Eight of the best craft breweries in regional Victoria
Beer lovers, listen up. These are some of regional Victoria’s best craft breweries.
Victoria is undoubtebly the craft beer capital of the country 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.
Little Creatures, Geelong
Specialising in amber and pale ales, 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 were expanding into Fitzroy and later Geelong.
Each day the riverside Geelong outpost offers tastings and tours of the brewery, housed in a former a wool mill. One Wednesday a month they run a private beer school, teaching enthusiasts about the history of beer, breweries, and of course, Little Creatures.
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.
Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Mornington
While the Mornington Peninsula’s wineries usually steal the limelight (and for good reason), there’s more to this coastal region than vines and wines.
Over in Mornington you’ll find Mornington Peninsula Brewery bringing out award-winning brews. Drop by to try their brown ale, which took out gold at the Sydney Royal Beer and Cider Show 2019.
There’s a rotating selection of four specialty beers on tap each week, as well as brewery tours on Saturdays – samples included. Order a wood-fired pizza, choose a local wine to round out the meal and that’s Father’s Day sorted. Dad can even bring his dog.
St Andrew's Beach Brewery
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 . RACV members save 10 per cent on tasting paddles and pizzas for two.
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.
Holgate Brewhouse, Woodend
Celebrating 20 years this year, 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 and showcase brew pub with a $1.5-million redevelopment.
While their premises have 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.
Blackman’s Brewery, Torquay
Not to be confused with Blackman’s Beer Bar in Geelong, this independently owned brewery in Torquay has a simple philosophy: to make good beer using top-quality ingredients and a dose of patience.
The approach has paid off, with Blackman’s taking out the title of 2019 Champion Small Australian Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards.
Brewery tours run on Thursdays and Saturdays, but head in any day between Wednesday and Sunday to sample a range of beers, from pale ales to Belgian witbiers.
Red Duck, Ballarat
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.
And if you feel like a break from beer, Red Duck digs with Kilderkin Distillery, so you can drop in for a taste of its Larrikin gins.