Here's what’s open in McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast today. A great way to support local. 

That’s The Spirit – McLaren Vale Craft Breweries And Distilleries - McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast Blog

McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast Blog

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That’s The Spirit – McLaren Vale Craft Breweries And Distilleries

Well known for exceptional wine, the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast has expanded its horizons with unique craft breweries and distilleries, taking tastings to an exciting new level and with the winter months settling in soon, no better way to warm yourself up with a good gin in 2021!

With breweries and distilleries opening up, there’s never been a better time to experience the diversity of offerings. The gradual appearance of beers, cider and spirits is a welcome addition to the well established wine region.

“The brewery was an easy addition to the region, and it co-exists with the wine here in a really lovely way,” says Mary Goodieson, co-founder of Goodieson’s Brewery with husband (and brewer) Jeff. One of the first to open in the region, their McLaren Vale brewery and tasting space is nestled amongst some of the most renowned vineyards in the area.

“When we decided to do barrel aged beers, we put the word out one morning that we needed barrels and by that afternoon we had a local winemaker deliver some to us. It’s an amazing community here with support from the wineries – all the winemakers needed a local beer to drink at the end of vintage anyway, so it worked well!”

Since opening in 2010, their range has expanded to include an impressive collection of beer, all brewed on site by Jeff. From pale ale to wheat beer and pilsner to red ale, their standard range includes six year-round styles. Keep an eye out for limited editions like the barrel aged brews, seasonal beers and one-off blends using local ingredients. “We’re working on adding local cold brewed coffee in our stout soon – we like to do collaborations with locals where we can,” says Mary.

Vale Brewing located at Beresford Tasting Pavillion, is also making the most of the surrounding wine community. “We’re looking into some co-fermentation at the moment, mixing local cabernet into stout or something similar,” says Jeff Wright, head brewer at Vale Brewing. The Willunga based brewery also recently used McLaren Vale grown lavender to make a lavender stout, as well as cherries from Willunga Hill for a cherry lager. Ask for their limited brews at local pubs, but get in quick because they don’t last long. You can also enjoy a Vale Brewing tasting paddle at Red Poles.

Willunga is also home to Swell, another popular beer business in the region. With a background in winemaking, the team at Swell craft their beers with food pairing in mind. Harry’s Deli at Wirra Wirra winery is a great place to try one of their beers. Their award-winning golden ale is a local favourite, but make sure to try one of their Brewery Qualifying Series for a limited experimental brew.

Some of the region’s wineries are trying their hand at brewing their own creations too. Ekhidna Wines in McLaren Vale offers a beer flight tasting at their new venue, including their hugely popular ginger beer (this is a local secret – touted the best in the state).

It’s not all about beer, Settlers Spirits produce a large range of spirits from single-malt whisky, vodka, liqueurs, and their flagship gin range. They take their botanicals and distill them separately to create the essences and then blend them at the end.

So why not take a nip between wine sips at nearby wineries! Local tour operators can tailor your experience, so you can taste to your heart’s content. To discover other great craft beer and distillery tastings, download our visitor guide

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