James Squire Claim
The Crafty Squire
127 Russell St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Mon 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM Open Now
Tue 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM Open Now
Wed 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM Open Now
Thu 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM Open Now
Fri 11:00 AM - 5:00 AM Open Now
Sat 11:00 AM - 5:00 AM Open Now
Sun 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM Open Now
The Crafty Squire (formally known as The Portland Hotel) showcases the experience, life and times of James Squire. The Crafty Squire offers the entire Squire range and is Melbourne CBD's only working micro-brewery producing handcrafted ales brewed on site as well as those brewed by the Malt Shovel Brewery.

The Crafty Squire is a place for beer lovers. It has everything from crisp easy drinking lagers to big hoppy craft ales with great traditional pub food to match. The easy going traditional pub environment and friendly knowledgeable staff make for the perfect beer drinking experience whether you are just in for a quiet pint or wish to learn more about the inner workings of an operational microbrewery.

Visitors can enjoy one of the The Crafty Squire's famous 6 beer tasting paddles with accompanying tasting notes and join one of our guides into the brewery itself to learn all about how we craft the beer from the grain mill to the tap.

The Crafty Squire's award winning original brews include; the Portland Pale Australian style Pale Ale; The Highwayman thrice hopped Red Ale; The Craic traditional Irish Stout and the Speculator robust hop heavy American Pale Ale.

The Crafty Squire is open from 11am every day except Christmas so those in search for good full flavoured craft beer will always have this little piece of beer drinking heaven to come to.
Payment options: Cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Parking: Parking lot, Street parking
Price range: $$
  • Good for groups
  • Outdoor seating
  • Takes reservations
James Squire One Fifty Lashes
Style: Pale Ale - Australian
ABV: 4.2%
IBUs: 19
# Ratings: 21,122
Score: 3.40
The story goes that when James Squire was discovered stealing ingredients from the stores to make the colony’s first batch of beer, the judge ordered 150 lashes, plus two barrels of ale. Thankfully for us, James Squire was a far better brewer than he was a thief. Launched in 2011, this thirst-quenching Australian pale ale has proved a hit with customers around the country. This clean-finishing craft beer may be cloudy in appearance, but there’s nothing cloudy about the taste. Malted wheat adds refreshing character, while the fruity infusion makes for an enticing aroma. Whether you’re enjoying a fresh cut of meat or a tempting smorgasbord of seafood and fresh produce, you’ll want one of these straw-coloured beauties as the perfect complement to a casual feast. James Squire One Fifty Lashes Pale Ale is also the ideal starting point for anyone looking to embark on a quest towards an appreciation of more flavourful beers. It’s a completely approachable craft brew that provides a gentle counterpoint to our more challenging Stowaway IPA. Ironically, there was nothing gentle about the punishment James Squire received from the judge for stealing the ingredients that set him on the path to being Australia’s first and most famous brewer. So is One Fifty Lashes a beer as legendary as the story it’s named after? We’ll let you be the judge of that. Malts: Pale, Munich and Wheat Hops: Amarillo, Willamette, Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy
James Squire The Chancer
Style: Golden Ale
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 20
# Ratings: 9,236
Score: 3.36
Never one to let a ball and chain hold him back, ex-convict James Squire seized every opportunity his emancipation offered. His unique blend of charm, skill and luck ultimately rewarded him an enviable fortune as Australia’s first brewer. But was he really happy? A brewery, money, freedom…what do you think? Arguably the best looking of the James Squire craft beer range, the Chancer Golden Ale was launched in 2004. Noted for its distinctive orange-golden colour, unique tropical fruit aroma, restrained bitterness and dry finish, the Chancer has established itself as a firm favourite with our customers. Although the name conjures up everything that was so appealing about James Squire – his willingness to take a risk and roguish charm – there’s nothing chancy about this English-style golden ale. A bit like Coopers Sparkling Ale in taste, the Chancer is noted for its tropical fruit flavour and high drinkability. So what should you drink it with? Well, we’re tempted to say ‘anything’ (and you really could), but for the perfect match, try pairing it with delicate seafood such as fresh cold prawns, crab cakes, whitebait fritters or salt and pepper squid. Alternatively, the Chancer is equally ideal for washing down a delicious chicken or Caesar salad, nachos, laksa, a margarita pizza and/or a cheese like buffalo mozzarella or cheddar. Malts: Pale, Munich, Crystal and Wheat. Hops: Amarillo
