High Country Brewery Trail
Road trip along this scenic trail to discover what's brewing in Victoria's North East.
Duration: 3 nights, 4 days
Total distance: Approximately 470 kilometres
Start: King Valley (around 3 hours from Melbourne)
A road trip best taken over three nights, four leisurely days, the High Country Brewery Trail offers an ideal way to explore the region’s spectacular scenery and its outstanding range of craft beers made with love from locally grown hops.
Day 1 Melbourne to Rutherglen
Start your journey in the heart of the picturesque King Valley, home to generations of winemaking families producing Italian wine varietals. The excellent King River Brewing is housed in one of the High Country's iconic historic tobacco kilns, a great place for lunch while you soak up the views from their extensive beer garden while sampling a crisp ale from one of the brewery's six rotating taps.
Drive on to Taminick Cellars at the foot of the Warby Ranges just outside of Glenrowan and drop into Black Dog Brewery where brewer James Booth specialises in handcrafted small batch brews, produced using traditional techniques. Enjoy a tipple in the 100-year-old cellar building, or grab a takeaway pack to enjoy later with your designated driver.
Head north towards the mighty Murray River, for an overnight stay in one of Australia's oldest wine regions, Rutherglen. The town is also home to the Rutherglen Brewery, known for its small batch beer crafted on-site using hop profiling to reflect seasonality. Choose from six ales on tap and enjoy with house-made bread or gourmet pizza within the heritage building or the beer garden.
Day 2 Overnight in Mitta Mitta
Next stop is the beautifully preserved Gold Era town of Beechworth. Visit Billsons Brewery in the original home of one of Australia's earliest breweries dating back to 1865 which was built on a natural spring. Recently revitalised by Nathan Cowan, Billson's uses that pure alpine water to create its range of tonic waters, gin, vodka, cordials, classic sodas and of course, beer.Just two minutes away on Beechworth's main street is the pioneering craft brewery, Bridge Road Brewers, housed in the 150 year old Coach House and stables. Founder Ben Kraus is legendary in Australian craft beer circles and these days offers more than 20 house-brewed beers on tap, alongside a packed-out list of local wines. Time your visit with the brewery's daily tours, where you can meet the makers and learn what goes into creating a unique craft beer then choose something delicious from the lunch menu to pair with a tasting paddle of the brewery's finest.
Make your way to the far north-eastern reaches of the High Country via picturesque Yackandandah and Tangambalanga to spend the night in one of the region's best kept secrets - Mitta Mitta. Home to the fantastic Mitta Brewing Co where the hops are grown on site without the use of chemicals and water is drawn directly from the property. Known as much for its sensational food as for the range of seasonally produced ales, this is a great place to cuddle up by the cosy fire in winter, or in summer, settle in the beer garden and raise a glass to Mount Bogong in the distance.
Day 3 Overnight in Bright
Distance: 140km to Bright
From here return via the Kiewa Valley to Mt Beauty to sample the ales at High Country Brewery Trail newcomers, Crank Handle, and admire more stonking views of Mount Bogong. From here, climb up and over the spectacular Tawonga Gap, pausing at the lookout for a selfie with the full panorama of the Australia Alps as a backdrop. Then on to beautiful Bright for lunch (or save it for dinner later) at the Bright Brewery, perched right on the banks of the Ovens River. Take lunch or dinner in the brewery's sunlit beer garden, where you can sample the fine range of craft beers with friends and family in one of Australia's prettiest destinations.
Day 4 Return to Melbourne
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