Josie Bones and the botf bucket list

Josie Bones


A botf correspondent finally made it to a venue that’s long been on our bucket list. Josie Bones on Smith St in Collingwood. Even better, it was done on a bit of corporate largesse. It was no mean feat leading the small crew of colleagues from the Melbourne CBD up to Smith St as there is a surfeit of fine pubs on the way that could have easily waylayed our journey to my intended goal.

Josie Bones has one of the finest beer lists that botf has come across. It focuses on Australian craft brewers but has a large international contingent also. The food is pretty epic also though you need to be a fan of the ‘entire beast’ school of cookery. That is, pretty much every bit of an animal is present in the menu.

Being a Monday night the place was pretty empty but the atmosphere was still pleasant and I got the barman’s full attention. Josie Bones has 8 rotating taps in addition to the 250 or so beers in the menu. Where to start?

While grazing on a few plates of fine pork crackling we tried the tap offerings to start with. From this point I have to try and reconstruct my opinions from my @untappd check-ins as things may have got messy and I forgot to save my notes. In any case, all the beers were spectacular and only a few words suffice.

Josie Bones

That's a rabbit

Josie Bones

Aptly named

First up was the Belgian Lawnmower by Hopdog BeerWorks. This is Hopdog’s summer seasonal release and it had a thirst quenching quality perfect for the crackling.

Next it was a Red Duck Amber Ale by Red Duck Beer. All my untappd check-in has is ‘ahhh’ so I think I enjoyed it. The Red Duck tasting rooms look like a must visit destination in Camperdown in Victoria.

The next beer was from the menu and in the bottle. The label on The Raconteur by Prickly Moses states the beer is a “A love story about hops”. And it was. Beautiful amber colour that delivered those hoppy post-beer burps I am most fond of.

By now my colleagues were getting bored with my beer menu delight and had moved to wine. I persisted however with a Beast IPA by Jamieson Brewery. This blew my socks off. My untappd has entry ‘Wow. Caramel. Malt. Toffee.’

Now is was back to the lads from Red Duck Beer and their Porter. This was brilliant. Rich n nutty. Perfect with whatever dessert I had.

Josie Bones

The Raconteur

Toms Amber Ale

The Fullstop

Finally to put a fullstop after the evening I finished with a Tom’s Amber Ale by Bootleg Brewery. By this stage it is probably unfair to review any beer given the flavours and tastes that had gone before it. Given this, Tom’s was complex and lively. A great cleanser to finish the evening.

botf will be returning to Josie Bones. Much work left to do.