James Squire Nine Tales
Style: Brown Ale - English
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: 20
# Ratings: 6,483
Score: 3.33
Every man’s life tells a story, but James Squire’s would have filled a library. From chicken thief and convict, he later found success as the Governor’s bodyguard, a publican, baker, butcher, money-lender and, ironically, local constable. But the greatest chapter was brewing, which worked out nicely for the rest of us! The original – and some would say still the best – James Squire craft beer, the Amber Ale is deservedly on its way to becoming an Aussie institution. This full-bodied, malt-driven beer is characterised by its rich copper colour, toffee-caramel sweetness and nutty finish balanced against citrus hop notes. If you need a reference point before trying it for the first time, think Newcastle Brown Ale. The deft blend of pale and crystal malts were truly trail-blazing when Nine Tales was first launched 15 years ago, but while many other craft beers are now treading the same malt-driven path, ‘the original’ retains its pre-eminence. Best enjoyed with richer meat dishes like a rack of lamb, lamb shanks, gourmet meat pies or a mouth-watering medium-rare steak (with a Port Salut or similarly lightly tangy cheese for good measure), the Nine Tales is guaranteed to get people talking over dinner. Whether they’ll have nine stories to match James Squire’s remains to be seen, but at least that gives you a reason to keep sharing Nine Tales with your mates until you get there. Malts: Pale and Crystal. Hops: Super Pride and Willamette.
James Squire Jack of Spades
Style: Porter - English
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: 25
# Ratings: 4,570
Score: 3.48
Back when rum was the unofficial currency, it took a real gambler to bet his future on brewing. But James Squire was never one to shy away from a challenge or try his hand at something new, quickly building a fortune from his brewery and tavern. You could say he was an archetypal jack of all trades, but to give credit where credit is due – he was a master of many too. From this man of many tastes and talents comes Jack of Spades Porter. Utterly unique, it has a more delicate complexity than a regular stout with its rich black colour, coffee and chocolate aroma and pillowy head. Jack of Spades Porter is perfect for colder winter months and pairs with hearty roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, porterhouse steak or take it to your dessert course and match it with a chocolate mud cake, double cream and raspberries. Malts: Pale, Crystal, Chocolate and Roasted Wheat. Hops: Dr Rudi
James Squire Four Wives
Style: Pilsner - Other
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: 35
# Ratings: 3,903
Score: 3.28
James Squire loved adventure and brewing beers, but even more than that he loved women, having taken a wife and three mistresses throughout his life. He left all of them something in his will, but thankfully we got the beer. It’s a matter of historical fact that James Squire had an eye for the ladies (not to mention the roguish wherewithal to convince them to let him, shall we say, stir their hops), but he also had a nose for a good beer – and at least we can still compare to him there! With its floral and herbaceous aroma, deep gold colour and spicy palate, the James Squire Four ‘Wives’ Pilsener is an alluring craft beer that gives way to a longer bitterness (no jokes about marriage here, we promise). Strong, bold and with more hopping than most lagers, it is similar to Pilsener Urquell or Beck’s. Unlike many European beers, though, Four ‘Wives’ is just as at home accompanying spiced seafood or a Thai stir-fry as it is with hearty Italian or, to get in the Oktoberfest spirit, German sausage. With his rather bohemian approach to women in general and commitment in particular, James Squire was one of a kind. And with its Bohemian flavours, the Four ‘Wives’ Pilsener he’s inspired is equally unforgettable. Malts: Pale and Munich. Hops: Dr Rudi, Czech Saaz and Motueka.
