Heading south out of Sydney, beer-loving locals and travellers alike have never had it so good, with stacks of well-established and new craft breweries dotting the majestic landscape of the southern coast.
And now, to highlight that fact and to connect the breweries as one, the South Coast Ale Trail has been created that covers the must-go beer destinations from Wollongong south of Sydney to Pambula near the Victorian border. It covers 370 kilometres, nine breweries and over 70 beers as it winds its way along some of the country’s most beautiful coastline.
Starting at Wollongong with Resin Brewing (above) which sits inside the newly renovated Bulli Railway Guest House. Once derelict, this historic building on the train line dates back to 1887. Resin Brewing bought the site in 2017 and they spent two long years transforming the crumbling building into the brewpub that exists now. The venue offers hand-crafted local beers and a food menu to match.
Just a short trip down the road and you will arrive at Reub Goldberg Brewing Machine where it’s not just the name that sets it apart. Reub’s ethos is that “a beer should be drunk in the shadow of the brewery in which it was made”. Their goal is to provide quality, fresh beer in the most sustainable way possible. It’s a small brewery with a hyper-local focus where it provides just enough great beer to service the thirst of the local area and of course a few visitors to the region as well.
Head down the freeway and in the shadow of the iconic Buddhist Nan Tien Temple, you will find Seeker Brewing (above), one of the newest breweries on the coast. The brewery itself has been operating since 2017 as it was the former home of Bulli Brewing, but it was sold to Jeff Argent from Grassy Knoll Brewing who has transformed it into what it is today.
Moving on you will discover South Yeast Brewing in an industrial estate just north of Nowra. Run by local brothers Joey and Simon Panucci, who are both accomplished musicians and now brewers, they can often been found jamming with other musos in the venue for a lazy Sunday session.
The popular seaside town of Huskisson is the next stop where you will find Jervis Bay Brewing who have been around since 2019. The relaxed vibe of the venue reflects the laid back lifestyle of Husky, but they do take their beers seriously winning two gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the 2021 Australian International Beer Awards.
Heading on down through Batemans Bay you will find yourself in the small seaside town of Broulee. The Broulee Brewhouse opened in December 2021 and is a purpose built venue with a fantastic indoor/outdoor vibe and a sunny beer garden that is right across the road from the beach. It’s a great place to sit outside and enjoy the salt air, bar food and great beers.
Another hour down the Princes Highway and you will come across the heritage listed town of Tilba and the home of Tilba Brewing Co which is housed in the 126-year-old Dromedary Hotel. Here you can enjoy some of their famous pub grub and their tasty craft beers in the beer garden or on the veranda overlooking the scenic main street.
A bit further south and you will come across Camel Rock Brewing (above) which is actually located in Wallaga Lake Holiday Park just north of Bermagui. Camel Rock was the first brewery on the Sapphire Coast and they claim to be the first micro-brewery built in a holiday park anywhere in the world. The grill features American influenced burgers and ribs to complement their beers.
The last stop is Longstocking Brewery in Pambula, just a few minutes south of Merimbula. The brewery is part of the Oaklands complex which includes a nursery, café, art gallery, petting zoo and event centre. From the green space inside, to the deck or in the beer garden, you can enjoy fresh local oysters, woodfired pizzas and live music. Longstocking brew classic styles like pilsners, Irish stout and red ales.
Visit the South Coast Ale Trail website for more details and to start planning your South Coast journey.