Food Drink

21 Adelaide & SA craft beer microbreweries worth frothing over

Ahh, beer! Surely the gift that keeps on giving, connoisseur or not.

Photo: Goodieson Brewery, McLaren Vale

While mainstream beers will always have their place, you might not know how blessed we are in SA with craft beer microbreweries that make the most delicious Golden Ales, Pale Ales, Dark Ales, IPA’s and Pilsener’s you can drink.

That’s why we’ve updated this list of hidden (and not so hidden) gems. Welcome to our ultimate guide to the Adelaide microbreweries that every SA beer lover should visit.

Barossa Valley Brewing, Barossa Valley

Exporting their love of craft from the United States to the rolling hills of the Barossa Valley, ‘BVB’ first opened in 2005 at Chateau Yaldara before moving to their current home overlooking Heinemann Park on the outskirts of Tanunda.

Winning several medals at the most recent Indie Beer Awards, these guys love of craft beer is based on their passion for experimentation using the high-quality ingredients that the Barossa Valley delivers. Well known for their hand-crafted Pale Ales, they’re also huge fans of live music and have a popular Brasserie with Beer Garden that’s open daily from 12pm.

Barossa Valley Brewing is at 2A Murray Street, Tanunda.

Big Shed Brewing Concern, Royal Park

Started when founders Craig and Jason began brewing in a rented shed in the Barossa back in 2002, the Big Shed brand has grown into a thriving business that features a winning line-up with names like ‘Kol Chisel’, ‘Jetty Jumper’, ‘Californicator’, and ‘Cherry Popper.’

Always keen to pair their range of unique beers with great food, in 2014 they opened their taproom and kitchen in Royal Park, where they host regular quiz nights, bocce ball games and love putting on a show.

Visit Big Shed Brewing Co. at 1154 Old Port Road, Royal Park.

Brewboys, Croydon Park

Establishing itself as a pioneer of the independent SA brewing scene in 2008, this family-owned and run establishment is all about brewers Dan & Owen’s passion for making beer. Spending their days inventing a range of remarkable flavours and employing a double fermentation process, they never stray too far from what makes a good quality refreshing ale.

Their taproom includes a family-friendly range of arcades and games, and outside in the beer garden fried chicken connoisseurs, Nugg Lyf are ready to keep you fed.

Meet the Brewboys at 151 Regency Road, Croydon Park

Fox Hat Brewing Co, Willunga

Born out of Head Brewer Jeff’s Wright’s desire to do something different, Fox Hat is a quirky collaboration with the Vale Beer Company that was founded in 2015. With a playful sense of humour running through its veins, Fox Hat’s beers are available to try at several locations including 23rdonmelbourne, the North Adelaide home of 23rd Street Distillery, and at Beresford Wines’ in McLaren Flat, near Willunga.

If you’re up for a trip further afield, head to Renmark and visit the historic Twenty Third Street Distillery and see what you think of Fox Hat’s ‘Lusty Lager’, ‘Phat Mongrel’ or ‘Metric IPA’.

Beresford Wines Tasting Pavilion is at 252 Blewitt Springs Road, McLaren Flat

Goodieson Brewery, McLaren Vale

Since debuting in 2010, Goodieson has been consistently recognised as one of Australia’s best craft breweries. It could also be the perfect place to enjoy a day in McLaren Vale.

Founded on the back of owners Jeff & Mary’s extensive experience in Europe, where the couple put many an hour into ‘researching’ traditional brewing techniques, brewer Jeff has stayed true to these, producing a range flavours to suit every pallet. Most popular are the Goodieson ‘Pale Ale’, ‘Wheat Beer’, ‘Indian Red Ale’ and his annual ‘Christmas Ale.’

Goodieson Brewery is at 194 Sand Road, McLaren Vale

Goodieson Brewery

Greenock Brewers, Barossa Valley

For a truly boutique beer experience in the Barossa, a visit to Greenock Brewers is a must. Located in a century old wheat store, their quaint beer garden and pub is the perfect spot to sip some of their refreshing, traditionally fermented beers, which all adhere to German Purity Law.

Combining perfectly with their BBQ or Barossa Produce Cheese Platters, we recommend you try the Bunawunda Blonde and follow it up with any of their artisanal ales or stouts, each with their own unique backstory.