The Swindler Tropical Pale
Style: Pale Ale - Australian
ABV: 4.2%
IBUs: 22
# Ratings: 3,454
Score: 3.32
James Squire was man who seized the day, rolled with the punches and changed with the times, and two centuries later we’re still doing the same. So, we’ve put a fresh spin on one of your favourite brews, giving it a new look, a new taste and a new name. The Swindler Tropical Pale is a cracking brew, easy drinking and big on refreshment. If you haven’t heard of a tropical pale before, you soon will. It’s set to become one of the most popular new pale ale styles, so who better to kick off the tropical trend than James Squire? Head brewer Haydon Morgan is pretty excited about it. “We’ve dry-hopped Galaxy and El Dorado hops to bring a big tropical aroma of passionfruit and melon. With a fresh, clean finish we reckon this will be a big hit coming into summer. I’m really happy with the new recipe, and I know when you try it, you’ll love it too!” Nine stolen chickens earned James Squire a cramped berth on the First Fleet. But he had other plans, swindling his way onto the ‘Women’s Ship’ and thoroughly enjoying the rest of his journey. The Swindler is the perfect year-round sidekick for good mates and sunny days, wherever and whenever you may find them. Bursting with taste and aroma, it’s a cracking match for a fresh, seasonal menu of hearty salads, lighter barbecue dishes and succulent seafood. Hops: Galaxy and El Dorado Malts: Pale and Munich
James Squire Hop Thief 9
Style: Pale Ale - American
ABV: 5.0%
# Ratings: 2,112
Score: 3.42
Camperdown Luau
Style: Hefeweizen
ABV: 4.5%
# Ratings: 252
Score: 3.41
Hibiscus Hefeweizen
Rum Rebellion Porter (Rum Barrel Aged)
Style: Porter - Other
ABV: 5.5%
# Ratings: 1
Score: 4.00
Rum barrel aged porter. Earthy, vanilla, undertone of oak. Smooth and satisfying. Tasty!
James Squire Stow Away
Style: IPA - English
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 52
# Ratings: 3,396
Score: 3.19
Back in the day, India Pale Ales were brewed with higher alcohol and extra hops to survive long sea journeys from London to colonial India. James Squire had his own method of surviving his arduous voyage to Australia on the First Fleet. He smuggled himself onto the ‘women’s ship’ and by all reports the rest of his journey was quite nice, thank you. With a name like Stowaway, you’d expect something that combines a desire for adventure with a determination to prove itself and James Squire Stowaway IPA doesn’t disappoint. IPA stands for India Pale Ale, a term coined in an advertisement in an early Australian newspaper and originally brewed in England for consumption in India. The Stowaway is certainly feisty enough to last a long voyage thanks to its rich and robust taste, earthy, resinous and malty aroma and lingering bitter finish. But perhaps the Stowaway’s most intriguing quality is its versatility. Drawing on over 200 years of IPA history, the Stowaway is the perfect partner for rich, gamey, traditionally English meat dishes like venison or duck, as well as highly spiced (and even downright hot) Indian dishes, from curry puffs to a brain-meltingly hot vindaloo. Or, if you fancy something that goes well with a few nibbles, the Stowaway is just as happy sailing along with some milder blue cheeses like Gorgonzola or Cambozola. Malts: Pale, Munich and Crystal. Hops: Dr Rudi, EKG, Fuggles and Motueka.
James Squire The Constable
Style: English Bitter
ABV: 3.4%
IBUs: 28
# Ratings: 2,917
Score: 3.27
From chicken thief and convict to wealthy farmer and brewer, James Squire’s life was certainly eventful – and, it seems, not without irony. He spent his later years as a district constable, protecting the land from trespassers and thieves. How the tables were turned! This beautifully coloured brew takes one of the most intriguing stories from James Squire’s life – his time as a regional district constable and puts a tasty twist on it. Brewed as a tribute to James’ transformation from con to cop. The Constable is a deep-golden English-style ale, with a balanced nose of floral, citrus and earthy notes, a firm backbone of crystal and pale malts and a lingering hop bitterness. According to Rob ‘Freshy’ Freshwater, Senior Brewer at the Malt Shovel Brewery, it’s ‘a flavoursome beverage for all to enjoy’. At 3.4 per cent alcohol per volume, the Constable is true to its inspiration and a classic thirst-quencher. Freshy also recommends locking away a Constable or two with a nice rich red meat like lamb to match the crystal malts within the beer, followed by the cleansing characteristics of the hops coming through to provide the balance. All in all, we’re confident that both craft beer newbies and long-time fans of the James Squire range will find the Constable mid-strength Copper Ale an arresting experience. Malts: Pale, Munich and Crystal Hops: Galaxy & Topaz
James Squire Orchard Crush Apple Cider
Style: Cider - Other
ABV: 4.8%
# Ratings: 2,616
Score: 3.40
As Australia’s first brewer, James Squire grew many of the ingredients found in his first batches of brew himself, most notably Australia’s first crop of hops. Having had an orchard on his land, it wouldn’t be surprising if he experimented with cider in his day. Think back 15-or-so years ago when the Australian craft beer market featured James Squire Amber Ale (now better known as Nine Tales) and, um,that was about it. Today, by contrast, craft beer is all the rage and you have a scene that is not so much thriving as singing and tap-dancing its way onwards and upwards. Now Australian brewers and beer aficionados alike are turning their attention to a new brew – cider. Take James Squire’s Orchard Crush is a refreshing traditional cloudy cider with a fragrant, fresh aroma, a broad, clean palate and a crisp finish. The perfect accompaniment for pork chops or crisp pork belly with apple sauce, Orchard Crush Apple Cider is one of the best ciders around.
