From the small-batch brewer to the best gastro-pub, here are six of the best stations in Ballarat and the western region to access premium liquid gold during the sweltering summer months.
This small and passionate micro-brewery started back in 2005 along the shore of Lake Purrumbete and has since moved to Ballarat. Always striving to produce the highest-quality and most enjoyable beers, Red Duck prides itself on all-natural, unfiltered, traditionally-brewed brews and is also home to the Kilderkin gin distillery!
Located in the centre of Ballarat, this brewery combines tours, tastings and self-brewing sessions to offer visitors a completely immersive brewery experience. Not to mention the comfortable tap room upstairs featuring eight Athletic Club brews on-tap and fresh from the brewhouse. Can't ask for much more, really.
What should you try? Brewer Jack Perry says ‘Our Athletic Club Brewery Schwarzbier is the perfect accompaniment to those long hot summer nights. This German lager is dark in colour yet light and fresh on the palette, and has a smokey/roasty aftertaste which is the ideal partner for the backyard BBQ. Whether you’re cooking up a bratwurst or smashing a steak, our Schwarzbier will have you sorted all night long.’ Prost!
A relaxed and low-key country put in Cavendish, these guys brew their very own beer and distil their own gin and vodka. Located about 20 minutes outside of Hamilton in the Grampians region, all their beers have a local connection with the pub’s chef James Campbell of Movida fame. And they make it into the menu too. Brewer Nathan Peace Bastock recommends the BBQ Beef Brisket with a side of their house black pudding. The Black Pudding is made using spent brewing grains from this beer, and served with house-made kimchi.
This beer hall is located down one of Ballarat's elusive laneways, and features a huge selection of local craft beers on-tap. A local favourite, make sure to accompany your warming ales with some equally-warming brew food conjured up by one of the region's best chefs.
A must-visit destination for beer lovers and beer dreamers, this family-run brewery is built on a passion for good living and fantastic beer. With its beers produced on-premises in the 500-litre brew house, Cubby Haus features a bar and play area for the little tykes. Afternoon solved!
And to drink? According to brewer Malcom Sachs, ‘Cubby Haus Brewing has released a new core beer in time for the warmer weather. Our Good Witch Rye Blonde is an easy drinking malty American Pale Ale with the rye adding a refreshing zing. It is a great barbecue companion to chilli & garlic prawns.’
One of the veterans on Ballarat's craft beer scene, this cosy gastro-pub delivers all the goods. With an ever-evolving selection of local and Aussie craft-beers, The Mallow also offers pub food done elegantly, and an ambience that will suit any occasion - be it an informal catch-up with old friends, or a romantic rendevous with your beloved.