Crafty Business: A Comprehensive Guide To SA Craft Beer

If you love craft beer as much as we do, then this is the guide for you…

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Whilst everyone knows some of the best food and wine in the country is found right here in South Australia; more and more craft breweries have been popping up around metropolitan Adelaide and regional SA, and we couldn’t be happier with the success they are enjoying!

We love our craft beer at Glam Adelaide, so we decided to put together a list of the ‘go-to’ destinations for all you beer lovers and dabblers out there!

In no particular order:

Nola (Adelaide CBD)

Well isn’t this the funkiest little bar?!  Nola is the ultimate bar for craft beer, whiskey and New-Orleans inspired soul food.

Rotating through 16 different taps, you are sure to find something different to try, whilst kicking back in a super modern and relaxed atmosphere

Barossa Valley Brewing (Tanunda)

BVB is all about love and experimenting, but doing so to the highest quality. BVB are making waves to ensure that the Barossa region isn’t just recognised on a global scale for outstanding wines, but for craft beer too. They even have a restaurant at their brewery that pairs their award winning beers with delicious food created from local produce. Award winning beers, great grub, live music, and a relaxed country setting. What more could you want?

Little Bang Brewing (Stepney)

These guys are brand spanking new and have set themselves up in a cool warehouse space, where you can go to meet the brewers, taste their 12 or so beers on offer, and even set yourself up in their little beers garden for some sunshine and lawn bowls; how cool is that?! The owners saved up and worked their way towards opening their very own piece of beer paradise; and they have been overwhelmed at how well it has been received so far. Get there before the crowds do!

Big Shed Brewing (Royal Park)

One of the latest showstoppers to burst on to the SA craft beer scene. Glam went along to the launch of Big Shed Brewing and were delighted by the upfront honest approach to beer that the BSBC guys are taking. Open to the public Friday and Saturday, guests can see that there is no ‘behind the scenes’ even the brewing tanks are right behind the bar. Big Shed has been host to many great SA events of late, showcasing the beauty of South Australian food and drink and there are plenty more on the horizon. Their beer titles are sure to please and provide a cheeky snigger; check them out!

Alternatively, get along to Westside Massive in Semaphore; home to Big Shed and some seriously good grub!

Brew Boys (Regency Park)

These guys are diamonds in the rough. Brewers with a love for beer, not salesmen, they create incredible product with little glitz and glamour. As they put it ‘Our beers are naturally beautiful, not airbrushed into blemish-free shape.’ You’ll find their products may not shelf as long as many other beers, but this is due to the freshness and high quality of their products. They have a Cellar Door tasting room at Croydon Park (open Wednesday- Sunday) where you can try all they have to offer and meet the brewers themselves.

Clare Valley Brewing Company (Sevenhill)

Craig and Ben created this brilliant brewery after sinking most of the commercial beers

available under the sun and thinking, “I bet we can do this better,” and we think they’ve done a damned good job of doing so. They’re utilising the best the Clare valley has to offer by creating their beer with pure water from their own spring adjacent to the brewery and grow barley at the site of the former Port Henry Arms Hotel. The Hotel itself is now a ruin but rumour has it that it was the watering hole for murderers, teamsters, shearers, drovers and locals. We think that the CVBC have created a true beer for misfits, from the purest origins.

Goodiesons Brewery (McLaren Vale)

Run from the brewers HOME in McLaren Vale. You can’t get much more personal than that. If you’re looking for people who eat (well I guess we mean drink), sleep and breathe beer you can’t go past the Goodiesons. They spent 20 years in Europe “developing an appreciation” for Austrian and German beer, but upon returning to Australia decided to really dedicate themselves to this passion. Jeff completed his Honours in Malting and Brewing and after several years working for one of Australia’s biggest alcohol companies he and his wife decided their real calling was to brew their own products. These years of love and dedication are reflected in their beers, and have consequently won them several awards. You can head to their brewing shed/cellar door at their home 7 days a week to discuss their beers at length or just enjoy a tasting. Whilst they don’t offer any meals, you are encouraged to bring yourself a picnic, set yourself up outside, and stay a while. Yes!

Gulf Brewery (Hahndorf)

This microbrewery (that means it’s teeny tiny) is located in Hahndorf and a perfect addition to a day out in the hills. They have exceptionally well priced beer paddles available to try at their cellar door; we’re talking $9 or $13 and each comes with a full bottle of beer or cider in addition. They also have a wonderful tasting platter available which is made up of local produce to compliment their beers. They have 10 different varieties to choose from and change their beer list from summer to winter to suit the seasons. A big tick from us!

