The craft beer scene in Adelaide and more broadly South Australia is suddenly booming. There’s South Australian tap takeovers; SA beer launches; SA beers venturing up the East Coast, and SA beer all over Twitter and Crafty Pint. All this for a scene that had been conspicuously quiet in recent years as other states had experienced craft beer booms.
In the past, South Australia’s craft beer highlights focused primarily on The Wheaty, rated as one of the best bars in the country (now is brewing its own intriguing beers too); Brewboys’ Seeing Double, a smoky scotch ale that I rate as one of the best beers in the country, and the unique Thorogoods apple beers that rank highly on RateBeer.
Now there is a new breed of South Australian craft beer emerging, bringing innovation and excitement to the craft beer scene with them. Adelaide brewers Pirate Life Brewing for instance are producing their beer in cans that are not only attractive but informative, with the novel idea of sharing the brewing ingredients and process on the rim of their packaging. Pirate Life’s hop-centric range is launching in Melbourne this week and judging from the super aromatic pale ale of theirs I had, it should be well received.
Big Shed Brewing Concern are another new brewer getting some buzz. They’re sharing their facilities in Adelaide with other brewers, such as Mismatch Brewing, who have a well-regarded White IPA, and recently opened up the premises to the public. Big Shed’s own American Brown Ale, FrankenBrown, is everything you want from that style, with heaps of malt and hops flavour going on. While their BruChoc is a dark fruity sweet beer, that mimics a classic South Australian sweet.
Another emerging brewer is Prancing Pony Brewery, situated just outside of Hahndorf in Adelaide Hills, and using an old school ‘fire brewing’ method for their beers. They entered GABS last year with a daring cross-style weizenbock/IPA but also have a range of crowdpleasers. Their popular India Red Ale was sold out when i tried to get it but I did enjoy the solid Copper Ale and Black Ales.
Then there’s Smiling Samoyed brewery, who may have the coolest tasting paddles going round with their vinyl records and they don’t disappoint with any of their beers either. Balance is their strong point and I enjoyed their pale ale the most for that very reason. Their brewery in Myponga is about 20 minutes from Victor Harbor and is a relaxing spot to enjoy some quality beers.
Whilst South Australia is traditionally wine country that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for beer. In fact, the focus on gourmet and local produce fits well with the craft beer ethos and regions renowned for their wineries such as Clare Valley and Barossa Valley now also sport breweries.
You can check out South Australian craft beer in Melbourne at the 2016 Good Beer Week Pint of Origin from May 14-23 at the Palace Hotel in South Melbourne.
Otherwise just head over to South Australia, it’ll be worth it!