Food & Drink
6 Craft breweries to visit in Australia
After returning from living in the States for four years, my Australian beer palette was seriously off. America is the land of craft breweries, and I had developed a love for beers that had stories, innovation, depth and a richness of flavour. The watery commercial beers on offer in Australia were no longer cutting it. I was disappointed. That was until we did a lap of the country (excluding South Australia) and discovered that craft breweries are on the rise and bringing a new dimension of beer tasting to the Land Down Under. I mean we have the climate for it, about time we had some beer flavours to compliment it.
Here is just a small sampling of the outstanding breweries Australia has on offer. They don’t just offer flavoursome beer brewed on site, but delicious food, ambiance and views to match.
Bridge Road Brewery, Beechworth
In the high country of Victoria, Ned Kelly once roamed in search of a damn fine drop to quench his thirst from all that coach robbing. If he could teleport himself to 2015, he could plonk himself in the historic old stables that now house the popular brews of the Bridge Road Brewers. Owner Ben Kraus went to Austria to learn how to make wine and returned home brewing beer in his father’s shed. And so Bridge Road was born and has over 400 dedicated posse members. It’s a fantastic place to sit on a warm Sunday afternoon, just book ahead!
Our picks: a pint of Hefeweizen and a Pizza Funghi.
Matso’s Brewery, Broome
You know a craft beer is good when you can still taste it ten years later. That’s Matso’s Brewery. All the beers here are worth sampling; if you like a bit of spice, then you can’t go past the chilli beer. There’s a beautiful beer garden to match the superb tropical climate and views over Roebuck Bay.
Our picks: Equal weighting goes to the ginger beer and mango beer (they have it in cider varieties too).
Colonial Breweries, Margaret River
This is where the locals come to escape the tourism crowds. Margaret River is not just a premier wine region in Australia, micro-breweries are also popping up in every side lane. Our favourite was the Colonial Brewery. You must get there on a Friday night – all pizzas are $10. They are huge and delicious. Parents, you will love the playground that is sized to match the pizzas. Sit back, enjoy a brew and some live music.
Our picks: Wiet beer and pale ale with the Vegetarian pizza (sourced from their garden!)
Bush Shack Brewery Margaret River
Another local treat in Margs. Down a secluded bush track, you’ll arrive at a small brick house with a beer garden out the front. It’s rustic and unpretentious and has a great range of interesting beers to try. Grab some nachos while you’re there – cheap (for Margs) and delicious. Live music is often on in the beer garden on the weekend.
Our picks: Ginger beer and Strawberry beer.
Cycle into town and plonk yourself at a table overlooking the Owens River and surrounded by Victoria’s highest mountain. For parents, it also overlooks the playground. It was one of our favourite places in Bright to spend a hot Sunday afternoon. Ice cold cider and live music and children happy and entertained. The always have a core range of six Trailblazer beers and then six seasonal and special release brews.
Our picks: Cider and Hellfire Amber Ale
Mudgee Brewing company
About 4 hours west of Sydney, lies an up and coming wine region, also known for its food, history and amazing craft beer. The brewery’s building is a little over 100 years old with a cute little courtyard to sit on those summer evenings. The Mudgee Brewing Company is also home to live music in Mudgee.
Our picks: Mudgee Wheat and Mudgee Pale Ale.
What’s your favourite brewery in Australia?