PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Giant red letters dangling above the central bar spell out The Local Taphouse's no-frills mantra: "D-R-I-N-K B-E-E-R". The former Palace Hotel site on the Flinders/South Dowling streets' apex was given a loving makeover from co-owners Steve Jafferes and Guy Greenstone. Now, its tiled walls, dark wooden panelling and high ceilings are a nod to traditional European drinking taverns. And, as the slogan suggests, this haunt is all about celebrating the much-loved amber elixir.
There's nary a tinnie in sight in this sophisticated space, with some twenty local and foreign beers available on tap plus a number of beverage specials. Downstairs' plush brown leather armchairs are just the place to sip - or swig - on a Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen (try saying that one after a few), a cloudy German wheat beer that has a surprising hint of banana.
Your lunch need not be liquid, though, as the beer bonanza extends to the dining menu. Seat yourself at one of the cosy upstairs banquettes beneath delicate birdcage light fixtures and tuck into the likes of the hearty three beer beef burger. The meat's marinated in smoky Schlenkerla Rauchbier from Bavaria and paired with Hofbrau-battered onion rings. Those after a lighter meal could have the spicy ras el hanout chicken salad with cous cous steeped in Little Creatures Pale Ale.
The Local Taphouse has a warm, familiar ambience that feels like you've just stumbled into your best mate's living room, but with a far more awesome bar fridge. An ever-changing food menu, plentiful drinking options and knowledgeable bar staff? This place has it all on tap.