Ever heard the old Belgian proverb ‘a beer should be drunk in the shadow of the brewery in which it was made’? Well, the South Coast Ale Trail has taken that to heart.
Stretching from Wollongong to Pambula near the Victorian border, the South Coast Ale Trail visits a range of diverse craft breweries as it winds its way along 370 kilometres of the country’s most beautiful coastline.
There’s 11 breweries and over 80 beers to try, as well as plenty of activities and local landmarks to explore – so take a few days to soak it all in and explore everything this beautiful region has to offer. Here, it’s all about the journey, not the destination.
Start your journey along Grand Pacific Drive and the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge on your way to Resin Brewing, the first stop on the South Coast Ale Trail. This family-and-pup-friendly gastro-brewpub occupies the lovingly restored historic Bulli Railway Guest House, offering an elevated menu and range of 10 handcrafted beers. They favour big, hoppy hazies, but keep a rotating taplist to suit a range of tastes.
Reub Goldberg Brewing
Hike to the top of Sublime Point Walking Trail, or for those brave enough, try a spot of paragliding at Stanwell Park for some spectacular views of the coast before you stop in at Reub Goldberg Brewing, a local’s favourite and Tarrawanna’s secret spot. This microbrewery and taproom is nestled under the escarpment in the Illawarra, and built for beer lovers, by beer lovers. With good vibes and a sunny beer garden, their focus is on fresh, sustainably made and well-crafted brews, with a penchant for New World Lagers. Drop in for a cold one, some live music and their famous tacos.
From a vibrant music scene and a thirst for adventure – fostered by the mountains and surf – Seeker Brewing was born. With 12 house taps, you can enjoy a craft beer while the sun goes down, or while enjoying a game of pool and sinking some hoops. There’s plenty of ocean pools and surf breaks to enjoy along this part of the coast, or you can visit the Nan Tien Temple just down the road.
Founded in 2018 by a father-and-son team, Stoic Brewing in Gerringong is a space where the community can come together and enjoy locally brewed beer and cider amongst the vats. Their 10 taps cover a huge range of beers, and are all created from quality ingredients specifically designed by their passionate brew team for maximum flavour. Make sure you explore the Kiama Coastal Walk and stop off at Werri Beach, with a lagoon at the northern end and an ocean pool at the south.
South Yeast Brewing
The Grotto Walk on the banks of the lush Shoalhaven River in North Nowra will take you near South Yeast Brewing. Founded by twin brothers Joey and Simon Panucci, South Yeast Brewing is all about good beer, good times and good culture. They regularly host local live music and food trucks, so drop in for a tasting paddle say g’day.
Jervis Bay Brewing Co
Shoalhaven is a wonderland of magnificent beaches. Check out the white sand beaches of Huskisson or take a whale watching cruise, before dropping into Jervis Bay Brewing’s taproom – a brewery as laidback as the place itself. Sustainability and community are at the heart of what they do, and they offer a range of award-winning and approachable beer styles, from hop driven IPAs to malt driven ales.
Swordfish Brewing is located in a spectacular waterfront position on the shores of Sussex Inlet, and there’s no better location to enjoy a small-batch craft beer, wood-fired pizza or tuck into some local seafood and south coast produce. Sussex Inlet is also a great place for keen anglers to throw in a line.
Check out the pristine Eurobodalla region and the charming towns of Batemans Bay, Broulee, Narooma, Moruya and Tilba, where you can find some of the state’s best seafood. And when it comes to breweries by the beach, you won’t get much closer than Broulee Brewhouse! This purpose-built brewery has 14 beers on tap, a lively beer garden and an ever changing food menu.
Tilba Brewing Co
Nestled in the lush green foothills of Gulaga National Park is the National Trust-classified town of Central Tilba with historic buildings like the 126-year-old Dromedary Hotel, home of Tilba Brewing Co. This family-owned business has two tasty house beers, a Pale Ale and Amber Ale, as well as a seafood linguine and beef burger to rival all others.
Camel Rock Brewery
Heading down the Sapphire Coast, you can take in the views of the sacred Mount Gulaga on your way to Bermagui and take a swim in the iconic Blue Pool before visiting Camel Rock Brewery. Located inside the Wallaga Lake Holiday Park, it was the first microbrewery on the Sapphire Coast, and offers an American-influenced menu with burgers, ribs and salad, alongside quality beers in a wide range of styles, from pales to porters, saisons and barrel-aged old ales. Sourcing local malts from Voyager Malt, local hops from Ryefield Farm and other native ingredients like wattleseed and pigface flowers, they are all about brewing local. And of course if you have too many drinks, you can stay the night too.
Finish off your journey with some of the coast’s finest seafood with fresh Pambula oysters and beers from Longstocking Brewery. With thirteen bevvies on the menu – nine beers, two ciders and a popular ginger beer, the feel is totally relaxed, with wood-fired pizza and music sessions throughout summer. Cheers to that!
There is so much to see, do and taste on the stunning South Coast Ale Trail. For more information and to plan your South Coast Journey, visit www.southcoastaletrail.net.au. You can also download a map and received discounts and special offers at the breweries along the way. Remember the South Coast Ale Trail is a journey, not a destination!
For even more to explore on the glorious South Coast, check out some inspiration here.