Lady Burra Brewhouse (Adelaide CBD)

Say hello to Adelaide’s only CBD micro brewery. Hello *waves*. We have loved this place for giving us a beer haven amongst the city bustle. The perfect spot to sit back and enjoy some tasty fare with an even tastier beverage in hand. And now that includes something brewed by the inner city restaurant/beer garden/brewery themselves. Cheers to Lady Burra indeed. What a babe.

Lobethal Bierhaus (Lobethal)

This little spot is a great all rounder. You can take the family there on a nice day out and not be concerned that Grandma and little Debbie will be bored while Dad enjoys a tour of the brewery. They have a great restaurant attached that has full view of the brewery, and 12 available house-made beers on tap. Since entering the market in 2008 these guys now have 31 Australian International Beer Awards medals to their name. There’s plenty to do in the area, so head to Lobethal, enjoy some hot wings and beer paddles, and make a day of it!

Mismatch Brewing (Royal Park)

It’s all in the name really. This mismatched bunch of people from various aspects of the alcohol industry have come together with their depths of knowledge to create a beer company that they feel covers everything that a beer should be. They are currently using vacant space in other breweries to create their product, a concept that we feel is innovative in the industry. Their portfolio is tiny so far (boasting only two beers) but they are definitely one to watch on the market.

Meechi Brewing Company (Langhorne Creek)

This is the story of two wine loving mates who also happened to love a cleansing ale. When they met and studied winemaking together, the buddies and their wives (who also happen to love beer) set out on a long and delicate research mission to develop the perfect beer. A.K.A lots of BBQs and long lunches. After much tasting and perfecting, Meechi Brewing Company was born out of the depths of a man cave (or the back shed). Fun fact: Meechi was the first beer label in the Langhorne Creek region. Because according to the Meechi crew, every wine region needs a beer label. We agree! Their pale ale is seriously good!

Try the Meechi brew at The Winehouse.

Pikes Beer (Clare Valley)

Here fishy, fishy, fishy… That iconic label has become a staple at BBQs around the State. And this family run business actually began in 1886. Wowsers, that’s a long time ago. Originally starting with beers, stouts, soft drinks, tonics and cordials, the beer went off the radar until it was brought back in 1996. We are so glad it made a come-back!

Pirate Life Brewing (Hindmarsh)

Arrrr me hearties. These guys are a perfect example of young people following their passion, with a pride for our state that speaks volumes. Unlike traditional pirates (with the pillaging and such) these guys are instead taking great ideas from all sorts of aspects of the food, beverage and even science industries to create a product that can be loved by many. They’re also all about the comeback of the beer can. Their website boasts a host of reasons why beer should by drunk from a can, and you know what? Some of it sounds a lot like logic. We love this team, their outlook and, of course, their beer. Check out their website for a good laugh!

Port Dock Brewery Hotel (Port Adelaide)

A hotel brewing their own beer… There is something special about that. This hotel has its own working brewery with historic cellars and sees 5 very different beers created to enjoy with the quality food served up alongside it.

Prancing Pony Brewery (Mt Barker)

Prancing Pony are a bold name in SA craft beer. Most commercial venues stock this product and if you spot it on the shelf we strongly recommend you give it a shot. They use a traditional German concept of ‘fire brewing’ to add more flavour to the same basic beer ingredients as the rest. They are combating the mass produced beer that is so often bland and overly fizzy. Their brew shed is an excellent SA spot to visit if you’re looking for something different on your day out, with tastings, tours and delicious food they have created an atmosphere that makes anyone who visits passionate about beer too.

These guys have enjoyed massive success too; winning a bag of awards at the International Beer awards in London last year. Their headquarters in the hills are huge, and can cater to groups well over 100 if you’re in the market for a unique event location,

Smiling Samoyed Brewery (Myponga)

The owners of this little spot snapped up a wonderful opportunity when they nestled there in 2013. With four main beers available and seasonal and single batch beers always in rotation there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Their cellar door has a pizza oven so you can enjoy pizza topped with premium local produce to accompany your beer, sometimes with some live acoustic music sessions. The interior is full of old timber, novelty art, posters

and memorabilia that give the place a real sense of character. You also get to meet the brewery’s namesakes, three beautiful Samoyed dogs, Mia, Cooper and Popette, who have a gorgeous temperament and love all guests.

Enjoy a brew, and cast your eyes over the surrounding Myponga landscape (I swear; the roo capital of SA) and you are guaranteed to spot skippy by the wetlands.

