Discover the hidden gems and history of Fitzroy with Drinking History Tours.
You may have suppressed yawns after experiencing a walking tour at home or abroad, concluding that their intent is simply to have you absorb a whole lot of useless facts. Forget all that you know about walking tours because Drinking History Tours breaks the mould, offering a far more exciting experience.
With the slogan “More fun than a walking tour. Classier than a pub crawl”, Drinking History Tours provides the perfect combination of history, humour, socialising and, of course, drinking.
Founder Ben Oliver is not new to the tour guide scene, having been a guide in Europe and, more recently, in Melbourne. Ben’s passion for travel and for extolling all that a city has to offer is evident in his knowledge and by his enthusiasm for Drinking History Tours.
Laced into my comfortable walking shoes (after all, no one wants sore feet on a walking tour/pub crawl), I met the group at St Patrick’s Cathedral for the Fitzroy Drinking History Tour. Instantly captivated by the history of the establishment of Fitzroy (née Newtown) and the “sly grog shops”, we gradually made our way to our first drinking hole, a corner pub. The pub and live music space has been quenching the thirst and ears of patrons for many years.
Our intimate tour group size provided ample opportunities for me to get to know my tour companions, and merely an hour into the tour I already felt like I was spending an evening with friends.
En route to our next destination, Ben filled us in on further aspects of the colourful local history and street art that defines the uniqueness of Fitzroy.
Our next tipple stop was a hip bar, where we dabbled in special cocktails, beers and snacks. The impressively sized venue bustled with patrons enjoying ethnic cuisine and drinks.
After devouring a few too many hot chips (which were impossible to stop eating) we continued our journey, with Ben informatively pointing out other hidden gems in the area. With Summer approaching, my list of bars and pubs to check out in Fitzroy has grown even longer – thanks Ben!
Our final stop was an award-winning cocktail bar, with its amazing service, cocktails and delicious dinner it didn’t disappoint. When I discovered that our starter combined two of my favourites ingredients, I couldn’t wait to try it. And it was excellent! The mains were equally delicious, both fragrant and flavoursome.
The tour was expected to take three hours, but our group enjoyed each other’s company well beyond the scheduled finish time, kicking on with a few more cheeky cocktails. By the end of the night I had a belly full of delicious food and drinks and a head full of some very interesting facts and local hotspots.
I have spent a lot of time in Fitzroy, but it took Drinking History Tours to open my eyes to the rich culture and hidden charms we are so fortunate to have right in our backyard.
You don’t need to be an out-of-towner or with a group of friends to enjoy these tours. The only caveat is that you like exploring, drinking and socializing. Drinking History Tours will take care of the rest.
Drinking History Tours also run a Melbourne Laneways Tour to explore the laneways and tucked away places in our city.
Drinking History Tours
$85 per person, including snacks, dinner and drink specials.
Maximum 15 people per tour.
Discounts for bookings of more than two people.