We finally made it to Australia. After years of talking about it, we made the journey Down Under for Merideth's 40th birthday.
We didn't really know what to expect. We knew there was a budding craft beer industry. We had a list of breweries to visit and a few contacts. But that was it.
We spent two weeks in Australia. During that time, we drove from Sydney to Melbourne and back, adding 2,000 miles to our Ford Falcon XR6's odometer. Most important, we added 22 new breweries to "the List". A big boost to our goal of reaching 600 breweries in 2010.
Our First Day Down Under
Merideth turned 40 this week and she is not really embracing the milestone. Instead of making our normal holiday pilgrimage to Europe, I decided a trip to Australia was what Merideth needed to cure the turning 40 blues. This would be our first beer adventure outside of North America or Europe.The onset of winter in California, chilly temperatures and a forecast for lots of rain, made perfect timing for our journey to Australia...
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From each person we met in Sydney on the first day of our trip we heard, “Why are you going to Canberra?” Our traveling companions, Ute and Wolfie, were asked the same question. They really didn’t have a reason, except they were riding with us. We, on the other hand, had two reasons to go to Canberra. First, it provided a good stopping point to break up the long drive from Sydney to our next destination, the High Country of Victoria. More importantly, however, Canberra is the home of two breweries, including a pioneer in Australia’s craft beer movement...
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Victoria High Country Brewery Trail - Part I
We left ‘bustling’ Canberra early Sunday morning for what I thought was going to be a three to three and a half hour drive to the Victoria High Country, the northeastern part of the Australian state. We were headed to the self-proclaimed “premier craft brewing region in Australia” and their seven stop Brewery Trail. The drive turned out to be be closer to five hours but as they say, good things are well worth the wait...
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Victoria High Country Brewery Trail - Part II
After a good nights rest, we were back on the Brewery Trail the next morning. Our plan was to visit the two northernmost breweries on trail before coming back to Beechworth for a hike.But before we sampled some beer, we had the one more piece of Hume Highway kitsch to see, the giant Ned Kelly in Glenrowan...
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Three Ravens and a Goat
After three great days in Victoria’s High Country, it was time to move on. Our next destination was the capital of Victoria, Melbourne. There we would part with Ute and Wolfie who were flying home to Germany the next day. We had heard that Australia’s second largest city had a better beer culture than Sydney and it was time to find out for ourselves.Our first stop was Three Ravens Brewing Co. in the northeast Melbourne suburb of Thornbury. With Merideth diligently navigating, we successfully negotiated the congested city streets and found the brewery in a industrial park...
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Rainy Day Victoria Brew Tour
Apparently, it sometimes rains in Australia. After almost a week of glorious weather, we awoke Thursday morning to the threat of rain. But we wouldn’t let a little bad weather get in the way. Our plan was to visit some breweries south of Melbourne. After a farewell pot of beer with Ute and Wolfie, we hit the road.We had already heard good things about our first destination, Red Hill Brewery. Mentioning their name to several Australians produced the same positive reaction...
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Entering an Aussie Craft Beer Void
It was time to leave Melbourne for our trek up the Princes Highway back to Sydney. The Princes Highway winds its way along the coast and we were taking five days to traverse its length. While we had a brewery visit on Day 1 and Day 5 of this drive, there was nothing in between. Despite this being the hiking and nature portion of the trip, we were positive we would find more craft beer along the journey...
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Sydney and the Beermen
Our fifth day’s drive on the Princes Highway brought us back to Sydney for the final portion of our Australian adventure. We enjoyed our time along the coast but, as they say, all good things must come to an end. We also needed to get back to Sydney to record the holiday episode of beermen.tv.After a four day drought, we had a brewery to visit in the city of Wollongong, about an hour and a half south of Sydney...
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Sydney Walking Brew Tour
The eve of Christmas Eve was the last serious day of beer travel on our Australian trip. We had three breweries to visit and then we were done. Almost as important, we had been putting off Christmas shopping (“Let’s just do it in Sydney...”) so we still had a number of Christmas presents to purchase. We hadn’t seen much of Sydney besides Circular Quay plus what we saw outside the taxi window. Thus, we decided a walking tour was in order...
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