Swell Brewing Co (Aldinga)

“The Boardriders Beer”; and really what could be more Aussie than surfing and beer? This creation from brothers Dan and Daniel Wright (no that isn’t a typo, they have the same name) came about through Dan’s many lonely bus rides while travelling through America surfing. Dan still uses his back yard shed brewing system for new product trials to this day, before perfecting them and setting them to production. They even support local events and sponsor some local surfers too. Talk about good business ethics. The amber Ale is the bee’s knees!

Stein’s Taphouse (Nuriootpa)

Stein’s Taphouse in Nuriootpa has been open for 9 months now and already picked up a mention by Beer and Brewer Magazine as one of the Top 10 Regional Craft Beer joints in South Australia. They have a bar specialising in only Australian craft beers with 12 tap points for kegged beers and another 60+ beers in bottles.

Vale Brewing (McLaren Vale)

Formerly known as the McLaren Vale Beer Company, are the creators of the iconic Vale Ale. Many mistakenly believe the company and all beers under the umbrella are classified as Vale Ale, when in fact Vale Ale itself is just one of four incredible products from this brewery. As their products are available so commercially now, some nay-sayers have whispered that it is no longer a craft beer brand. However, the same passion and creativity still goes into this fine drop, and it is no wonder they have had such great success. The cellar door for Vale Brewing is located at Red Poles Gallery and Cafe in McLaren Vale. Here you can enjoy the stunning sunny gardens, live music, art, and some damn good food.

Woolshed Brewery (Renmark)

This zero waste brewery began its brewing in 2009 and has continually grown ever since. Their brewery is in an idyllic setting, perched on the banks of the beautiful Murray River. These guys encourage guests to bring a picnic along or even use their BBQ facilities on site to enjoy with their beer samples, paddles, schooners and pints. Their beer is made using sustainable products, and no nasties. You can tour the brewery for just $10 and gain a greater appreciation for their wonderful products. Whilst you’re in town, check out the new Twenty Third Street Distillery.

Wheaty Brewing Corps (Thebarton)

If you’re looking for an alternative, eclectic, all-accepting, warm, and inviting pub to wet your whistle; then “The Wheaty” is the pub for you.

Boasting possibly the biggest selection of craft beers in SA; the Wheaty knows beer. Tons of choices on tap, or to buy in a bottle, the hip staff will guide you to find a beer that is just right for you.

With their own beers on tap (a great range!), and an ever-changing selection of other Australian and international brewers, this is a true beer-lovers bar

Whilst they don’t serve food from their own kitchen, you can always get some amazing grub from the regular food trucks that set up shop outside. Just look for the big blue building!

Grumpy’s Brewhaus (Verdun)

Grumpy’s has been around since 1996, and are the quiet achievers in the hills. Most people have probably driven past on the South-Eastern freeway many times, but never actually stopped in. Well, that needs to change! There are absolutely no beer snobs or pretentious attitudes at this place, and it’s all super casual. If you’re not into beer, they do offer local Adelaide Hills Cider, and you MUST have yourself one (or more) of their wood-fire pizzas. Plenty of room on the lawn to spread yourself out, and good for the kids to play while you enjoy a brew!

Beer Garden Brewing (Port Lincoln)

Carrying the line “Fresh Eyre on Tap”, Beer Garden Brewing has brought a breath of fresh air to Port Lincoln, opening a brand new Brewery. For locals, it is more than just a brewery; it’s a destination.

BGB is a family owned business, and not only are they promoting their own ventures, but supporting other local Eyre Peninsula businesses too. At their brewing headquarters, they have 10 taps for serving up their own brews, and other South Australian craft beers and

cider. There is something for everyone, and even wine lovers can enjoy a selection of quality SA wines when they visit. With a strong focus on good food, you really can’t go wrong!

Sweet Amber Brew Cafe (Semaphore)

Yet another addition to the hipster’s paradise that is Semaphore! This laid back beer cafe stocks over 40 different craft beers, and can offer you a produce platter matched perfectly with your beer! They have a beach beer garden, where you can literally sink a beer with your toes in the sand, and wind down with some acoustic tunes. Perfect for the summer time after a day at the beach!

Jack Ruby (Adelaide CBD)

Set in a basement level, Jack Ruby is an all-American diner themed bar; offering a huge range of local and international beers in bottle, and on tap. Dimly lit, with super cool tunes, and American food and snacks. (think buffalo wings and sliders). With a great King William Street location, it’s a popular option for after work drinks!

A few CBD honourable mentions should also go to the Gilbert Street hotel, Pink Moon Saloon, Clever Little Tailor, Chihuahua, Udaberri, the Kings Head hotel, Franklin Hotel and Sturt Street Cellars.

Well, that list should keep all you beer enthusiast busy for a while!

Did we miss any? Let us know!

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