 Greenock Brewers is at 9 Murray Street, Greenock

Gulf Brewery, Hahndorf

A truly authentic Adelaide Hills experience awaits you at Gulf Brewery in Hahndorf. Producing a range of artisanal beers since 2005, this microbrewery makes everything from crisp, refreshing lagers, to smooth dark chocolate stouts.

Born out of a hobby that became a passion, you can enjoy their ‘Humpback Pale Ale’, ‘Kitten 9 Tails’ or ‘Fish Tale Pilsener’ in the picturesque setting of their cosy cellar door. Platters are also available and of course, you’re welcome to take away.

Gulf Brewery is at 81 Main Street, Hahndorf

Gulf Brewery

Lady Burra Brewhouse, Adelaide City

The only microbrewery, bar and kitchen located in the heart of the CBD, Lady Burra Brewhouse brews artisanal ales using only the finest ingredients.

As famous for its South America inspired menu as its delicious range of handcrafted beers, none of them contain a single preservative and not a hint of added sugar. Changing its lineup regularly, its IPA and Irish Red Ale are well worth a try.

Lady Burra Brewhouse is at 4 Topham Mall, Adelaide

Lady Burra Brewhouse

Lot 100, Hay Valley

Lot 100 has quickly become an Adelaide Hills destination synonymous with craft, sustainability and local produce.

Situated on a gorgeous 84-hectare property north of Nairne, a collective of beer, cider and gin makers have formed a happy collective making the most of the natural environment and local ingredients. A working brewery and small-batch distillery, the project is a must-do addition to the Adelaide Hills food and beverage scene.

Lot 100 is at 68 Chambers Road, Hay Valley

Little Bang Brewing Company, Stepney

If there’s another microbrewery more deserving of a place on this list, we haven’t met it yet. Since opening in Stepney in 2015, founders Fil and Ryan’s creative adventure has been making all the right noises among a beer-thirsty public.

Changing careers from ‘game nerds’ to brewers, the pair has been having fun with crazy creations like ‘The Naked Objector’, ‘HappyLand’, ‘Geezer Pleaser’ and ‘Schwangermelon’ ever since. Quickly becoming a mecca for craft beer enthusiasts, you’ll always find an eclectic crowd at Little Bang.

Little Bang Brewing Company is at 25 Henry Street, Stepney.

Little Bang Brewing

Lobethal Bierhaus, Lobethal

Another family-owned favourite, Lobethal Bierhaus was established in 2007 and remains exclusively all-grain. Popular as a showcase for Adelaide Hills produce and staunchly supported by locals, their range of 8 core beers include the ‘Bohemian Pilsener’, ‘Hoppy Citra’ and an ‘Extra IPA.’

A winner of multiple medals at local and international beer awards, the longer they remain in business, the better they seem to get at making high-quality sessional beers and interesting seasonal varieties.

Lobethal Bierhaus is at 3a Main Street Lobethal, SA

Pirate Life Brewing, Hindmarsh

Okay so we can hear you saying that these guys barely qualify as a microbrewery these days, especially after they were bought by AB InBev in 2017. That said, the Pirate Life brand remains an Adelaide favourite (even if its founders are from Perth) and is still pumping out high quality beers at two different SA locations: Its Port Adelaide HQ and SkyCity Casino!

If you haven’t already been, the Port Adelaide location featuring its taproom and beer garden is a great spot we highly recommend and a perfect excuse to spend a day rediscovering ‘the Port.

Pirate Life Headquarters are at 18 Baker Street, Port Adelaide

Prancing Pony Brewery, Adelaide Hills

Another Adelaide Hills success story that has quickly made its mark on the Australian craft beer scene. Famously home to what they describe as ‘long flavor,’ Prancing Pony only opened its doors in December 2012, but was soon moving to a much bigger location in Totness, just a four-minute drive from Hahndorf.

Very much into supporting local artists and emerging musicians, the success of the brand hasn’t gone to their head, keeping community, independence and integrity at the top of its core values.

Prancing Pony Brewery is at 42 Mt. Barker Road, Totness

Rehn Bier, Barossa Valley

If high-quality, small batch artisanal beer is your thing (and it should be), Rehn Bier in the Barossa Valley is well worth a visit. Since 2012 they’ve been creating a range of beers steeped in brewer Brenton’s German ancestry and inspired by old world beer-making methods.

