by Sarah Halfpenny
There’s no doubt that Australians love their beer – in fact there are over 500 small breweries around the country! Here are five of the finest to add to your travel list, where you can relax in their taproom to enjoy a cold one, right where the liquid magic is made.
- Cascade Brewery (Hobart)
Explore the oldest operating brewery in Australia, situated in the foothills of South Hobart beneath Mt. Wellington. Their popular hour-long tours run each Saturday and Sunday, and book out weeks in advance. For $30 visitors can explore previously unseen areas of the brewery and learn the art of creating one of the nation’s oldest beer recipes from start to finish. The visit is then finished with a refreshing tasting paddle of four Cascade beers.
- Capital Brewing Co. (Canberra)
Everyone is welcome at the gorgeous taproom in Fyshwick that boasts 2,000 metres of lush garden space as well as a massive area (including cubby house and games) for children, plus shady spots for dogs and some great food on offer too. Being located at the base of the Brindabellas makes it easy for the 60+ members of the Capital Brewing team to source some of the cleanest water on earth to make their beer. Their mantra to be ‘good natured’ extends from how they make their beer to treating their employees and the planet with care and respect, and giving back to the local community. They’re even the official beer of the AFL team, the GWS Giants!
- Two Birds Brewing (Melbourne)
Located in Spotswood, this is the first female-founded brewery in Australia. Founders Jayne and Danielle both have backgrounds in the alcohol and beverage industries, but gave up their full-time jobs to embark on the Two Birds journey in June 2011. Their facility – a 900 square metre warehouse that once made beer cans back in the mid 1900s – is nicknamed ‘The Nest’. It’s home to a state-of-the-art brewery, bottling line, and tasting room, with meals on offer and a function facility that has even hosted weddings. Their beers are award-winning and include such favourites as the Taco Beer, which is brewed with coriander leaf and lime peel.
- Little Creatures (Fremantle)
Situated on the site of a former crocodile farm, there’s not much that’s standard about the story of Little Creatures. Their brewery tours are fun and interactive – visitors can get their hands on the raw ingredients they use and learn about the brewing process and the journey of this company started by a group of mates. Finish with a guided tasting of the full range of Little Creatures brews and soak up the atmosphere while sitting in the ‘Great Hall’, smack bang in the middle of the brewery, surrounded by tanks, brewers getting around in high-vis and the unmistakable aroma of beers mashing in.
- Young Henrys (Sydney)
It’s first in, first served (i.e. no reservations) at this popular tasting bar in trendy Newtown, but it’s open 7 days a week from midday to 7pm so they can honour their maxim to ‘serve the people’. The first Young Henrys beers were brewed a decade ago in March 2012. Since then, they’ve stuck to their philosophy to simply brew beer their local community would enjoy, while also supporting music, art, and culture, and remaining a steadfastly independent small business.