Australia Trip Report

  • Seems like a long way to go for a birthday party but our second journey to Australia was spurred by an invitation to a friend's 40th.

     

    We began our two week beer adventure in the Victoria, making a huge loop around Port Philip Bay, finishing up in Melbourne. Then, we hopped on a plane and flew to Western Australia. In Australia's largest state, we toured Margaret River, Fremantle and the Swan Valley.

     

    On our summer journey, we drank a lot of great beer, saw kangaroos, koalas, gnomes, snakes and spiders and stood in the Indian Ocean.

     

    We added 26 breweries to both surpass 700. Current totals are 704 for Chris, 703 for Merideth.

     

    Look for a three One Pint at a Time episodes in March and April.

     

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    Port Phillip Bay Beer Loop - Part 1

    While most of this trip is in Western Australia, we began our beer travels exploring breweries in the greater Melbourne area. Over three days, Merideth and I made a giant loop around Port Phillip Bay. Beginning our journey at Melbourne airport after a 15 hour flight from Los Angeles, we drove east for our first stop of the day.

     

    Hargreaves Hill Brewery, located in the quaint town of Yarra Glen, wasn’t  a typical first stop of a big trip. It didn’t count on The List, failing the brewed on premise requirement. Despite this, I wanted to visit Hargreaves Hill Brewery because I had heard good things about their food and beer...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6628

     

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    Port Phillip Bay Beer Loop - Part 2

    On our first trip to Australia, we made a day trip down to the Mornington Peninsula from Melbourne. Long the playground for Melburnians, we loved Mornington’s laid back atmosphere and rural charm. We barely scratched the surface of the area’s offerings during the first trip, so this time we made a point of staying over the weekend.Disembarking from the ferry at Sorrento, we headed up the Peninsula along a coastal road. Despite the sporadic showers, the beaches were crowded with weekenders insisting on a day playing in the sand...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6652

     

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    Melbourne Urban Beer Hike

    Since our last visit to Melbourne a little over two years ago, a number of beer bars had opened in the city center (or CBD in Aussie). With one last day before flying off to Western Australia, we decided to spend the day checking out what was new in Victoria’s capital...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6710

     

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    Falling in Love with Margaret River

    The four days in Victoria were only a warmup for the main event of the trip, our first visit to Western Australia. We focused our visit to Australia’s largest state on the area around Perth, but our first destination was Margaret River in the southwest corner of the continent. Long known as one of Australia’s most famous wine regions, Margaret River is also home to a large concentration of breweries.The three hour drive from Perth airport to the Margaret River region was pretty much a straight shot...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6656

     

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    Completing Margaret River

    During our first day in the Margaret River area, Merideth and I fell in love with its scenery, beer and food. We regretted having only one more day to experience the charm of the area. But, that is the life of the beer traveler. Western Australia had other regions to explore with more breweries to visit.We were on the road relatively early, heading south from Margaret River towards Augusta. Our first stop day of the day was Cape Leeuwin at the southwest corner of the Australian continent...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6658

     

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    Gnomesville

    We awoke to the rhythmic chirping of a small bird on our porch. The sky was overcast and the ground damp; a somewhat melancholy send off from an area we had definitely fallen in love with. We were eager to hit the road, though, since our day’s agenda included adding two new breweries and visiting a place like “gnome” other.An hour and a half after leaving Margaret River, we passed through the small town of Dardanup and out to the Ferguson Valley...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6667

     

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    Freo Urban Beer Hike

    After a night in Perth, our Western Australian travels continued in nearby Fremantle. Known as “Freo” in Aussie-speak, the city played an important part in Australian craft beer history. With its walkabilty and number of craft beer establishments, Freo seemed ideal for an Urban Beer Hike.We had planned on four stops on our Urban Beer Hike but the weather, temperatures approaching 100°F and humid, forced us to be cautious and eliminate the one outlying brewpub...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6661

     

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    700! (Chris)

    Besides drinking great beer and having a wonderful time, the goal for Merideth and I on our Australian trip was to reach the 700 brewery milestone. As we ticked off breweries early in the trip, we kept thoughts of 700 in the background. But once we passed 695, we started talking about where each of our milestones would be.My 700th came out of left field. While at Little Creatures during our Urban Beer Hike, our friend Todd came up with the idea that we needed to tour Swan Brewery, or the “mothership” as he called it...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6663

     

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    700! (Merideth)

    Usually I can be heard kvetching about the fact that I am one behind Chris in our brewery count. It’s true, there are several things that bum me out about it. But there is also one big advantage: we each get our distinct moment in the sun when we reach a milestone. Chris had his 700th brewery visit at a place where drunken Australian teenage dreams are made. My 700th brewery day, on the other hand, had what “American beer tourists in Australia” dreams are made of...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6665

     

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    Swan Valley

    Merideth and I found it hard to believe that we had reached the end of our second Australian beer adventure. We had only one more day in Western Australia before returning to Melbourne and our flight back to California. We were feeling a bit blue because we had such a great time on this trip. Luckily, we had a few more breweries to visit to help that end of trip melancholy.For our final leg of our two week journey, we based ourselves in the market town of Guilford, east of Perth...

     

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    http://thebeergeek.com/blog/?p=6724

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