Craft beer has been a growing market across Australia, and South Australia has been no exception to this. The number of new craft and micro breweries that have sprung up around the state has been amazing, and is increasing at an fantastic rate. While it can be hard to keep track of the sheer number of options, it’s good news for tourists and locals alike, with more great brews to drink in more cool locations.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a pretty decent starting point in exploring Adelaides craft beer producers.
As winner of the rather prestigious title of "World’s Best Beer" in 2016, Prancing Pony have definitely put themselves on the map. Over the past 5 years they have grown from their small industrial shed in Mount Barker to an open brewery dining hall setup at Totness in the Adelaide Hills. With a growing stable of beers in their line-up, there really is something for everyone. With a large menu of food on offer, you have no reason not to pull up a stool (or a lounge) and sample a few ales.
Our tip - a plate of "Pony Stable Muck" and an award winning India Red Ale. Or the Pagans Empire. Or the Magic Carpet Ride. Or the....
The Brewshed is open 7 days a week.
The Samoyed is a super fluffy white coated dog that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The Smiling Samoyed is a super friendly brewery and pizzeria that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. With a good selection of award winning beers available year round, plus seasonal brews to enjoy, the Smiling Samoyed should be on any beer lovers must visit list. Plus, not to be overlooked, there are super cute dogs there to see and pat! Brews, pizzas and adorable dogs....that’s all that needs to be said really.
Our tip - a 12 Paws Pale or Dark Ale - depending on the season - with a simple but delicious margheritta pizza. Consideration should also be given to arancini on the side.
Goolwa has a lot to offer any traveler, most notably the Goolwa Wharf markets that are on Sundays twice a month. Once you have wondered around these, you really have no choice but to cross the railway tracks and find a seat at this fantastic micro-brewery and distillery. Apart from the quiet river views and open brewery in the shed you will find 4 regular beers to try, along with their whiskeys and a small selection of local wines if that is more your thing.
Our tip - Their steam ale is something fairly unique to them, so you have to at least try it. The IPA is hard to go past though....and grab a venison pie from the market before you get there.
Open Wednesday to Sunday 11:30am to 5pm.
You now don’t even have to head out of the CBD to visit a micro-brewery with the opening of Lady Burra in 2015. They have a current range of 4 regular beers on tap with other seasonals available, and food options with a distinct Portuguese flavour. This is a funky and fun place to sit and enjoy an ale and some bites, letting you escape from the city (within the city) for a little while.
Our tip - line up the paddles! One of their beer, the other of chips. Yes, they have a chip tasting paddle. See, now you are interested....
Lady Burra is open Tuesday to Saturday in Topham Mall in Adelaide CBD.
Before Pirate Life set sail for their growing export market, before Prancing Pony opened their stable in Mount Barker, and even before Vale Brewing tapped their first Vale Ale – Lobethal Bierhaus were plying their trade in the small Adelaide Hills village of Lobethal. They have produced many multiple award winning beers, and have 12 different beers on tap in their restaurant/cellar door, with others available in the bottle.
Lobethal Bierhaus is just a great place to visit. It’s family friendly, they have a really good menu showcasing lots of local produce, their beers are fantastic and the staff are always friendly and helpful.
Our tip: A beer tasting paddle with some buffalo wings. Better make that a double serve. Or just jump into the hefeweizen if the sun is shining.
The Barossa is well known as a wine epicenter, however there are some breweries making their own mark within the region. BVB are never afraid to push the envelope, brewing up some full flavoured and boundary testing ales. There are a mix of core beers and special batch brews, and it’s all accessible from their fantastic ‘cellar door’.
It’s not all about the beers though, there is also an extensive menu available to accompany the beverages. Great food, live music and good times are all but guaranteed at BVB.
Our tip – The Hop Heaven Easy IPA is a good session option, but their special batch Canis Major IIPA and Coffee Chocolate Stout are truly special.
The Wheaty or Wheatsheaf Hotel is without doubt one of the key destinations for beer lovers within Adelaide. Not just for their retro styling, extensive range of packaged beers, board games, sofas, open fires and live music, but since 2014 they have added their own brewing arm to their beer arsenal. They are always experimenting so chances are a new beer will be on the tap between visits – they put out a faintly ridiculous 44 different beers within the first year. Located just on the fringe of the city – it’s a must visit for any beer connoisseur.
Our tip – impossible to say really….go on a nice day, find a spot in the outdoor beer garden, talk to the friendly staff and work your way through the list!
From a huge farmers shed in the Barossa (complete with Scalextric track) to Royal Park in Adelaide, Big Shed Brewing have been refining their trade since those formative days in 2002. Their tasting bar and kitchen launched in 2014, dishing out burgers and other beer friendly food to accompany their fantastic beers. Their core range has 4 brews, but a couple of seasonals fill out the taps.
They can also arrange tours of the brewery, including a full day hands on brewing experience.
Our tip - The F-Yeah is where it's at, but the Californicator is a cracking beer too.
If you are venturing even further away from Adelaide and its more immediate surrounds, then you can still find yourself sampling some quality local beers. If you are heading west - quite a long way west - to Port Lincoln, then you definitely should check out Beer Garden Brewing. They include locally grown barley in every beer, as well as using local produce in their food and growing their own hops for seasonal releases. 5 beers are in their core range, and the Cage Diver IPA is sensational.