Their quirky cellar door is also a unique experience, and a friendly place where Brenton and co-founder Anna are always on hand to share their passion for their internationally awarded beer. Try the ‘1837 Ale’ and find out what all the fuss is about.

Rehn Bier is at 23 Magnolia Street, Tanunda

Rehn Bier

Smiling Samoyed Brewery, Myponga

Dog lovers should get a kick out of this one on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula. Opened in 2012 by couple Simon and Kate, Smiling Samoyed Brewery is another SA microbrewery that punches well above its weight.

Family and very dog friendly (their original ’12 Paws’ Pale Ale was named after their mascot dogs) they produce beautifully crafted IPAs and a range of delicious ales. A favourite at the annual Fleurieu Beer Festival, their rustic cellar door is a stones throw away from the ocean.

Smiling Samoyed Brewery is at Hansen Street Myponga

Smiling Samoyed

Shifty Lizard Brewery, Willunga

Serious about making damn good beer, Shifty Lizard has called Willunga home since 2017 and is no longer another ‘up and comer.’ Producing a range of handcrafted beers that go by names like ‘Brewski – Easy Ale’ and the ‘Bruce LeeZard – West Coast IPA’, having fun has remained central to their brand.

With a cruisy-cool taproom that’s become a fixture of Willunga’s main drag, you’d be crazy not to give them a shout on any trip down south.

Shifty Lizard is at 33 High Street Willunga.

Swell Brewing, McLaren Vale

Opened as recently as late 2018, Swell Brewing Co. is heavily inspired by the surf odysseys of its founder Dan Wright, and the locally sourced ingredients of its home in McLaren Vale.

Producing a range of beers for any occasion, the Swell Brewing Co. Taphouse sits in a beautiful vineyard and offers a menu any surf-side gastro pub would be proud of. Well worth some hang-time we’d say.

Swell Brewing Co. is at 168 Olivers Road, McLaren Vale

Swell Brewing Co

Uraidla Brewery, Uraidla

Making its home inside the increasingly popular Uraidla Republic hotel complex, the Uraidla Brewery has been brewing up a delicious range of small batch beers and putting them on tap there since March, 2018.

With an ever-growing portfolio of Pale Ales, IPA’s and Golden Lagers to choose from, the beautiful surrounds of this location make it well worth the short trip into the hills.

The Uraidla Brewery is at 1198 Greenhill Road, Uraidla

Vale Brewing, Willunga

Opening as the McLaren Vale Brewing Company in 2008, this independent brewer has gone from strength to strength ever since. Expanding its award-winning range to include Vale Lager, IPA, Mid Coast and Tropical, their niche has always been about sessionable, easy-to-drink craft beers.

For a tasting in the heart of McLaren Vale, you can do much worse than spend a lovely afternoon at their stunning Beresford Estate.

Vale Brewing is at 252 Blewitt Springs Road, McLaren Flat

Western Ridge Brewing, Barossa Valley

Very much a collective of five unique friends, Western Ridge Brewing started in another Barossa Valley shed back in 2016. Always focused on the best local ingredients and fiercely independent, their Nurioopta property is an ideal location from which to enjoy their handcrafted beer, and soak in the atmosphere synonymous with the Barossa.

Examples of the boy’s handiwork are the ‘Friendly Bison American Pale Ale’, ‘Summerye Golden Ale’, ’20K Barossa Ale’ and ‘Galaxy Warrior Mosaic’.

Western Ridge Brewing Collective is at 2-4 Kalimna Road, Nurioopta

Western Ridge Brewing Collective

Wheaty Brewing Corps, Thebarton

Since Adelaide institution The Wheatsheaf Hotel started its own microbrewery back in 2014, the venue has continued its reign as one of SA’s favourite hotspots for live music, great art and now awesome beer.

In the same location it’s always been, ‘The Wheaty’ has an ever evolving line-up of small batch beers that run on tap until the tap runs out! Favourites include the ‘Blank Czech Pilsener’, ‘Blood Oats Ale’, ‘Apricot Saison’ and the ‘Kranksy Pilsener.’

The Wheatsheaf Hotel is at 39 George Street Thebarton 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our list of Adelaide’s best microbrewery locations, and if you think there’s some we’re missing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at [email protected]

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