There's nothing like a refreshing beer on a hot summer's day in South Australia – well, any time of the year in fact. Visitors can now sample freshly made ales, lagers and stouts at the source or taste them at a growing number of laneway bars and craft beer pubs in the city.
'Make mine a Pint'
Until a couple of years ago, in South Australia that phrase invariably meant a 425ml glass* of Coopers Pale or West End lager. The glass size may have remained the same, but the beer shooting from the bar tap could now be from any of the 20 or so microbreweries operating across the state – from the Adelaide Hills to the Murraylands.
Kick off your journey at The Wheatsheaf Hotel
. This suburban pub, known as 'The Wheaty', helped kick-start the craft beer revolution in Adelaide and carries an astonishing range of draught and bottled beers – porters, IPAs, saisons, brown ales and more. Using its own brew kit, the pub also makes a range of limited edition beers.
Brew & Chew
is the city’s latest craft beer enterprise – an American saloon serving exotic brews and South American dude food. The playful space (note the pinball machines and stars-and-stripes painted on the ceiling) has a modest range of craft beers on tap, with a dozen more in the bottle fridge. Brunswick Bitter, Full Steam Pale Lager or the bar’s own Malt Fiction 13 Pale cost just $8 a pint.
Those who want a more industrial type feel served with their beer can head to Lady Burra Brewhouse
. It's a bar, it's a restaurant and it's also a brewery. Secure yourself a perch by the window with an in-house beer and watch how your beer is brewed. Alternatively, try one of the 'beer-tails'.
Prancing Pony Brewery
is the newest addition to the brewing scene in the Adelaide Hills. Their impressive Brewshed, which opened in February 2015, contains a gleaming new brewery, long tasting bench and a restaurant seating 120 people. The brewery makes a wide range of full-bodied light and dark ales using the German-style fire-brewing technique. Tasting paddles and guided brewery tours are available.
Or for the more traditional, head to Grumpy's Brewhouse
. It was the first all-grain boutique microbrewery inthe Adelaide Hills and changes its beers on tap to suit the season. You will find Stout, Porter, Bitters and European Lagers depending on the time of year. They are also renown for their perfect beer accompaniment – wood oven pizza and have recently introduced matching beer and pizza boards.
"The Smiling Samoyed Brewery – named after a breed of dog – is celebrated for its small batch beers, old vinyl LP tasting paddles and woodfired pizzas."
Feeling adventurous with your beers? Try a chilli beer or Imperial Brown Ale at the Smiling Samoyed Brewery in Myponga on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The Clare Valley, celebrated for its Rieslings, is now home to three microbreweries and several small cider houses. Clare Valley Brewing
brings both of these artisan traditions together under one roof. The heritage building is part beer shrine and part man cave. It also showcases some of the valley’s smaller boutique wine brands. You can enjoy tastings of the entire CVB portfolio, including its celebrated King Kong Stout, plus seasonal brews such as the awesome Bring Out The Gimp and Welease Wodger Summer Wheat Beer at CVB's cellar door and bar Hop & Vine.
Lastly, visitors to the Fleurieu should make a small detour to the quaint township of Myponga – home of the idiosyncratic Smiling Samoyed Brewery
. This brewing shed (named after a breed of dog) is celebrated for its small batch beers and woodfired pizzas. The standard beer range includes Kölsch, pale ale, dark ale and IPA, but head brewer Simon Dunstone is always pumping out something edgy, such as chilli beer and Imperial Brown Ale. Tasting paddles are served on old vinyl LPs. The brewery opens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.
*A pint in South Australia is 425ml. Everywhere else in Australia a standard pint is 570ml – known as an Imperial Stout in Adelaide and surrounds.