Victoria’s second city has become something of a hotspot for craft beer enthusiasts; pay homage to the humble hop at one of these fine Geelong establishments.
From industrial-chic warehouse breweries that host food trucks, to sprawling all-day taprooms with stellar beer gardens, there’s a Geelong pub or brewery to suit every mood and taste. Take your pick from these five port city favourites.
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Little Creatures Brewery, Geelong
Arguably the flagship brewery that kickstarted Geelong’s brewery craze, and among the city’s best-known taphouses. Little Creatures’ rustic-meets-industrial brewery and beer hall is housed in a vast brick building that was formerly a wool mill. Come for the Freo-born brewery’s signature hop-driven American Pale Ale, stay for the rather good woodfired pizzas and share plates. Hopheads can also take a brewery tour, attend the brewery’s monthly ‘Beer School’, or simply opt to try a paddle of Little Creature’s brews.
The Little Creatures’ so-called ‘village’ is also home to sister brewery White Rabbit, which purveys charcuterie and cheese boards alongside its line-up of inventive beers.
Address: 221 Swanston St, Geelong, Vic, 3220
Phone number: +61 3 5202 4009
Valhalla Brewing and Taproom
Like all good breweries, Valhalla offers a selection of seasonal beers, as well as its house signatures, available year-round. Beyond the brewery’s classic range of sours, stouts and IPAs you’ll find some truly out-there brews: think a lime cheesecake sour, a chocolate blackberry stout, and a raspberry-infused red IPA. There’s a homely, low-key feel to the Valhalla taproom, with live, local music a feature on Friday nights. Don’t leave without trying the micro-brewery’s first-born, the bold, award-winning 6.8 per cent ABV Obsidian Black Ale.
Address: 12-14 Union Street, Geelong, Vic, 3220
Phone number: +61 412 997 329
Blackmans Brewery Geelong
Located in an industrial precinct, Blackmans Brewery Geelong is perhaps the archetypal new-age craft beer brewery. Open since early 2021, Blackman’s brews are poured out of a repurposed neon orange shipping container, and its mash tuns and fermentation tanks are on full display in all their shiny silver glory behind the taproom’s chairs and tables. There’s a whopping 11 beers – and one cider – in its core range, plus a steady stream of seasonal brews to boot.
The spacious spot often plays host to live music sessions and DJ sets of a weekend, with regular food truck pop-ups too. Play a round of ping pong in between taking sips of your six-beer tasting paddle. And if you’re on holiday in the Surf Coast then you can always pay a visit to Blackmans sister bars in Torquay and Ocean Grove.
Address: 29/8 Lewalan Street, Grovedale, Vic, 3216
Phone number: +61 3 5221 5262
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The Brewery – Geelong
Part of the Bells Beach Brewing family, The Brewery – Geelong is situated slap-bang in the centre of town on one of the port city’s most popular thoroughfares. Toting a range of ‘surf-inspired’ craft beers, most named after the Surf Coast’s most famous breaks, this 2021 newcomer has quickly become a hit with the Friday knock-offs crowd. In keeping with the cosy and relaxed vibe of the brewery’s first taproom in Torquay, this Geelong offshoot offers an equally laidback and friendly feel, whether you’re holed up inside with a pint of hoppy Hells Bells XPA come winter, amid the exposed brick and timber, or lazing outside on The Brewery’s deck come summer with a crisp, cold pot of Southside Saison.
Address: Unit 2/73b Little Malop St, Geelong VIC 3220
Phone: +61 3 5223 2623
Malt Shovel Taphouse Geelong
With its super contemporary look and feel – all white washed walls and flourishes of greenery – this Geelong taphouse-cum-restaurant welcomes all kinds of punters, from the uninitiated to the hobbyist brewer. Expect more than a dozen beers on tap at any one time, the collection curated from a number of different brewers, many of which are local. There’s even a handy key on the menu, that highlights the ‘quenchers’, ‘crackers’, or ‘flavour packers’, to help punters decide on their drop. And if you still can’t decide on just one brew, opt for a tasting flight instead. If any members of your party don’t pledge allegiance to the humble hop, they can choose from a selection of wines and cocktails instead.
Malt Shovel’s sizable beer garden, festooned with string lights, and featuring a retractable roof, is the ideal spot to while away an entire afternoon in the sunshine. And if hunger strikes, you’ve got options: this bar/restaurant specialises in rotisserie meats (think Jamaican jerk chicken, cumin spiced lamb shoulder or roasted pork belly), but there are plenty of other elevated pub grub classics on offer too, from salads and burgers, to pasta dishes and steaks.
Address: Corner Bellarine and Malop Street, Geelong, Victoria, 3220
Phone: +61 3 5222 8756