Try small-batch ales on the Central Coast at the Block ‘n Tackle in Kincumber; enjoy preservative-free, unpasteurised craft ales at Six String Brewing Coin Erina; and bring the kids and dogs to Bay Road Brewing in Gosford.
IronBark Hill Brewhouse, Pokolbin - Credit: Time Out
The attractive countryside around Uralla is on the map for beer lovers who can sample ales and lagers made with local ingredients at New England Brewing Co. Take a brewery tour and try the Mudgee Mud stout at Mudgee Brewing Co, housed in a century-old former wool store. Or drop into the Thirsty Crow Brewery in Wagga Wagga for a burger and fries with a cold one.
If you’re after something a bit stronger, check out one of the state’s many distilleries. Husk in the Tweed region of northern NSW is Australia’s only single estate rum distillery, and also produces an eye-popping, violet-hued Ink Gin infused with butterfly pea flowers. And despite an abundance of wineries in Mudgee, Baker Williams Distillery has developed its own loyal following for spirits and liqueurs, including shiraz gin and butterscotch schnapps.
Slightly more obscure, but no less tasty, is Black Gate Distillery in the Warrumbungles, the first hot-climate whiskey distillery in NSW – they also make a highly drinkable rum. Try gin and whiskey in flights or cocktails at the speakeasy bar at Dobson’s Distillery in New England, where lunch is also served on weekends. Or head to the Wildbrumby Distillery in the Snowy Mountains for schnapps made using pristine alpine water.
In May, the Batlow CiderFest celebrates the end of the apple harvest with street parades, live music and tastings aplenty. But of course. Meanwhile, Byron Bay’s June Festival of the Stone at Stone and Wood is a bacchanalian showcase of tasty tipples paired with live music – all profits go to charity. If you’re an indecisive drinker, you’ll love the Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival, also in June. While Maitland Gaol hosts the Bitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival every November.
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