Beer, beer glorious beer

Coldstream brewery.


AMONG the many gems of the Yarra Valley are the breweries, each bringing something special to the craft of beer and cider-making. This brewery trail makes for a perfect day out in the valley, sampling the best drinks the region has to offer.
Coldstream Brewery
Coldstream Brewery is located at the gateway to the valley and brews nationally celebrated beer and cider. Though no longer brewing on-site, the former brewery has been transformed into a pub decked out to accommodate those wishing to sample the famous brew.
The beer remains true to the original recipes, combining high quality hops, malt and yeast to form a beer that has become a favourite of the valley. The cider has become equally as popular, using Victorian apples crushed and cold fermented to give the drink a pleasant fizz. The Coldstream Brewery has also got lunch covered, with an extensive menu to complement the drinks that keep people coming back. It is located at 694 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream. Phone: 9739 1794.
Hargreaves Hill
Venturing further into the valley, Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company began brewing in 2004 and since then has established itself as one of the premier breweries of the valley. Destroyed in the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, Hargreaves Hill continued to brew with the help of other local brewers until a new brewhouse was built in Lilydale. Offering a variety of beers, the company has recently begun national distrubtion of Pale Ale and Hefeweizen, which is a win for those who just can’t get enough. Matching its quality brews is a dining menu created specifically as ‘beer friendly.’ The restaurant uses local suppliers and also offers a wine list from boutique Yarra Valley producers. Hargreaves Hill is located at 25 Bell Street, Yarra Glen. Phone: 9730 1905.
White Rabbit
Driving through Healesville, it’s hard to miss the White Rabbit Brewery and it has certainly become an icon of the area. The brewery offers pale and dark ale created through an open tank brewing process unlike any other. So popular is the brew that White Rabbit’s Dark Ale won gold at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards. Two custom-built 5000 litre open fermentation tanks take position inside the unique brewery, which is decorated with imagery from Alice in Wonderland. A variety of pizzas are also served to make for a relaxed and casual atmosphere that delights locals and visitors alike. The brewery is scheduled to close at the end of May 2015, so now is the time to experience a true gem of Healesville. The White Rabbit Brewery is located at 316 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville. Phone: 5962 6516.
Napoleone Cider
The Napoleone family has been growing fruit in the Yarra Valley since 1948 and have perfected the craft of cider-making at their brewery in Coldstream. Using apples and pears grown on site, the brewery produces a variety of flavours including apple, pear, apple and pear, cloudy apple, veil aged and method traditionelle pear cider. Fruit is grown, picked, pressed, fermented, bottled and sold on site. The brewery and ciderhouse is attached to Meletos restaurant via a viewing window where patrons can observe the crafting process and various ciders, making for an enjoyable day out. Napoleone Cider is located at 12 Street, Huberts Road, Coldstream. Phone: 9739 0666.