28 of the best craft breweries in regional Victoria

Close up of bartender pouring beer from tap

Tianna Nadalin

Posted August 05, 2022

Beer lovers, listen up. These are some of regional Victoria’s best craft breweries.

Victoria is undoubtably the craft beer capital of Australia and, with craft breweries popping up all around the state, there are endless boutique brew halls at which you can enjoy a finely crafted pint of your favourite amber nectar.

If you're looking for an excuse to sip your way around Victoria's hop hinterland, these are some of our ale-time favourite craft breweries. 

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People sitting at picnic tables outside brewery at sunset

Forrest Brewing. Image: Visit Victoria.

Best craft breweries near the Surf Coast

Little Creatures, Geelong

Little Creatures began with a few friends who wanted to recreate the distinctive hop flavour of an American pale ale. Starting out in Fremantle, it wasn’t long before they expanded to the east coast, first opening a brewery in Fitzroy (which has since closed) and then Geelong. The riverside Geelong outpost, which is housed in a former wool mill, offers an array of smooth sips and sumptuous share plates from its sprawling barrel hall. Head down on Saturday afternoons for a laid-back bevvy and local acoustic tunes.

Blackman’s Brewery, Torquay

This independently owned brewery in Torquay has a simple philosophy: to make good beer using top-quality ingredients and a dose of patience. Blackman's Brewery and Pizza Bar, located just up from Torquay's iconic Cosy Corner, is pouring some of the Surf Coast's craftiest pints and crispiest pizzas. Wash down their house-brewed beers with some loaded meatballs, mac and cheese croquettes or crispy beer-battered fish tacos. Book a table or stop in for a tasting between Wednesday and Sunday to sample a range of craft brews, from lagers and pale ales to Belgian witbiers.

Sou'West Brewery, Torquay

The Surf Coast's famed outlet centre isn't where you'd expect to find a first-class brewery with a restaurant helmed by two Bocuse d'Or Grand Finalist chefs. But that is exactly what Sou'West Brewery is bringing to the Torquay backstreets. As well as a range of hand-crafted beers, the restaurant is slinging a thoroughly beer-appropriate menu. We're talking burgers, beer-brined chicken parmas, seafood pies, and pizzas.  

Forrest Brewing, Forrest

Forrest might be known for its world-class mountain bike trails, but it's the locally brewed beers that are keeping the cyclists peddling to the metal. Off the beaten Surf Coast track, in the Otway hinterland, this small-scale brewery epitomises the philosophy of hand-crafted. From the brewing to the bottling and even labelling, everything that can be done by hand is, and it's done so with a focus on seasonal brews and single-batch special releases. The cosy brew hall is open for breakfast and lunch from Friday to Monday, as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.

Red brick building with brewery

Holgate Brewhouse. Image: Visit Victoria.

Best craft breweries near the Goldfields

Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend

Holgate started out as a microbrewery operating from owners Tash and Paul Holgate’s backyard. They’ve come a long way since then, taking over the former Keatings Hotel and transforming it into a production base to showcase their brew pub with a $1.5-million redevelopment. While their premises has changed, their passion for craft beers, good food, and supporting the local community remains steadfast. Choose from a range of hand-crafted beers on tap – from brewpub classics to special keg releases – before moving into the restaurant for a hearty meal. 

Red Duck, Ballarat

There’s no shortage of fine boutique breweries in central Victoria’s Goldfields region (Cubby Haus Brewing and Dollar Bill Brewing) among them, but Red Duck in Ballarat punches well above its weight. This microbrewery uses its diminutive size to its advantage, experimenting with new methods and all-natural ingredients, and taking time to talk to visitors about what they’re after. If you’re looking for new flavour combinations or to break away from your usual drink, this is the brewery to visit.

Daylesford Brewing, Daylesford

Putting the ale back in Daylesford: that's the slogan behind this crafty spa country taphouse. Established in 2015 by a couple of beer-loving locals (one with a background in environmental science and the other in design), Daylesford Brewing is bringing a modern touch to the art of beer making. The taphouse takes pride of place on the main street, where the decor and menu are inspired by the town's golden history

Shedshaker Brewing, Castlemaine

Castlemainians have been frothing over this local taphouse since is poured onto the scene in 2016. Located in the trendy Mills precinct in the town's north, Shedshaker Brewing certainly lives up to its name. For those who like their beer rich, dark and handsome, the Espresso Black Lager, brewed with arabica beans from nearby Coffee Basics, is a must-sip. The taproom is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Bookings recommended.

Palling Bros, Heathcote

Heathcote might be wine country, but the Palling Bros Brewery is firmly establishing itself as a beer-lovers paradise in a shiraz heartland. The Goldfields temple of hop worship specialises in handcrafted, artisan brews that are made to be enjoyed with fine food and good tunes. Bring your fur babies and pour over a mouth-watering menu that features everything from salt and pepper calamari and goat tacos to lamb curry, while sipping on a crisp lager or tropical golden ale.

