29 March 2018
Craft beer has stepped into the spotlight more and more over the past few years, with breweries like Stone & Wood, Murray’s and more championing locally-made brews that are brewed with love and quality in mind. It’s interesting to note that there are currently more styles of beer than wine!
Whether you’re looking to try something new, learn more about how beer is made, or just grab a cold one, NSW is full of exciting, independent breweries to explore. Check out some awesome breweries around NSW below and start planning your big Aussie brewery tour!
Brewing specialty beers from their heritage converted woolshed, New England Brewing Company has been a favourite with NSW beer-drinkers since its formation in 2012. Head to Country NSW town of Uralla from Thursday to Saturday to grab a tasting paddle from the small brewery, with a beer list that includes Brown Ale, Hop Cannon IPA and the Flying Ram Lager. New England is also one of Australia’s only breweries that distributes cask conditioned ales.
Usually known for its cool-climate wines, Hope Estate has branched out into craft beer, adding brews to its rotation of reds and whites. The brewhouse offers a range of beer brewed on-site, from strong, dark and hoppy black IPAs to crisp Munich lager. The estate also hosts a many events throughout the year, with upcoming events including performances from 90s superstar Shania Twain to classical Opera in the Vineyards.
Established in 2008, Stone and Wood Brewery is one of Australia’s biggest and brightest. Although the brewery is internationally recognised with a slew of awards to its name, it still keeps to its Byron Bay roots and has kept up its reputation as an independent brewery. Try the famous Pacific Ale – a beer that is now famous across the state and the country.
Murray’s Brewing Co has been brewing unique, seasonal craft beers since 2006 and has won a number of awards and accolades. Murray’s beers can usually be recognised by their colourful bottle art and iconic, cartoon-style tap decals; with names like Melon Rouge and Blue Velvet referencing films and pop culture. The brewery prides itself on being ‘bland-free’ and brews a wide range of tasty beers including the Dark Knight Porter, Moon Boy Golden Ale, Blood Moon Blood Orange IPA and lots more. Alongside brewery tours, Murray’s also offer parties, hens and bucks parties, corporate events and unique weddings among the grape and hop vines for beer-loving couples looking for something a little different!
Founded by brewing beer-lovers Shawn Sherlock and James Garvey, Foghorn Brewhouse was built from the ground up from a rundown warehouse space to the brewing powerhouse it is today. The brewpub serves up a range of seasonal beers including their Boganaire IPA, Summer Ale and more. Alongside the beer, locals head here for their eclectic live music nights and delicious pizza treats. The brewhouse has also opened a new locale in Erina.
Located across the road from Wollongong South Beach, Illawarra Brewery couples scenic ocean views with great brews. Since forming in 2001, Illawarra Brewing has found popularity with its tasty Summer Ale and Rust Amber American Red Ale. The brewery also offers party hire packages for your event and serves up a range of Australian cuisine, making it a great place to while away the afternoon with all the family.
Head to Port Macquarie to try out the range of beer styles from Little Brewing Company, a craft brewery that specialises in small batch brewing. Little Brewing has a penchant for creating European-style, malt-driven beers under their Wicked Elf and Mad Abbot twin core ranges. As well as their core range, the brewery also makes seasonal, specialty beers, with past concoctions including a variety of IPAs, Porters and Christmas Ales.
This ‘garage project’ brewery was the brainchild of Avoca Beach locals Michael Pepper and Al Jones, who went on to open the Block ‘n’ Tackle cellar door and brewery in early 2015. After starting out with a 100 litre vessel installed from their garage, demand soon ran faster than production could keep up. Now working with a 500 litre Braumeister, the guys run a relaxed brewery space ideal for sunny afternoon beer appreciation. Block ‘n’ Tackle also offer brewhouse tasting tours so you can learn more about the brewing process and see where the brews are made. Tours cost $25 and includes a complimentary tasting paddle of five beers.