of the best decisions we have made.

We regularly return to Perth for quick overnight visits, see a few friends and family before heading home and wishing we had more time to see more people.

On this particular visit we went out for a few Saturday night drinks and was delighted to find that craft beer wasn’t at all hard to come by.

First Stop – Tan Po Po

Damn I have missed this place! Teriyaki Fish for under $7, love love love. Please if anyone knows of anywhere in the south west who’s not charging more than $12 for the same dish I’d love to know. Great food, amazing prices AND BYO. Happy days!

Liquor Barons Mt Lawley is just up the road and carries a great selection of craft beer. We decided a 6 pack of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale would do quite nicely with dinner.

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Second Stop – Defectors

Upstairs at The Flying Scotsman with cosy couches and a balcony for people watching, Defectors is a nice little spot.

A good range of beers on tap and in bottle, I opted for a 330ml bottle of Saison Dupont. It had been far too long since I’d had one of my favourite beers. Spicy, musty, dry and a little fruitiness, I’ve missed you.

Third Stop – The Mechanics’ Institute

There has been an explosion of new bars opening in Perth in the last 18 months. Rather than tasking ourselves with the hangover inducing adventure of tackling them all we simply picked one. We chose The Mechanics’ Institute.

From what I’ve seen on their Facebook page they are mostly known for some fabulous cocktails but it was great to see a fine selection of bottled beer too. I spied Two Birds Sunset Ale, Burleigh 28 Pale Ale, Feral Hop Hog, Rogers’ and Brewdog Punk IPA cans. Happy Days!

Fourth Stop – 399 Bar

Time for a Campari …

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Fifth Stop – The Brisbane Hotel

It’s not long ago that the craft beers on tap at The Brisbane were Beez Neez and Redback, both of which I have enjoyed many a pint of don’t get me wrong, but the word “craft” is debatable. Now you can find the likes of Little Creatures Single Batch on tap and a respectable bottled list with the likes of Two Birds, Brewdog, Holgate, Sierra Nevada and Mountain Goat. On this particular night we enjoyed a couple of glasses of Monteith’s Dopplebock Winter Ale. I’ve not really rated Monteith’s beers in the past but their Winter Ale is lovely – rich and with a drunken raisin sort of taste going on.

Craft beer is emerging, I guess we all knew that, but from what I saw finally more and more beer lists have had as much thought put into them as any other menu in the bar – Fantastic!