Here in Victoria, there is an ever growing list of microbreweries to explore. The beers produced by our small, independently-owned boutique breweries are amongst the best in the world. As a result, the quality and variety of beers available is increasing as more small producers enter the market. Fortunately there are many ways to try their "amber nectar."
A number of the breweries are open to the public at least a few days a week; a number of companies also offer guided tours. Many of the beers are also available at local bars and hotels.
One of Melbourne’s most popular microbreweries, Mountain Goat, is considered one of the "founding fathers" of the industry. It opened 19 years ago, and its beers can now be found throughout Australia and in some overseas markets. Smaller-volume beers are brewed at the company’s Richmond-based microbrewery. Visit the brewery on a Wednesday or Friday from 5 pm to taste all the beers; free brewery tours are offered on Wednesdays from 6.30 pm.
Visit Boatrocker Brewery’s Barrel Room on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and you can try beers produced by the 2015 winner of Australian International Beer Awards' (AIBA) "Champion Small Brewery." It’s open Fridays from 4 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from noon.
Two Birds Brewing is Australia’s first female-owned brewing company. It launched its inaugural beer, Golden Ale, in 2011. Since then, the brewery has gone from strength to strength, opening its brewery and tasting room in the inner west in 2014. Visit the tasting room on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 pm and on weekends from noon and you find fresh beer on tap and a food menu which offers everything from a snack to full-sized meals. Tours of the brewery take place every Saturday at 12.30 pm.
If you’re interested in learning
more about the craft-brewing process, then 3 Ravens is the place for
you. Winner of 2014's AIBA "Champion Small Australian Brewery," it offers tours and master classes with guided beer tastings.
Colonial Brewing Co. was one of the first breweries to open in Western Australia and it’s now also in Port Melbourne. The brewery is open on Thursday nights, offering pizza and pots from $10, while Friday is "food truck night."
A number of companies operate tours to microbreweries. Aussie Brewery Tours for example, offer daily tours that take in some of the best and lesser-known beer and cider producers. Melbourne By Foot’s "Beer Lover Guide to Melbourne" tour focuses on beers produced by Melbourne and Victorian microbreweries. The tour explores Melbourne’s more recent liberal liquor licensing laws, the birth of the city’s laneway bars as well as the explosion of microbreweries. Join Melbourne Sports Tours’ "Horses, Wine, Beer Tour" and you’ll get to try numerous beers produced at Holgate Brewery in Woodend. The tour also includes a visit to the wonderful "Living Legends" at Woodlands Historic Park (home to many of Australia’s favourite retired champion race horses) and lunch and wine tasting at Gisborne Peak Estate.