Finally the sun is out, your holiday plans are being hatched and packing lists are at the ready. One of the best parts of a holiday for me is finding what the local area has to offer in the way of food, wine and even beer. We are finding more and more craft breweries, micro-breweries or just latest trendy beer producers calling themselves craft brewers, popping up in, or near popular holiday destinations in Australia. Some we’ve found by happy accident while others have been on the must visit list if they were anywhere near where we’ve been headed.
I’ve put together a list of 8 of the favourites we’ve found in our travels so far. These ones have rated for a number of reasons and either had all or some of these qualities.
- Great tasting beers of course, they all have lots of varieties of beers and definitely something to please everyone from traditional beers to ginger beers and even a mango beer!
- Great venues this is a huge drawcard especially if they are a really relaxing place to spend a few hours with a nice friendly vibe.
- Great staff (or if you’re lucky, owners) who know their product, can answer your questions and make you feel welcome to just enjoy the surroundings.
So, hopping (pun intended) between east coast and west (I’ll save north and south for another time) here is my countdown of favourites……..so far.
8. Little Creatures, Fremantle WA.
Little Creatures has its brewhouse in a massive shed on a boat harbour. When in Freo you have to drop in and try. This was one we knew of so had to visit but for me I found it a bit too big, too crowded and noisy. Having said that, it’s probably a great place to go with a group of friends and settle in for some pale ales and pizza. They do brewery tours regularly so you can learn all about the process and the beers. Loved the chopped Kombi.
7. Sail & Anchor, Pub Brewery in Fremantle, WA.
This is a stunning heritage listed pub in the busy South Terrace area of Fremantle. A really good atmosphere and great old décor with pressed metal ceilings and wood panelled walls. Heaps of beers to try but I did feel sorry for the bar staff who had to hand pump the beer taps, must be great for their biceps! Being a pub there are lots of different places to sit and enjoy the atmosphere but we couldn’t go past the front bar with big open windows to watch the passing parade of people and traffic.
6. Murrays Brewing Co. Port Stephens NSW.
Set in really lovely grounds, this is a very family friendly place to visit with a restaurant with perfect food for beer tasting, think pizzas, burgers and sliders but with tapas and lighter food on offer too. Great beer names too, Whale Ale, Angry Man, Bad Ass and Holy Cow just to name a few. The labels have to be seen to be believed too. They do brewery tours for those interested in the processes.
5. Boston Brewing Co. in Denmark, Western Australia.
This one could confuse a lot of people – Boston, Denmark, Western Australia, but all the same place!
This venue was big, lots of room inside and out, big restaurant inside and great outdoor area with tables and umbrellas with somewhere for the kids to play and fantastic food to go with your tasting paddle of beers. In fact this would have to be a sought after venue to go to for the food and it just so happens you can try some good beers too.
4. Lucky Bay Brewing, Esperance
Get the local map to find your way here. A small tin shed set up but plenty of room to sit and relax outside, a good choice of beers to try in quirky assorted glasses. These guys joked that they are more of a Nano brewery than a micro-brewery. Their point of difference is that they use 75% raw local barley so don’t use as much water, energy or food miles to produce their beers. This makes them one of the most environmentally friendly beers in Australia. As well as having a very good distinctive Aussie logo. If you like the beers they will can it on the spot for you to take away in a 1 Litre can or crowler. The Sandy Hook Barley Pale Ale was perfect for summer drinking.
3. Stone and Wood Brewery in Byron Bay.
This one was quite tricky to find too and has you winding through an industrial area of Byron wondering if you’ve taken a wrong turn. But soon enough we found the welcome sign out and the unmissable caravan out the front of the sheds and in we went. Pretty comfy inside and a beer paddle to sample your choices of what’s on offer. Friendly staff, tasty beers. Green Coast Lager for me please.
2. Matso’s Brewery in Broome WA.
For starters this brewery is set in a beautiful old building which was relocated to its current spot and has a comfortable wide verandah surrounding it. A great place to have a meal while you’re tasting the products. These guys have a good variety to try including a Ginger Beer, Chilli Beer, Pearlers Pale Ale, Mango Beer and my favourite, Hit the Toad (apt for travellers!) A nice touch in this town known for its pearls and pearling industry is having pearl shells on the beer taps too.
1. The Brewhouse Margaret River, WA
This one rates highly because of the comfortable venue and super friendly staff who not only told us about the great beers on offer but gave us fantastic tips on places to see and where to stay off the grid in WA. Everything about this place made it a definite one to revisit one day. Some great beers to try too of course, including, Black Duck Lager, Golden Grouper Ale, and Bastard Brown, brown ale. Great place to easily spend a few hours.
So many more breweries to seek out and sample. Let me know what you think is a must see in Australia and we’ll add it to the list!
Cheers (and Beers)