When it comes to the craft beer scene, Adelaide is often mistreated as the infant sister to Melbourne and Sydney. In truth, South Australia is making some of the best craft in the nation at the moment and is giving its 'older sisters' a serious run for their money. Adelaide even has one of the best craft beer festivals in the country — a barbecue and brew combo that has all of the makings to swiftly become one of the best worldwide.
From the overnight mega-success story that is Pirate Life to bacon flavoured beers, Negroni IPAs and even a beetroot saison brewed by uni students, Adelaide is on the watch list in the craft beer world right now. Taking a trip down south? Here's what beers to drink and where to find them. If you aren't planning a trip anytime soon, we suggest you get those tickets booked anyway — for beer's sake, that is.
WHERE TO DRINK
Adelaide's small bar scene is booming in step with its craft beer scene and the two fit hand in glove. Even simple cafes like Cafe Troppo are housing two taps of craft alongside their eco-friendly fare and ethically-sourced coffee and teas. Craft beer and whisky lovers can't miss Nola, known explicitly for both. The New Orleans-style bar houses 16 taps that are constantly rotating and feature independent SA brewers, as well as Australia-wide and international guest stars. If 16 taps somehow isn't enough for you, they're also boasting an extensive list of one-off and rare release bottles. Now that's commitment to the craft.
For an underground feel, the Bank Street Social (top image) is the speakeasy in these parts and reminiscent of Sydney's Baxter Inn. They're committed to showcasing SA craft beer and ciders in equal measure to their ridiculously large whisky wall. The Bank is the spot to search out the latest releases in the region while you get your boogie on or relax on one of their luxe, golden booths.
If you're more into a classic pub style, The Wheatsheaf Hotel cannot be beat in these parts. Each of their 13 rotating taps are strictly craft only, with bottled beers from around the world as well. They also boast a beer garden, regular live music, board games and art exhibitions, so it's an all-round good time to be had. Benjamin on Franklin toes the line between small bar feel and classic hotel setup — this joint is less pub, more 1920s-style, bohemian beer purveyor. The three dining booths in their beer garden are the perfect escape for a intimate date over craft beer (what else?).
WHAT TO DRINK
When in Adelaide, keep your eyes peeled for these big names in the small batch brewing game. A few you may recognise from your local bottle shop, namely Pirate Life, which has only been operating since 2014 and has done major things to catapult Adelaide, and Australia, onto the world craft beer stage. Big Shed Brewing Concern is another you may have heard of, considering the Facebook fame which their "Fresh as Fuck" campaign fostered — the crew hand-delivered beer from their Adelaide brewery to Sydney's Bitter Phew in less than 24 hours after kegging, all in the name of fresh beer.
Sadly, many of these aren't yet shipping up north, but it's only a matter of time before you'll be sipping these across the country and hopefully around the world.