Couple sitting up at bar tasting beer

Hargreaves Hill. Image: Visit Victoria.

Best craft breweries near the Yarra Valley

Coldstream Brewery, Coldstream

The mates who founded Coldstream Brewery in 2007 reckon there’s no better way to honour a brewery than to turn it into a pub. Born two weeks apart at the same hospital, then reunited at kindergarten, the founders started brewing in what is now The Brewery Bar. While beer is no longer made on the premises, the brewery beers remain true to the original recipes with locally sourced hops, malt and yeast – and they now make cider, too. These days you can sample their range as part of a tasting paddle in The Brewery Bar or enjoy a glass or two with a meal in The Pub.

Matilda Bay Brewery, Healesville

Healesville's Matilda Bay has been brewing beer in Victoria since 1983. One of the craft beer trailblazers, they've been pouring deliciously experimental brews for nearly 40 years. Their Redback Summer Ale (which launched in 1987 as the Summer Weizen) sits somewhere between summer ale and a Belgian wheat beer. It's floral, fruity and seriously sippable. Visit them seven days a week at their Yarra Valley Brewpub, which also offers a seasonal spin on the region's best produce. 

Watts River Brewing, Healesville

Watt do you get when you combine two families of brewers who are passionate about creating great beer? Watts River Brewing, of course. Named after the river that flows through the heart of Healesville, this Yarra Valley-based brewery is all about helping people live hoppily ever after, with their beers arranged into categories based on the personality profile of the drinker. If you're pretty stable but a bit extroverted, their River Session Pale Ale is your brewfect match, while those who are slightly more introverted might be better suited to the dark-roasted Stout. Their Healesville Cellar Door is open Thursday to Monday. 

Hargreaves Hill, Lilydale

It's been a big decade for the dedicated brewers behind Hargreaves Hill. After their Steels Gate brewery was destroyed in the Black Saturday fires of 2009, owners Simon Walkenhorst and his wife Beth William were determined to come back bigger and stronger. They spent six months brewing their core range in other breweries until they were able to get their shiny new Lilydale brewhouse up and running. Book in for a brewery tour or keep an eye out for open nights and special events. 

People sitting under umbrellas at picnic tables outside brewery housed in black metal shed

Burra Brewing Co. Image: Visit Victoria.

Best craft breweries in Gippsland

Howler Brewing Company, Lang Lang

Locally brewed and independently made. That's the vision behind South Gippsland's small batch Howler Brewing Company. Named after a mysterious (and possibly mythical) creature that roams the Lang Lang swamplands, Howler is making serious good beer for unserious people. As well as being smooth, creamy and supremely balanced, their beers are all about fun. The Love Me Long Time is their go-to session pilsner, while the Social Influencer is a subtly citrusy pale ale. And if you're a fan of seltzers, you'll love the spritzy Social Distancer - a pink lemonade sour seltzer.

Sailor's Grave Brewing, Orbost

It's not quite butter beer, but this brewery housed in a 100-year-old butter factory on the banks of the Snowy River is a pretty close second. The artisanal Orbost brewery is all about terroir, crafting unique beers that are an expression of the region, in taste and design. Sailors Grave Brewing boasts a range of rotating styles made using a diverse array of farmed and foraged ingredients. They also collaborate with local artists to bring to life their colourful can style. Head around the back to the cellar door, which is open Friday to Sunday. 

Bullant Brewery, Bruthen

When locals Neil and Lois Triggs decided to start a brewery, they figured a brewhouse repurposed from an American icon seemed like a pretty good idea. After Richbrau Brewing Company in Virginia became another victim of the global financial crisis and was forced to close, they jumped at the opportunity to give its copper-clad brewhouse a new home. And so was born Bullant Brewery. Stop in at the welcome Bruthen beer hall and try one of their refreshing craft brews, named after local places of interest. The Tambo River Pilsner is a popular choice.

Burra Brewing Co, Korumburra

It was over a lads golf weekend that good mates Phil, Anthony and Luke realised they wanted to open a brewery. Phil, who brewed his first beer at the age of 17, and his beersociates Anthony and Luke, who spent many years sampling the finest ales in Europe, always knew they were destined for the pour life. So it was a dream come true to finally crack the lid on their Korumburra brewery. Housed in a former grain and garden supplies shed, the vibrant beer hall has all your craft favourites and then some. Pull up a table in the sprawling beer garden, order a tasting paddle and a woodfired pizza, and drink in the crisp South Gippsland atmosphere.

Brewery in lush garden surrounded by vertical plants and picnic umbrellas

Bright Brewery. Image: Visit Victoria.

Best craft breweries in the High Country

Bright Brewery, Bright

Gold medal winner at RACV’s 2018 Victorian Tourism Awards, this Victorian institution is all about highlighting local, natural ingredients – not too much of a stretch when your backyard is Victoria's high country. Choose from a selection of 24 beers and seasonal brews available on tap, best enjoyed from the Hop Terrace overlooking the riverside parkland. Set aside a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll be treated to live music. As an added bonus, this is an eco-friendly venue. In 2012 they installed a 50kw solar system as they move towards being a carbon-neutral business.

