The Brew Merchants: The new local business bringing a slice of the European craft beer scene to Geelong

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The Brew Merchants: The new local business bringing a slice of the European craft beer scene to Geelong

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You can now experience a taste of Europe without the international flight.

There’s no denying that regional Victoria’s best pubs have seriously upped their beer game in the last handful of years, or that the best local breweries are now also some of the most fun places to hang out and knock back a couple of rounds.

But what if you are wanting to explore fresh beers from breweries not just in the region and country, but from across the world?

Meet The Brew Merchants, an online, Bellarine-based beer and cider retailer specialising in importing rare, obscure, and vintage brews, bringing a slice of the European craft beer scene to Geelong.

Keep up with the latest food and booze news across the region here.

Offering a highly curated and resourceful platform, Ocean Grove local Dimitri Halkidis launched The Brew Merchants to make it easy to discover the best brews from the other side of the world.

Born out of a love of travel (in particular, a trip to Europe back in 2016) and a yearning for some Einstok (his favourite beer which can’t be found in Australia), Dimitri began the business in 2021, at a time when international travel still a pipe dream for many.

For Dimitri, importing European beers halfway across the world to sell on the Bellarine was a concept designed for avid travellers to get their dose of an international voyage from home: if you couldn’t travel during COVID, then at least your tastebuds could.

There’s already a lot to love about that, but these aren’t just any old brews.

The Brew Merchants specialises in getting their mitts on only the weirdest, strangest, most obscure brews possible, looking specifically at authentic craft and small batch brews that are hard, if not impossible, to find anywhere else in Australia. From smoked ales from Norway and root beer from Switzerland to Irish craft cider and Icelandic sour IPAs, here you’ll find more than 70 different varieties of hand-selected brews from 15 different countries.

If you’re keen to tick some countries off your bucket list, the process is pretty simple with its appealing user-friendly website. You can search brews by country, brewery or by type if you’re looking for something specific, or you can dive into their range of mixed packs which make it easier than ever to snoop out new, emerging and classic brews, whether you like sticking to a certain varietal, or want to experiment with flavour.

If you’re the type of connoisseur that gets a thrill out of the unexpected and extraordinary, the rare and vintage section is definitely worth exploring. There’s also a section dedicated to new brews, featuring only the freshest of stock, alongside the budget-friendly sale section.

The best part is the stock is constantly rotating, with Dimitri ensuring new products are always on the way so you’re always guaranteed to find something new and exciting to try from different parts of Europe.

Based out of a Wallington Warehouse, The Brew Merchants delivers locally to a number of Bellarine suburbs, including Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale, Clifton Springs, Wallington, Drysdale, Leopold, Portarlington, Indented Head, St Leonards, Curlewis, Armstrong Creek and Geelong.

If you live anywhere else (bar some select locations nationally), have no fear, The Brew Merchants will ship your order to you with courier delivery.

While purchasing online and having them shipped to your door might not live up to the lived experience of hitting the breweries of France and Greece, convenience is a modern advantage when you’re still just dreaming of that Eurotrip. Capturing the essence of different cities through a handpicked selection of Europe’s most unusual and outlandish brews, The Brew Merchant is well worth a shot.

You can find out more and explore the best boutique small batch craft beer and cider from Europe here