Not really fair to say this place is in Melbourne as it is in St Kilda, which is more of a suburb that takes a pretty long time to get to- 20+ minute train ride from central Melbourne. Tap list is the best I saw in Australia and has stuff actually from all over the world. Extremely different from its counterpart in Sydney which is sort of small, in a weird location, full of business men types, and really a formal bar. This is a craft beer haven with hipster staff who are wildly knowledgeable about beer compared to their relatively clueless Sydneysider counterparts. Upstairs is an awesome roof deck with umbrellas and wood tables and another bar. Found tons of random beer you will probably find nowhere else on the continent. Feral Brewing’s funky beers were a big hit. They have some not so crazy German beers on the menu as well for the less crazy beer nerds. Regardless, you must go here and spend the day bumming around in St Kilda. The beach is great and have a nice walk along the docks. Food was excellent. Anyway- probably the best place in Australia for craft beer.
jonno (143) , Japan | May 13, 2011| Updated May 14, 2011
Lovely little place. Great tap selection for Australia. Much nicer than the Sydney location. The food was pricey though (but enjoyable), but that was the only blight on the place. One of Australia’s top draws.
Loved this place - hubby brews beer so whenever we get babysitting we head to a beer bar somewhere in Melb. for the night. This was the best we’ve been to so far - great ambience, fabulous tapas upstairs and good jazz a bit later. Service was pretty good (except for lack of loo paper in the ladies) but the beers.... well, best to go there and taste the range youself !! we managed most of the 20 on tap but as they keep changing, we’ll have to go back again and again !!
Fell in love with The Steam Exchange Truffles Porter - not as a quoffing beer, but as a liqueur beer!!
My only complaint is that the place hadn’t opened when i lived in east st. kilda or it could have been MY local and i wouldn’t have moved.
Don’t get much better than this when it comes to a beer bar. Makes me think of the Coopers ad, "if it isn’t at your local then consider moving", because it makes me want to stay in this area. Staff are good value. Look out for the special days, where they put on beers from a particular area. Always pretty busy and always with a wealth of good beers on tap.
Easily the best beer bar in Oz, going by range alone. Focus on local craft but every now & then get imports like rogue, mikkeller & nogne o but hell they arent cheap! Doubt its their fault though. Have been many times when both busy & quiet. Service is always pretty good, friendly & willing to recommend etc Food is pretty good, though i understand they are introducing some more interesting meals & moving a little away from pub grub. Been to a few of the monthly ale stars sessions & seasonal beer fests, both are great but get pretty rowdy & busy, meaning you have to wait a while at the bar but not too big an problem. Only issue would be that the beers are served too cold. All style seem to be the same temp, which i’m not too fond of. Other than that, its an awesome venue & a must
[2/10] Downstairs on a quietish night. About 20 taps with a good selection of well-established locals and several new or uncommon Australian micros. Tap prices are good. Bottles appeared quite expensive. Beer is really quite a lot too cold. Nice place with a welcoming, lived-in feel.  Now has a bottleshop attached. Selection is certainly amongst the top half-dozen in Melbourne. 
[12/14] The bottleshop is long gone (and is now a BlackHeart and Sparrows). Tap selection is broader than it once was and often has "worth making a trip" beers (I’m only a few minutes away but I don;t get out much) and pretty much always has something I want to drink. Staff knowledge has improved a fair bit, to the point where I’d be happy to mention a few things I like and ask any one of several staff to give me what they’d reckon. Keg beer is still too cold. Not cheap.
[5/17] Always a few things I want to drink. The selection has pretty much kept pace with the improvement in beer in Melbourne over the years, which given how far ahead it was is impressive. The average staff member is good enough that they don’t hugely miss having some of their best people move to Stomping Ground.
davidm (65) Sunnyvale, California | January 6, 2010| Updated January 26, 2010
My favourite beer place in Melbourne. Always twenty interesting beers on tap, many events, and great food make this a paradise for beer-enthusiasts. My only criticism is that the bottled beers are pricey.
nate2g (1290) Boomtown!, Australia | August 21, 2009| Updated July 13, 2015
I always make a point to stop by the Local each time I’m visiting Melbourne. There’s 20 taps available that constantly change and I know that I’ll be guaranteed to find new beers here. Often there will be a showcase of a particular brewery or for their SpecTAPular events. There seems to be good support given to Aussie breweries, particularly for the up-and-comers. Visits mid-week are pleasant if you are looking to just chill out on the lounge and grab a few beers. The weekends can be hectic which is to be expected but I’ve had many fun evenings here in the past. The food is good too and the staff are generally switched on, provide decent service and know the beers well. A fantastic beer bar, and along with the one in Sydney I really enjoy the place. Now if only they’ll open a Taphouse in Brisbane....
Visited there twice last week whilst I was in Melbourne enjoyed it both times, called in during the day when it was a little quiet which was probably better for me to relax and enjoy the beers available subjectively. Very good range of tap beers, pizza was good and staff very friendly and knowledgeable.
...went down on a Friday night to check it out for the first time. Weird vibe downstairs, I didn’t know there was an upstairs untill I left. They had some guy playing a keyboard, with a drummer for the "live music". I guess it was alright, but the stuff they were playing was stupid. There were gay-fags dancing around with some ripped guy in a wheelchair, and lots of drunken buisinessmen that were trying to look cool by ordering expensive vodka drinks, and jager-mixers. They did have a decent amount on tap, but the matilda bay intrusion was not known untill I came on here to rate the beers I had had. Beer was too cold, and the bar-chic was obviously new mixing up orders, and serving weizens in mugs, haha. Anyway, I might go back there again, even though they were out of an american wheat I wanted to try. Oh yea, you have to walk past lots of manly looking hookers to get there, oh well, that’s St. Kilda for ya.
Dunno why I haven’t rated this place already. It’s awesome. Best range of beer in Australia by a mile. Twenty beers on tap, always changing. They get stuff from all kinds of places around the country - HEAPS of beers you’d never otherwise see available. Dunno how they do it. And the beer list is constantly updated on the blog - thelocaltaphouse.blogspot.com. Brilliant, I wish more places would do that. I’m with voota on prices - not bad at all, at least on tap beers. Knowledgeable, friendly staff. Themed quarterly SpecTAPulars are awesome. I really should go more often than I do. Only gripes: pizzas aren’t great, beers too cold and whilst I LOVE the idea of doing away with branded glasses sometimes I wish I could drink some of the more straightforward styles out of a more simple glass - I should get a pint I guess.