If Sydney is home to epic eats and Melbourne is the stomping ground for coffee culture, then the Hunter is most definitely the mecca for breweries and distilleries (and wine, obviously, but you already know allllll about that). Yep, there’s no doubt this gorgeous region is basically just one massive barrel of booze fun for anyone who loves a cheeky tipple or a cold one.
Whether you’re after a simple schooner, bacon beer (yep, that’s a thing) or you’re a fan of the wine shanty of sorts, the Hunter Valley has you well covered.
Here are the best breweries and distilleries in the Hunter Valley!
Millbrook Estate Winery And Distillery
Millbrook is one of the few distilleries left in good ol’ Oz producing the late-night good stuff—brandy. And just so you know, this one is a major must-hit in the Hunter. Plus, everyone is banging on about their epic Liqueur Brandy (can confirm it IS epic) so that combined with the fact this estate overlooks the Wollombi Brook area (think a never-ending vista of rolling hills) should be all you need for a good time.
Heads up, Hunter Distillery is the only organic distillery in the Hunter Valley wine region producing top shelf spirits. Home to the iconic Jail House gin which incorporates lemon myrtle and Szechuan spice, the Hunter Distillery is the place to go if you’re a fiend for anything involving Vodka or gin. And we’ll just low-key mention their Copperwave gin (seriously, get on it).
Peter Drayton Wines
Peter Drayton Wines has all the wine, craft beer and food in one place. Needless to say, we’re a little overwhelmed but are certainly not complaining. Think 16 hectares of vines with a cellar door open to worthy tipple peasants like yourselves and FYI, they produce wine from the grape varieties including Shiraz, Semillon and Chardonnay. Out the back, you’ll also find the Ironbark Hill Brewhouse taps (imported from Germany) which brews several different types of beer on site. And trust us, you’ll probably (read: definitely) want to stay at one of the villas so you can really soak up all the drops they have on offer.
Matilda Bay Brewhouse
For all your sneaky midweek needs, Matilda Bay Brewhouse is no doubt the place to sink a few beers. With everything from an alcoholic ginger beer, traditional pilsner and a premium lager, you’ll find all 12 crafties on tap at the brewhouse. Not that you need more reasons to visit, but this gem also faces one helluva glorious outlook of the Hunter Valley They also serve up some of the best Angus beef and lamb rump around, just saying.
Lovedale Brewery does not mess around. We mean, how can you when you’ve got a fancy AF two-vessel mash kettle and lauter steam-powered premier stainless steel system on deck washing up some of the best brews around, right? In case you didn’t quite catch that, it basically means this brewery has a rotation of seasonal beers and you’ll be glad to know their famous Sydney cider is on tap all day errryday. At the heart of Lovedale lies the Lovedale Lager—a traditional Munich-style concoction with three types of German hops which gives it a damn delicious citrus and slightly toasted malt taste. Hint: you’ll want to try it (more than once).
Hunter Beer Co.
What Hunter Beer Co. lacks in size (it’s one of the smallest breweries in the country), it certainly makes up through its insanely massive range of beers, all produced on site of course. These guys are all about the crafties and have 10 cold ones on tap. You’ll feel well at home with head brewer Keith (aptly known as ‘the beer guy’) taking legends like yourself on a casual and quirky tour of the place where you’ll come across the holy-grails known as chocolate beer and bacon beer. Yep, they’re a wonderful thing you should jump on ASAP.
Planning a weekend trip to The Hunter? We got you.
Image credit: Elle Borgward