Regional Victoria is probably best known for its wineries and cellar doors, but take a second look and you'll find plenty of breweries complete with in-house bars where you'll be able to taste test ales. From the High Country to the Yarra Valley, these are some of our favourite out of town breweries.
Little Creatures Brewery in South Geelong is an ode to the fine art of brewing. Taking over an old wool mill and spinning it into a multipurpose space, the huge brewery village (yes, it's that big) also features a cinema, canteen, pizzeria, and the White Rabbit Barrel Hall filled with barrels of aging ales.
On the first Sunday of every month in summer, the colourful Mystery Lane turns into a craft market that supports local artists and makers.
We all love a road trip but sometimes road food leaves something to be desired, which is why the savvy traveller plans a pit stop where the beers are fresh and you can warm yourself up with classic French bistro fare like beef Bourguignon or duck cassoulet. It might sound too good to be true, but the White Rabbit Brewery and Barrel Hall located inside the Little Creatures Village in South Geelong is that good. Drop in en route to Great Ocean Road and try some beers like the white ale, which is a cloudy Belgian-style wheat ale flavoured with orange zest and juniper berries; or the pale ale which strikes a good balance between hops and malts.
Taste your way through a paddle of Coldstream-produced craft beer or cider at this bar and restaurant out in the Yarra Valley. You can also catch up over a pint in the brewery bar, or eat the best of local produce in the attached restaurant. You might even learn a little about the Shivering Man, the brand's logo and the inspiration for starting the brewery.
The Napoleone family may have started out as fruit growers, but the family-run business is now best known for the brewery and cider cellar door that they run in Coldstream. Built on the foundations of a Yarra Valley dairy built in the 1860s, Napoleone specialises in small batches of beer and cider. Tasting paddles, pots and pints are available daily from 10am, and brewery tours are on every Saturday from 11am. Hungry? The space is shared with Meletos a regional cafe and pizzeria that cooks beautiful food using local Yarra Valley produce.
A brewery located on Great Alpine Road, Bright Brewery uses fresh mountain water to create its craft beers. And boy, there must be something in the water because the beers are just what you need after a stint of alpine adventuring. After a brewery tour with a difference? Join the High Country Brewery Trail, where you'll go past four breweries including Bright Brewery on a bike. Otherwise, take a tour on Mondays, Fridays or Saturdays at 3pm ($18), or try out being a Brewer for a Day at the brewhouse's brewing crash course sessions.
Mornington Peninsula Brewery is a great pitstop if you happen to be visiting one of Victoria's most popular foodie destinations. Whether knocking out Belgian farmhouse styles, hugely hopped US Double IPAs or playing with new hop varieties, the Mornington Peninsula Brewery head brewer Andrew Gow isn't afraid to play around with old favourites or new flavour combos. This brewhouse is a walk in venue, so sit yourself down for a tasting paddle and a pizza.