James Squire Sundown Lager
Style: Lager - Pale
ABV: 4.4%
# Ratings: 1,785
Score: 3.25
James Squire Mid River
Style: Pale Ale - Australian
ABV: 3.5%
IBUs: 21
# Ratings: 957
Score: 3.23
James Squire might have been a chicken stealing, highway robbing, convict lothario, but he had some serious business smarts. That’s why, in 1806, he built his first tavern at Kissing Point on the shores of the Parramatta River, just at the spot where thirsty sailors would want to break their journey between Parramatta and Sydney Cove. A full-flavoured pale ale with Vienna and Munich malts creating a rich, malty character. German hops give crisp herbaceous flavours and US hops add bright citrus and fruit aromas. Malts: Pale, Vienna, Munich Hops: Mosaic, Citra, Hallertau Tradition, Spalt Select, Northern Brewer
Interceptor BIPA
Style: IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
ABV: 6.1%
IBUs: 45
# Ratings: 787
Score: 3.59
This rich and rewarding Black IPA has a mysterious, deep, dark colour. The distinctive hop bitterness balances well with the malt bill, which includes some roasted (midnight) wheat, adding a depth of flavour as well as colour. The dry hopping process adds flavour and aroma notes of grapefruit and pine resin, further enhancing the complexity of this gratifying ale.
The Wreck Preservation Ale
Style: Porter - English
ABV: 6.0%
IBUs: 30
# Ratings: 773
Score: 3.56
The world’s oldest surviving beer – made new! The James Squire brewers have resurrected, then tamed a 220-year-old shipwreck yeast, crafting it into a dark, malty, spicy & stormy brew that’s truly a once in a life time taste. Because it’s such an old salt, there’ll be a dash of phenolics, and a splash of funk. The spicy notes are matched with malt depth of body and flavour from chocolate, roast, crystal and Abbey malts. Traditional English hops Fuggles and Bramling Cross give earthy notes and a hint of lemon/blackcurrent, plus a mild bitterness. The story of Australia’s oldest merchant shipwreck, the Sydney Cove, is one of tragedy, survival and a remarkable discovery, that culminates in a truly history making brew. In a ground-breaking partnership between the Queen Victorian Museum & Art Gallery, the Australian Wine Research Institute and James Squire, the world’s oldest beer has been brought back to life. Read more about the wreck here: https://www.jamessquire.com.au/news/the-story-behind-the-wreck/ Two centuries in the making, The Wreck Preservation Ale will be available to try on tap only. Launching at GABS Melbourne 2018. Following GABS Melbourne, The Wreck will make its way home to Sydney for the launch of our new flagship venue “The Squire’s Landing” mid-May and GABS Sydney. Finally in June, The Wreck will be available in very limited supply at James Squire brewhouses nationally. Malts: Pale, Choc, Abbey, Melanoidin, Carafe Hops: Bramling Cross and Fuggles
James Squire Orchard Crush Pear Cider / Perry
Style: Cider - Perry
ABV: 5.0%
# Ratings: 503
Score: 3.29
As Australia’s first brewer, James Squire grew many of the ingredients found in his first batches of brew himself, most notably Australia’s first crop of hops. Having had an orchard on his land, it wouldn’t be surprising if he experimented with cider in his day. Think back 15-or-so years ago when the Australian craft beer market featured James Squire Amber Ale (now better known as Nine Tales) and, um,that was about it. Today, by contrast, craft beer is all the rage and you have a scene that is not so much thriving as singing and tap-dancing its way onwards and upwards. Now Australian brewers and beer aficionados alike are turning their attention to a new brew – cider. Following the success of Orchard Crush Apple Cider, we turned our attention to pear cider. Now, let’s be clear, Orchard Crush Pear Cider is an equal, not a sequel – as anyone who experiences the fresh pear aroma, subtle sweetness and smooth finish will quickly appreciate. This medium-dry cider is made from seasonal Australian pears, predominantly Packham pears, and goes perfectly with a cheese platter or a ploughman’s.
