With craft beer only just getting a toehold in the Australian market, and a small population base to support it, some of Australia’s microbrewing hotspots have sprung up on tourist trails. The constant stream of visitor traffic can create a more viable trade at these locations through a pub and cellar-door style outlet.
One of Australia’s premier wine districts, the Margaret River in Western Australia, boasts seven excellent small breweries deriving a living almost exclusively from on-premises sales. With more than 60 wineries in the region, these small breweries are capitalising on a tourist market primed for a flavorful experience, and are winning many converts to the cause of great beer.
A little to the north and you find the Swan Valley, another wine growing region with a concentration of craft breweries. One of the highlights is Feral Brewery where, amongst his other beers, Brendan Varis has created a beer/wine hybrid featuring juice from the Malbec grapes growing besides the brewery.
Victoria on the South East of Australia is another state with a proliferation of great breweries. Australia’s smallest mainland state but its second most populated, Victoria’s 30-odd craft breweries are less concentrated than in Western Australia. Victoria’s capital, Melbourne, is possibly Australia’s beer capital, with no fewer than ten great breweries and some of Australia’s best beer bars.