The Share Plate Guide to... Mornington Peninsula Breweries
The Mornington Peninsula has a great range of indie beers being pumped out by passionate locals! Community breweries aren't just about the beer, they’re about the taproom too – a mix of culture and atmosphere. Here's half a dozen of our fave Peninsula breweries to visit and buy from:
St. Andrews Beach Brewery
Mornington’s ultimate destination brewery. An inviting and unique venue set on a former racehorse training facility, the brewhouse backs onto an indoor/outdoor pavilion-style bar, with dining areas housed inside converted horse stables.
Popular for a reason, the site is impeccable, the food is great, and the beers themselves? Well, they cap it all – a core range of easy-drinking, flavourful beers, with a solid mid-strength available for those designated drivers who happen to draw the short straw.
Farm life is a part of the property too – the team is growing hops (for future brews) and fruit trees alongside a home for piglets, lambs, and chickens.
- The Box 54 Golden Ale was created with a nod to the famous Makybe Diva. Crisp and with a slight tropical edge thanks to the use of popular Galaxy hops, this Golden Ale is dangerously fresh.
Mornington Peninsula Brewery
Humbly beginning over some beers after an AFL grand final, Mornington Peninsula Brewery has become a landmark for the local craft beer scene.
This impressive space hosts Saturday music sessions, wood-fired pizzas and their solid range of seasonal brews (that keep on expanding) that sit alongside the core beers.
Recently partnering with Tribe Brewing which has provided the brewery it's own canning line, and with more unique drops on the horizon, the future looks bright for Mornington’s finest.
A window into their creativity: earlier this year they released (the first? We should fact-check that…) ANZAC Biscuit Ale to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Gallipoli.
- The specialty line is ever-changing and limited, so keep your ears to the ground for new releases. From the core range, their Mornington Pale is fruity and smooth - a great session beer.
Two Bays Brewing Co.
A distinctive spot on the Peninsula – Two Bays is a dedicated gluten-free brewery.
The owner Richard, a diagnosed coeliac, was initially upset about what this would do to his favourite pastime... before discovering the huge gluten-free beer scene in the USA.
After an American research trip, he returned home with the initial idea for Two Bays gaining momentum. Securing the exclusive rights to import over a dozen varieties of specialty malt, he set about building Two Bays and is now a passionate voice for the gluten-free market.
To make the beers gluten-free, they are brewed from millet, buckwheat, and rice. The profile is slightly different than you would expect, but by no means any less flavoursome or delicious. A Pilsner and Pale Ale make up the core range. Specialties include an Extra Special Bitter, a Gose, an IPA, and a Mid-strength.
Tasting paddles are on offer to run you through the options, and the choice from three vegan pizzas (on gluten-free bases, of course) makes for a fantastic pairing.
- Gose Against: Lime and Coriander. Having never tried gluten-free beers before, our team wasn’t sure what to expect. The ESB and Pilsner were great, but the Gose was a standout – the coeliac brewing process combined with slight herbal and sour tang made this an instant favourite.
Red Hill Brewery
Sitting amongst its own hop garden, Red Hill is a brewery with European stylings that conveys a real sense of place.
The original Peninsula craft brewery, operating since 2005, has a real experimental streak in their use of local produce such as truffles, cherries, and honey. Sourcing oak barrels from local distilleries and wineries is another nice detail - owners David and Karen work hard to ensure they release a range which is seasonal and balanced.
The core range includes a Scotch Ale, Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Kolsch – plus tinnies in the form of Two Bays Pacific Pale and East Coast Session IPA. There’s a whole heap of seasonal releases too – including the famous Christmas-time Abbey Ale.
With great accommodation on-site (perfect for those of us who like to sample everything), a warm bar atmosphere and low-and-slow US-style BBQ from Guner Que, Red Hill Brewery makes a strong case for having the most well-rounded offering on the Peninsula.
- The Red Hill Kolsch, in true German style all the way from Cologne, is simple and unfussy. Almost lager-like in how crisp the finish is, the mix of German and Aussie malts combine well, this is very light, very tasty and very easy to power through.
Dainton Brewery & Taphouse
Up on the Northern end of the Peninsula, Dainton is a pretty complete package. They’ve got a fun space; they’re locally focused; they release a crazy amount of specialties, and they look good doing it.
A family business operating since 2013, Dainton have a mad scientist streak that is constantly producing results. The recent releases are a brewer’s fever dream: “Pickle Dan” Reuben Rye Ale, “Zone 3” Triple Dry Hopped Triple Rye IPA, “The Professional” Sauv Blanc & Kiwi Bright NEIPA, “Kinky Cola” Cherry Cola Sour, “Cookies & Cream” Milkshake IPA… this is just the beginning.
What’s amazing and worthy of applause is the consistent quality. Regardless of which road Dan and his team go down, they release another winner. A genuinely fun taproom and lack of pretension mark Dainton as a great go-to.
- From the core range: The Blood Orange NEIPA. Hoppy, fruity, chock-full of vitamin C… well, 2 out of 3 anyway. Delicious too.
- Of their current limited beers: Crack a “Choctail Espresso” Mocha Stout. Peninsula legends Commonfolk Coffee provided cold brew to go with the organic cacao nibs. 2019 AIBA Gold medal winner for a reason.
Jetty Road Brewery
Jetty Road is a full experience brewery. Started by six local lads, they've created a local favourite across the Peninsula. Their firm belief in a life shaped alongside the sea has led to the brand taking root in the local community.
Their site is housed in the Dromana industrial estate, with a simple refined space hosting the taproom. Regular live music and a top menu add to what’s already on first sight a beautiful fit-out.
A small core range of sessional beers offers something for each taste across a Wheat Ale, Draught, Pale Ale, IPA and XPA. The specialty range has some fun with old favourites – shout outs to the G&T Good Times, a Brut IPA collab with local distillery Drops of Juniper; the Bent Jetty Sour IPA, collabed with Aussie capital champs Bentspoke Brewing; and the Easter Stout, adding vanilla beans and cacao nibs for a delicious adult Easter egg.
- The XPA stands above – sitting between their Pale Ale and IPA, but without any sacrifices on the taste or finish. Not too intense hops, a dry finish and a citrus bang combine beautifully.
See more of our favourites inside our upcoming Mornington Peninsula issue, with 100 pages showcasing stories of our favourite local eateries, farms, producers, wine, beer, spirits and social enterprises! Pre-order here:
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