The beer industry in Australia is a big part of their economy, serving as 1% (around $16.5 billion) a year of their Gross Domestic Product. Queensland is the biggest producer of beer with Victoria as the second largest – both far and away the most productive compared to the rest of Australia and directly provides several thousands of jobs between them.
One reason why Australia in particular is known for their great beer, and their love of it, is because it is home to producing some of the high quality malting barley in the world. Barley and Wheat cover a lot of crop area in Australia, Queensland in particular. As a result of this, even many of Australia’s mainstream, mass produced beers are of decent quality. It is no surprise then that 40% of Australians consume alcohol on a weekly basis.
Australia has an inherent desire to support their independent domestic breweries, with a particular recognition of the local craft beers that are being produced. Below is a pick of 5 interesting local beers that are must-taste in Australia, along with a list of where to drink them.
5 local beers to try in Australia
Balter has been voted the best brewery in Australia, so it is no surprise to see one of their beers make the list. The Gold Coast Balter XPA is pact full of flavour with it fruit aromas. Brewed in Adelaide, the 5% pale ale is a somewhat tropical beer, and it also made first place on Australia’s hottest 100 craft beers.
Pirate Life, in particular the Mosiac with its tall tin weighs in at 7% also with a tropical flavour palette. The beer tin itself describes it as the beer equivalent of a fruit punch juice box. It is a surprisingly light and easy to drink beer considering its strength.
The Jedi Juice’s New England IPA is worth trying if not for its novelty. This great beer brewed in Victoria has an interesting design and branding with a taste to match. It is 7.1% and describes itself as hazy, juicy with a citrusy hop aroma. As we can see, Australian weather brings demand for fruity and flavourful beer.
The Bruny Island Stoutfast is a large and welcoming stout that can warm you with its strong aromas of coffee beans and milk chocolate. The rich and creamy stout isn’t for hot days but for those chilly evenings, and greets you like a hospitable guest in Tasmania – it’s home.
Eagle Bay’s Amber Ale is an easy to drink, refreshing beer brewed in Dunsborough, WA. This light 3.3% beer is perhaps the opposite to the Stoutfast – it is light, it is sparkling and it is extremely refreshing. This is perhaps the most beach ale on the list, with its malt driven and light bitterness making its extremely drinkable.
These beers are just a small selection of incredible craft beers in an industry that is booming right now in Australia. In a sense, other than the Bruny Island, the list reflects Australia’s demands for its light, fruity beers to refresh in the great weather. This differs as you go around the world, with the UK’s craft beer industry with more of an emphasis on darker beers and ales.
Where to drink them
If you go deep enough into the outback of Australia, you can find yourself drinking at local pubs and what the Americans might call “dive bars”, which many of us addor for their brutally humble atmospheres. These are likely to be the bars for neighbouring locals that you will meet interesting characters and friendly drunks.
Many expats though will opt for the up market bars in the city which offer more than 3 or so draught beers and a sketchy playlist. Thankfully, these city bars will be well stocked with craft beers, making the selection more generous and gives you the opportunity to try our local craft beers that are from different regions, too. Wherever you decide to go, be sure to remember that some pubs ban flip flops, and certainly most clubs will – a point neglected by many expats.