December 2, 2020

10 great regional SA breweries

If you're thinking of popping out for a pint or a schooner, why not travel a little further than usual? Creativity is brewing in South Australia's regions.

Riverland: Woolshed Brewery
Wilkadene Station’s Woolshed Brewery is SA’s only brewery overlooking the River Murray. Set inside a restored Woolshed, which is more than 100 years old, the cellar door is open every day, from 11am to 5pm. Enjoy a few award-winning beers on the deck and take in the stunning view. The brewery is an ideal place to spend an hour, afternoon, or even a week in the historic Wilkadene Cottage or on a luxury Wilkadene Houseboat. Wilkadene Station has a strong focus on sustainability, using solar energy, rainwater, and recycling wastewater. Even the packaging is environmentally friendly.

Adelaide Hills: Lot 100
This all-encompassing food and craft beverage mecca in Nairne bustles with guests at any given time – a testament to its quality and variety of offerings. Lot 100 is a collective between Mismatch Brewing Co, Adelaide Hills Distillery, The Hills Cider Company, Ashton Valley Fresh and Vinteloper. Food dishes are modern Australian with a classic Italian twist and a paddock-to-plate ethos is strong throughout the menu. Enjoy small and large plates, pasta, wood oven pizza and desserts. Wash it all down with a wine, gin or craft brew.

Adelaide Hills: Lobethal Bierhaus
A dozen different beer styles are on tap in the Lobethal Bierhaus restaurant at any given time, giving drinkers extensive choices to enjoy with the classic pub grub. Favourites include the American-style spicy chicken wings with blue cheese sauce, washed down with a cold beer. Brewing equipment is in full view of diners, offering an authentic experience. Try the chocolate oatmeal stout for something different.

Adelaide Hills: Uraidla Brewery
Head brewer Oscar Matthews cut his teeth in the States at SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo, California, before returning home to Adelaide and founding Uraidla Brewery in 2018. The brewery’s range reflects both the beer scene in the States, with plenty of big, flavoursome, and occasionally quite bitter IPAs, as well as more measured Australian styles. If you’ve been on the hunt for a beer to go with your breakfast, Uraidla’s two-and-a-bit-per-center Future Light is a great stand-in for your OJ.

Fleurieu: Shifty Lizard Brewing Co
Co-founders Lee Stone and Danny Strapps brought this microbrewery and taphouse to Willunga’s main street in 2018. While the two have been mates for about 20 years, Lee spent a decade in the UK working with some of Europe’s largest breweries. Danny also travelled overseas developing his unique illustration style. Together the pair have combined their talents to create the brand that is Shifty Lizard. The core range of brews all have quirky names, including the Stouty McStout Face and Gila Monsters IIPA which packs a big punch.

Barossa: Rehn Bier
Established in 2012 by Brenton and Robyn Rehn, Rehn Bier use traditional brewing methods and a hands-on approach to brew classic beer styles from around the world in their micro-brewery and cellar door in Tanunda. Mix up the wine tasting and enjoy a tasting paddle in their cellar door and hear first-hand brewing tips from the brewer.

Limestone Coast: Robe Town Brewery
Admittedly, Robe is a long way to drive for beer, but where else are you going to get an ale made using ambergris? The brewery takes cues from the historical nature of the Robe township, making use of an old-world wood-fired brewhouse, and its roster of beers rotates continuously based on seasonality. Make the three-hour drive worth it and stray from your usual go-to to opt for the Karkalla Pigface Gose.

Kangaroo Island: Kangaroo Island Brewery
As a fire fighter, Mike Holden spent many days fighting last summer’s fires, but of late has been busy brewing beer and slinging pizzas at Kangaroo Island Brewery. The small-batch brewery is a rustic roadside stop near Kingscote, with a pizza oven churning out pizzas on Fridays and Sundays. The brewery is open Thursday through to Monday, with a ploughman’s platter available alongside an assortment of Mike’s house-brewed beer. The business has this year diversified with its first wine, called Charlie.

Yorke Peninsula: Watsacowie Brewery
Up a no-through road in Minlaton sits a favourite destination for locals and visitors to YP. Great beer, super-friendly service and a shed/brewery atmosphere sets the stage for drinks with friends, oft-held music events with food vans or just Friday knock-offs. You can even bring your own plate of snacks and there is also cider and wine on offer. Dogs are welcome and there’s a large new undercover seating area outside. Watsacowie is a must-visit, if you have any trouble finding it, just follow the stream of cars. 

Eyre Peninsula: Beer Garden Brewing
Eyre Peninsula is known for its surf beaches, fishing, camping and shark cage diving – and there is no better way to end such action-packed days than with a locally made beer. Beer Garden Brewing is located on a peninsula also famous for its wheat and barley farming. This awesome venue offers Port Lincoln brewed beers sustainably made from local grain. Its sustainable approach includes recycling of wastewater, an edible beer garden and spent grain from the brewing process feeding cows that later return to the menu to close the loop. There are 10 taps at the Beer Garden featuring all nine of the company’s beers – ranging from Cage Diver pale ale to Original Sin coffee stout.

This information first appeared in the SALIFE Food & Wine List 2020 magazine.

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