Top Ten Craft Beer Experiences in Australia.
craft beer ;
- a beer made in a traditional or non-mechanized way by a small brewery.
From the early days of James Squire making Ned Kelly’s Schooners to the Feral Brewery in W.A distributing nation wide release of a sour Watermelon Warhead Ale, Australia loves its beer. Australia has come a long way in craft beer (when I was a teenager I thought Coopers Green was the height of craft) – with the vast majority of pubs across the nation containing some form of craft ale. Boasting over 600 craft breweries and over 85 million litres of beer drank every year (that’s 340,000 olympic sized thorpie pools – we did the maths) Australia provides many wonderful ways to get involved with the craft beer world. Here are our top ten.
TEN. Drink Beer and Ride a Lion at ZOO BREW
There are Australian festivals of all shapes and sizes – in a prison, on a train, many many beach based ones, but Zoo Brew is the only the craft beer festival in a zoo. ”Where else could you stand on a beautiful terrace and enjoy a cold beer while overlooking Sydney Harbour, the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and of course Taronga Zoo?” says festival director Patrick Maher. The beer festival hopes to promote the use of sustainable products that are sourced ethically. Drinkers at Zoo Brew will be encouraged to be environmentally conscious and will be given re-useable tasting cups for the day. Personally I think any festival which allows us to drink an IPA and steal the keys from the zookeeper and let the monkeys run loose through the lion enclosure is a total winner.
NINE. Pretend you’re James Bond and do a pub crawl by helicopter with Pterodactyl Helicopters
Based in South-East Queensland these guys know what the best thing to do with a helicopter license (and a actual helicopter) is and will literally take you on a helicopter pub crawl. Granted you have to be able to justify a chunk of cash but it is an actual pub crawl – by – helicopter. Each tour includes beers and a traditional pub meal. Do it on your own, post pictures of it online and literally be the envy of all men. Everywhere.
EIGHT. Toast your beer in respect at Cascade Brewery Tour.
The spectacularly placed Cascade Brewery is Australia’s oldest brewery, located in South Hobart, Tasmania. The brewery is situated in the foothills of Mount Wellington, a five-minute drive from Hobart’s central business district. If you’re not into the tour then head over to the Beer School and learn about food matching and pouring the perfect beer. A Tasmanian Icon well worth the trip. Don’t ask the locals about their scar, they don’t find it as hilarious as they should.
SEVEN. Drink Beer and drive the boat with Captain Cook Cruises.
Next time your in Perth catch the daily Fremantle Craft Beer Tour and Cruise along the Swan River. “Fremantle has quickly become a haven for beer enthusiasts and what better way to immerse yourself in beer than with Captain Cook Cruises’ new Fremantle Craft Beer Tour and Cruise.” These guys visit multiple craft beer venues and include a local lunch. Captain Cook was good mates with James Squire – “true historical fact” – so this tour is already great by default.
SIX. Embrace your inner-bogan
There couldn’t be a more Aussie beer experience than the Darwin Beer Can Regatta. To be fair there isn’t a great deal of craft beer present BUT the amount of Beer vs Australians is so large we couldn’t over look this famous event. Since 1974 People have been literally building boats out of beer cans and racing each other along Mindil Beach. All funds raised are donations and it’s amazing. The vessels are not tested for seaworthiness. This is bogans falling off beer cans into the ocean. This is more Australian than Paul Hogan.
FIVE. When one day of drinking beer isn’t enough COASTAL BREW TRIP
It is an actual 2 day catered Beer tour of local craft beer and breweries on Victoria’s Surf Coast
The Great Ocean Road and the Otway Ranges are two iconic experiences in this corner of the world. Yup – the WORLD. This coastal drive is so spectacular that it is driven not for any destination but for the journey itself. In recent years more and more breweries and pubs have emerged on this journey, creating the opportunity to take a road trip like no other.
Andy’s Trails beer tour spans two days to ensure they visit a range of craft breweries and pubs celebrating local craft beer & produce. Andy takes on the role of the designated driver and guide so you can truly immerse yourself in the incredible range of craft beers and breweries, each with their own story and unique personality. Premium overnight accomodation and meals included. The drive is famously outstanding but the amount of craft beer on this adventure makes me doubt you’ll remember much of it.
FOUR. If you get lost or are John Jarret. The Desert Cave Hotel, Coober Pedy
It’s more of a beer experience as opposed to a craft beer experience but we are open minded in this article.
Coober Pedy, it’s so bloody hot that their main way of life – including the local watering hole – is underground. Located 165km from Australia’s most isolated pub; The William Creek Hotel, the Desert Cave Hotel is an experience in itself with shops and a museum all entrenched in the cool grounds. You can also stay overnight and pretend you are Sylvester Stallone in Daylight.
Every year in May – Melbourne transforms into planet earth’s Craft Beer Mecca with 10 days of beer inspired events and experiences, we understand 10 day is longer than a week but who’s complaining. Seven years old, over 300 events per year and approximately 80 thousand attendees and good beer week attracts more world class brewers and beer connoisseurs than any other beer event in Australia. In 2018 it celebrates its eighth anniversary with a lineup that features guests from around the world, infamous brewers, masterclasses, ale matched degustations, live music and more. To ‘tap it off’ the week includes the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) and the three-day GABS (Great Australian Beer Spectacular) Beer, Cider & Food Festival at the Royal Exhibition Building. If you go to one beer event during good beer week – GABS is the one, with over 120 beers made especially for the day this is unequivocally the ultimate craft beer event; in 2015, American magazine, Beer Connoisseur, rated GABS as one of the top 20 beer festivals in the world. One hundred and twenty new beers… thats one beer drank every minute for 2 hours. Don’t test that..
TWO. Visit all the breweries you can with ANDY’S TRAILS
All the craft venues sound so good the first question is “but how do I see all of these places while not getting pulled up by the local fuzz for drinking 24 pints of IPA?”. If you’re in Victoria or Tasmania – book a tour with Andy’s Trails and let Andy be the driver. Andy’s Trails are full immersion tours across Andy’s most loved parts of Victoria’s Surf Coast and Tasmania. A passionate local team dedicated to giving people the best local craft beer experience possible makes the Ale Blazers tour the perfect way to experience the regions craft beer scene. And Andy won the world’s best tour guide 42 times in a row. Also that last fact was made up. Andy does bus pick ups and tours for most of Victoria’s beer events and all local produce events in the Surf Coast Region. Whether you’re looking for a foodie’s feast adventure, a locally-produced immersive liquor experience, or a full hipster encounter with the local craft beer scene while surrounded by spectacular coastal drives, rainforest or rugged hinterland, Andy’s Trails has the experience for you! Book Now.
ONE. Having a beer at the shitty local pub with ya mate. AUSTRALIA
At the end of the day most pubs in this Great Southern Land have awakened to some form of decent beer – and Im pretty confident most of us will choose drinking an ok-ish pale ale with tonka and gaz at the local shit hole than sitting alone in Collingwood drinking the latest Moon Dog triple sour smoked bacon donut porter – although I would love to taste that beer. Having a beer at the local pub with your mates beats the lot so be happy to be that guy who won’t drink carlton, drink local, don’t be stingy on your shouts, don’t get annoyed at how they never dim the lights and don’t ever eat the peanuts. Cheers
Feeling thirsty yet?