James Squire Cabin Fever Session IPA
Style: IPA - Session / India Session Ale
ABV: 4.5%
# Ratings: 478
Score: 3.40
Hopped with Citra, Centennial and a new ‘Fortnight’ hop blend, the combination creates a “luscious citrus-tropical aroma.”
Malt Shovel Brewers: This Is Our XPA
Style: Pale Ale - Australian
ABV: 4.8%
# Ratings: 362
Score: 3.52
A hop driven, tropical and fruity XPA with a malt sweetness to balance. This hoppy delight delivers aromas of grapefruit, passionfruit and melon.
Karni Kolsch
Style: Kölsch
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: 18
# Ratings: 300
Score: 3.27
Malt Shovel Brewers: La La Lager
Style: Lager - IPL (India Pale Lager)
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 42
# Ratings: 284
Score: 3.45
It’s a lager, but not as you know it. La La Lager is the second release from the Malt Shovel Brewers and the passionate team at the brewery are calling this one an IPL. That means it’s been dry hopped like a traditional IPA then fermented as a lager, rather than an ale. German hops are added late in the kettle to give it spicy and herbaceous characters while post-ferment the beer is dry-hopped with American hops to round out the flavour with a hint of fruit and citrus. It makes for a bold, full bodied brew that might just knock your socks off. "Basically we’ve turned the volume dial up on this a bit", says head brewer Chris Sheehan. "It’s bigger all round – big bodied, big bitterness and generously dry hopped to give it a punchy nose". Craft breweries tend to steer away from lager, leaving them to the mainstream outfits, but our brewers are big fans. They think we don’t see enough good quality lagers right now, so the new La La is here to shake things up and show that big lagers can easily go toe to toe with the big IPAs. There’s a reason that summer is unofficially Lager Season. Long hot days call for something clean, crisp and cold that will go down a treat. Malts: Pale, Malted Wheat, Carapils and Caraaroma Hops: Tettnang, Magnum, Northern Brewer, Centennial and Citra
Mint Heist
Style: Belgian Strong Golden Ale
ABV: 8.0%
# Ratings: 271
Score: 3.04
Peppermint candy may seem an unlikely ingredient, but the James Squire head brewer is more than familiar with it. Formerly a confectionary maker, he decided to combine his two professions into a strong Belgian Ale. Brewed for GABS 2017.
Lo Phi Pina Colada Sour
Style: Sour - Ale
ABV: 4.0%
IBUs: 6
# Ratings: 248
Score: 3.34
Don’t let your eyes deceive you, this sour is dark amber in colour with initial flavours of pineapple that give way to a hint of coconut. These delightful notes will take you on a summer holiday – think sitting on a tropical island sipping a piña colada while watching the sunset over the ocean. This beer delivers a sourness that is a real palate cleanser, leaving you wanting more.
James Squire The Wreck Survivors Ale
Style: Porter - Imperial / Double
ABV: 7.0%
# Ratings: 237
Score: 3.47
With the yeast from the world’s oldest surviving beer, salvaged from a shipwreck off of Tasmania, this is an Imperial version of last year’s The Wreck. The yeast is one of a kind, and only found in this beer. Brewed for GABS 2019.
Capt’n Steamo
Style: California Common
ABV: 4.8%
# Ratings: 212
Score: 3.23
Vienna Marzen
Style: Märzen
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 24
# Ratings: 200
Score: 3.32