Small breweries, craft beer & cider in NSW

Master artisans from small breweries, cideries and distilleries across Regional NSW make a delicious range of craft beer, cider and spirits. Many establishments offer tours and tastings, and annual festivals such as the Central Coast Craft Beer and Cider Festival near pretty Avoca Beach are lots of fun.

For the lovers of craft beer, the Central Coast is an easy drive north of Sydney. The Block ‘n Tackle in Kincumber makes small-batch ales. At the cellar door try tastings and a mezze menu. Six String Brewing Co. in Erina is a microbrewery, with a tasting room open Wednesday through Sunday.

The Grain Store Craft Beer Cafe, Newcastle

Along the beautiful North Coast are various small breweries, including the Foghorn Brewhouse in a Newcastle art deco warehouse and Murray’s Brewery in Port Stephens. Farther north are the Black Duck Brewery and the Little Brewing Co. in Port Macquarie and the Byron Bay Brewery in Byron Bay.

In charming towns in Country NSW are more makers of fine craft beer such as Thirsty Crow Brewery, a microbrewery in Wagga Wagga. For beer history, the Mudgee Brewing Co. traces its lineage back to 1858. On the banks of the splendid Macquarie River is Bathurst, home to Two Heads Brewing.

Join a tour at the New England Brewing Co. in Uralla, a pretty town halfway between Armidale and Tamworth. Nearby, you can taste gin and whiskey at Dobson’s Distillery and small-batch apple and pear ciders at the New England Cider Co. Other distilleries and cideries elsewhere in NSW include:

Batlow in the Snowy Mountains hosts the Batlow Cider Festival, in May. There are brew pubs in the Snowies and the Craft Beer Festival Thredbo, in the Kosciuszko National Park. East of Australia’s highest peaks is the gorgeous South Coast, home to stunning beaches and moreish breweries.

In Wollongong, try Five Barrel Brewing or the beachside Illawarra Brewery. Farther south, HopDog BeerWorks in Nowra makes ales. For lagers, ales and ciders, Longstocking Brewery is in Pambula. North of Sydney, in the Hunter, are several brewers, including Matilda Bay and the Hunter Beer Co.