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FOOD & DRINK

Five Up-and-Coming Victorian Breweries You Should Know and Support Right Now 

Discover these top independent brews made in your own backyard — and vote for your favourite to be stocked in more BWS stores across the state.
By Sarah Ward
August 18, 2020
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By Sarah Ward
August 18, 2020
  shares

FIVE UP-AND-COMING VICTORIAN BREWERIES YOU SHOULD KNOW AND SUPPORT RIGHT NOW 

in partnership with

Discover these top independent brews made in your own backyard — and vote for your favourite to be stocked in more BWS stores across the state.

The beer world is filled with big names, heavy hitters and brands that you'll find almost anywhere around the globe. They're all well and good (and tasty), and everyone has heard of them. But, whether you're having a cold one after work or throwing back a few tins on a weekend, there's nothing quite like supporting a top-notch local brew.

Perhaps it's the fact that the beer you're enjoying was made so close to home. Maybe it's the feeling of knowing that you're showing some love to folks in your own community. We think it's both, actually — because sipping and celebrating a top homegrown brew is one of life's small but still significant pleasures.

As everyone across the state is well aware, Victoria has a healthy beer scene — and we're sure you're knocking back local brews rather often. Still, if you need a few pointers, or you're just keen to support nearby breweries every chance you get, we're here to help. We've teamed up with our pals at BWS to highlight five Victorian-based up-and-comers you should add to your must-drink list. And whether you already know and love them, or you're discovering them for the first time, you can also throw some extra support their way by voting for them to be stocked in more BWS stores across the state.

  • 5

    Located in the beachside suburb of Mordialloc, Wolf of the Willows knows what it likes — and it isn’t afraid to embrace it. That’d be small-batch, hand-crafted ales, although Scotty and Renae McKinnon’s brewery doesn’t completely eschew hops, as some folks who focus on the bitter tipple do. Wondering where to start? Wolf of the Willows literally started with an XPA back in 2014, and its blend of malt, passionfruit and citrus is still a firm fave. And if you’re currently thinking, “hang on, I’ve been calling all beers ales for years”, the term does indeed refer to a specific type of brew. Add this to your trivia knowledge: ales are made using a warm fermentation technique that results in a particularly sweet and full taste.

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  • 4

    Located in Victoria’s northeast, the town of Beechworth has been rewarding visitors since the mid-1850s, back when it was part of Australia’s gold rush. These days, however, the historic spot spoils travellers in another way: with homegrown beers made by Bridge Road Brewers since 2005. After starting as a shed-based microbrewery, the family-run outfit now oversees a 25-hectolitre brewhouse. Its beer highlights include its hoppy, malty, full-flavoured but not-all-that-bitter pale ale, as well as everything from porters and saisons to sours. Or, if you’re in the mood for something completely different, its chestnut pilsner — made from chestnuts from the region, of course — well and truly stands out.

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  • 3
    Twobays Brewing Co

    Love beer, but can’t handle gluten? Richard Jeffares knows the feeling. The founder of Twøbays Brewing was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2016 — and, after discovering America’s gluten-free taproom scene, his journey towards opening his own similar brewery on the Mornington Peninsula began. The result: Victorian-made beers that use gluten-free millet, rice and buckwheat imported from California and Colorado, rather than the usual malted (and gluten-heavy) barley. Yes, that’s something to say cheers to. Twøbays also boasts a sizeable range, so you have options — including a pale ale, XPA and IPA, plus whatever seasonal brews happen to be on the menu.

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  • 2
    Sample Brew

    When you peer at a can or bottle of Sample Brew’s yeasty beverages, you’ll notice the minimalistic, sleek design. In fact, you can’t miss it. That’s how this West Melbourne-based brand packages its brews — and, more than that, it’s how the now-East 9th Brewing-owned label approaches making them as well. Across its pale ale, gold ale, lager and 3/4 IPA, Sample Brew is all about essential, natural ingredients (and additive- and preservative-free, too) that combine for a clean, refreshing, crisp taste. We’d call it a no-fuss beer, but that only applies to the flavour, not the brewing process.

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  • 1

    Not every brewery gets to call a huge Abbotsford warehouse home — one that used to be a mechanics workshop and Auto LP gas conversion garage, no less. That’s Bodriggy Brewing Company’s rather nice lot in life, and it understandably takes its inner-north location seriously, showing its local love via spy lamps from the Palais Theatre and vintage MCG balustrades. Yes, it’s committed. The same can be said not only of its base, but also of its brews, too. Bodriggy crafts flavoursome, strong but always balanced beers which show a hefty love of hops. You’ll taste them in the company’s Utropia pale ale, Speccy Juice session IPA and Staunch German pilsner, among other brews, and you’ll also notice how the hops are complemented by everything else.

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Support your favourite local brewery by voting in BWS’ Local Luvvas campaign. 

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