Tooborac Hotel and Brewery, Tooborac

Tooborac Hotel, in all its bluestone and granite glory, has been standing proud on the Northern Highway in Tooborac for more than 150 years. Built circa 1857 with an onsite brewery, it is the oldest National Trust-listed country pub in Victoria. Though the brewery has always existed on site, it wasn't until a complete refurbishment in 2008 that it became part of the attraction. Now the historic hotel and brewery is offering hearty pub classics that can be washed down with traditionally brewed beers that honour the town's rich heritage. Name us a more heavenly match. Go on, we'll wait.

Bridge Road Brewers, Beechworth

When Beechworth winemaker Ben Kraus packed his bags for Europe, never in his wildest dreams did he imagine he'd return home with a wife (Maria) and a passion for brewing. But, alas, that is what a season on the slopes in of Austria can do to a person. Ben and Maria opened the first iteration of Bridge Road Brewing in his dad's shed in 2005, when they were just 25 years old, and thirst for their tasty brews quickly saw them outgrow the building. Fast forward to now and Bridge Road Brewing is home to a 340-seat taproom and pizzeria, with their beers poured everywhere from their hometown of Beechworth to Bermagui and Bangkok. 

Mitta Mitta Brewing Co, Mitta Mitta

Mitta Mitta Brewing Co is a story of the little brewery that could after a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2017 helped best mates Alec and Chris, and their wives, Chris and Jen, raise the rest of the money they needed to help them realise their dream of owning a brewery. And it's been a labour of love ever since. From a paddock to a completed brewery, the industrious duo have built everything from the ground up, even growing their own hops to avoid the use of chemicals in their beers, and sourcing a single-origin malt from a nearby producer to keep everything as local as possible. 

Tables in restaurant overlooking lake

Nagambie Brewery. Image: Facebook.

Best craft breweries in the Goulburn Valley

Shepparton Brewery, Shepparton

If you haven't visited in a while, there's a bit of a buzz around Shepparton these days. A spate of hot new openings, including the recent addition of 400 Gradi to the postcode's restaurant scene, is breathing new life into the northern town. Among them is Shepparton Brewery, which was opened in 2019 by local restaurateurs Matt Milsome and Daina Winch (Teller Collective). The brewery is adding a laid-back, fun and friendly vibe (as well as delicious tacos pork ribs and burgers) to Shepparton's neighbourhood brewing scene. Their Sheppxico Lager, an ode to the crisp brews of South America, is sure to become your next go-to tinny. 

Byramine Homestead & Brewery, Burramine 

Fresh estate-breweed beers overlooking a beautiful garden surounded by the oldest in Elm trees in Victoria? Drink in the pristine views over an afternoon at the historic Byramine Homestead and Brewery, an 1842 building which was  classified by the National Trust because of its unique design that features octagonal rooms. 

Nagambie Brewery, Nagambie

Is there anything more enticing than an ice-cold beer overlooking a sparkling lake? That's exactly what you'll get when sipping back at Nagambie Brewery. Soak up some rays on the sprawling deck while sampling some deliciously crisp craft brews at the lakeside sweet spot. 

Beers in tasting paddle on timber table

Red Hill Brewery. Image: Visit Victoria.

Best craft breweries on the Mornington Peninsula

St Andrew's Beach Brewery, Fingal

Spring is on its way, which means there's no better time to get out and explore Victoria's hop-tactular backyard. Meander a little further along the peninsula and you'll find St Andrews Beach Brewery. The former horse training facility is situated on 37 hectares of rolling Mornington Peninsula countryside. A range of award-winning brews pays homage to its thoroughbred history. Lagerheads will love Race Day and The Strapper, while pale alers will be all about the 6 Furlongs.

Red Hill Brewery, Red Hill

The original and still of the best breweries on the Mornington Peninsula. This rustic hinterland hop house, surrounded by lush gardens, is a must-visit brewtopia. Red Hill Brewery's range of small-batch beers includes frothy favourites, as well as limited release specials utilising local ingredients. Sit out on the sprawling, sun-drenched deck and enjoy a laid-back beer and a bite to eat. Get around the Fandango Bohemian, an annual special release affectionately known as the Brewer's Rhapsody. 

Two Bays Brewing, Dromana

If you're looking for a beer that tastes so good your wheat-loving mates will never know it's gluten-free, Two Bays has you covered. The Dromana brewery is Australia's first dedicated gluten-free brewery and taproom, pouring beer's greatest hits. From refreshing session ales and crisp lagers to a full-strength draught endorsed by Coeliac Australia. Stop in for a beer and stay for a bite. 

Jetty Road Brewery, Dromana

It's all about the vibe at this buzzing Dromana Brewery. The hopping brew house is the place to go for a bit of banter over a relaxed beer, a brisket sanger and some live music. Dogs are welcome so head on down for a sip session at one of the Peninsula's most vibrant hop temples. It's open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday.