Saint John Craft Beer Bar
133 St John St, Launceston TAS
Saint John is not your normal craft-beer bar. With more brews than you can poke a stick at, as well as a canning machine and take-home brews, it’s an oasis for the beer buffs of Launceston.
Ryan Campling and Luke Dempsey first met while working together in a local bottleshop. Their passion for beer and the emerging craft-beer scene saw them become instant friends. In 2014, after helping the bottleshop grow into a haven for craft beer and learning all they could about the industry, the boys, along with Ryan’s brother in law, decided to launch their very own bar that was jam-packed with the best craft beers available.
What began as a single bar with eight beer taps is now a space boasting two bars and 14 taps with a regularly changing selection of local and international beer. In addition to tap beer, Saint John offers more than 170 beers on the shelves and in the fridges to drink in or takeaway. Saint John is essentially a bottleshop within a bar – there is even a canning machine, which allows customers to take home 946ml of fresh tap beer if their hop-heavy hearts desire.
The boys ensure they source only the best independently owned beer brands from both local and international suppliers. Saint John also aims to showcase a wide selection of different beer styles from around the world. As the bar’s spiritual leader, Luke, affectionately dubbed the ‘guru’, uses his wealth of knowledge about the craft-beer scene and his experience as a craft-beer rep to stay in the know, ensuring Saint John is up to date with new and emerging labels and styles.
The boys also maintain close relationships with producers and distributors from Tasmania and the mainland. While the staff are all beer-lovers and thrilled to banter about their brew of choice, they are very knowledgeable about booze in general, dabbling in a little top-shelf whisky, gin and wine as well.
During the day, customers are encouraged to bring their own lunch to snack on with a cheeky brew or two. As the sun goes down the Saint John kitchen, located in a permanent food van, fires up, serving a delicious selection of street food to the hungry masses. The likes of Korean fried chicken bites, vegetable pakoras, chilli cheese fries and slices of grilled lamb with halloumi, mint yoghurt and quinoa tabouli are all on offer at different times throughout the year.
The space is what you might expect of a beer-centered bar – dimly lit with dark wooden furniture, high stools and shelves overflowing with more beer than you thought possible. The relaxed, friendly space is the perfect spot for an after-work drink, a boozy reunion with friends or anything in between.
At Saint John, everyone is welcome to stop by, have a drink and talk about the boys’ favourite topic – beer. With a fiery passion for craft beer and regular events celebrating the craft, Saint John is a haven for beer lovers and amateurs alike.