Beer in Tasmania

A long history of quality brews

WHAT SPARKS YOUR INTEREST?

Salamanca Market showcases many unique and different beers.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Moo Brew Brewery Tour
Image thanks to: Tourism Australia & Ellenor Argyropoulos

The Cascade Brewery Co. in Hobart is Australia's oldest brewery. Tours include the chance to see some of Australia's best loved premium beers brewed in the historic brewery and a walk through the famous Woodstock gardens.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

J Boag & Son Brewery
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Chris Crerar

Salamanca Market
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

J Boag & Son Brewery
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Chris Crerar

J Boag & Son Brewery
Image thanks to: Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman

Tasting paddle at the Cascade Brewhouse overlooking Mount Wellington and picturesque gardens.
Image thanks to: Cascade Brewery Co. Hobart

Beer in Tasmania

When it comes to Tasmanian beer, it’s easy to see why the world is taking note of the region’s stunning achievements over the course of the 20th century and beyond. Brewing fantastic beer and ales seems to be in Tasmanians’ blood. The crystal water paired with local farming means that all the ingredients are at their fingertips, and can produce almost all their beers and ales without having to source outside of the region’s borders–a pretty proud claim to fame.

From craft distilleries to industrial operations that have been around for over a century, Tasmania has a rich and vibrant scene when it comes to the world’s most loved beverage.

Hall of Fame

The Taste of Tasmania Food and Beverage Festival offers a chance for locals to showcase the finest cuisine and beverages the region has to offer. The annual festival normally starts at the end of December and goes on to the beginning of January, for one week of fun and festivities in the capital Hobart, normally attracting over 250,000 people. Image thanks to Julia Smith.

Many are surprised to learn that Tasmania is home to some of the world’s best, tastiest beer – so much so that some brands have won prestigious awards during the aforementioned festival.

Moo Brew Brewery Tour, Tasmania, Australia

Top lager was won by Moo Brew with a classic Bavarian wheat beer called Hefeweizen. The beer has been described as naturally cloudy with a bright yellow body and large foamy head and is rich in flavour and reminiscent of Champagne. This beer is best paired with washed rind cheeses, or South American, South and East Indian cuisines. Image thanks to Tourism Australia & Ellenor Argyropoulos.

Top ale was won by Seven Sheds St. Ella IPA (SIPA) and has been described as being as close to an English IPA of yore as it gets–a far cry from the stereotypical, modern IPAs.

And the top dark ale prize was scooped by Iron House Porter, an English-style dark ale. An Australian yeast blended with English and German malts lends this beer rich notes of chocolate and caramel.

Tassie Beers on Show


Considering Tasmania has more than 20 breweries, it can really be considered a connoisseurs’ paradise. Each distillery has their own unique take on the brewing process and hidden ingredients make every beer special in flavour.

Salamanca Market, Tasmania, AustraliaSeven Sheds brewery is located in the north of the island, and its creators and beer enthusiasts Willie Simpson and Catherine Stark know their trade when it comes to brewing high-quality Kentish ale and seasonal beers. Willie Simpson is a man of many talents, being his very own mead maker, as well as a pioneer in the Australian beer scene and author of the 2006 beer bible. The couple focus on fresh local produce to brew the finest ale and beer possible in their native home of Tasmania. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne.

The beer scene in Tasmania is thriving as of late of with a mix of beer festivals and events; if you’re a fan of the famous brew then look forward to a year round extravaganza. Esk Beerfest & Hobart Beerfest normally take place around November, and not only features an excellent lineup of Tasmanian beers, but live music and street performances to enchant the masses as well.

TasTAFE’s Microbrew Festival is a student-run annual event located in downtown Hobart. It hosts Tasmania’s finest craft and microbrewery products, as well as ciders. Each year’s profits are then filtered back to the next year’s students to help set up and establish the coming year’s festival.

Tassie’s Historic Beer Story

Cascade Brewery, Tasmania, AustraliaBeer in Tasmania has become part of the regional culture, with its long history that dates back to the 1820’s, though it wasn’t until 1832 that the first major industrial brewery was set up–an accolade belonging to the Cascade Brewery. Tasmanian beer is recognised by the international community as top notch and is exported all over the world. Tasmanians have established themselves as world-class brewers and have the product to prove it. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

Five Smaller but still substantial breweries were set up between 1820 and 1830 in Hobart. They produced a Yorkshire strong ale named Tasman’s Stingo but unfortunately all of this was short lived when the master brewer James Whyte died after a small cut became infected and spread throughout his body. At the time, medicine and doctors were in sort supply and he could not be saved.

By 1850, there were over 40 breweries based in Hobart alone. Smaller breweries began popping up in places all over the island like New Norfolk, Swansea and Oatlands.

Today, Tasmania is home to two power houses in the Australian beer industry–Cascade and Boag’s.

Cascade
Cascade Brewery, Tasmania, AustraliaCascade Brewery is one of the largest on Tasmania, with a long, storied history. It’s located at the base of Mt. Wellington and famed for its sandstone building used as its headquarters. Established in 1832, it has its claim to the oldest brewery in Australia’s crown. The two brains behind it all were men by the names of Hugh Macintosh and his brother-in-law Peter Degraves. Prior to the factory being set up, Degraves was actually imprisoned for unpaid debts to the country. In 1831, Hugh Macintosh, alongside his two nephews, began construction the the distillery that still stands today. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy.

The brewery grounds are now also home to the 3-acre heritage garden, a cafe and bar, as well as private function rooms.

Not long after opening, Hugh Macintosh sadly passed away and ownership was transferred to brother-in-law Degraves, once his prison sentence was finished. During the 1950 Victoria gold rush, the brewery really started to blossom. The thirsty miners would purchase large amounts of the amber liquid gold after a long day of searching for the real thing.

Boag’s
Boag’s Brewery, also known as J. Boag & Son was established in 1888 by James Boag and his son James Boag Jr., in Launceston, Tasmania.

J Boag & Son Brewery, Tasmania, AustraliaJames Boag and his wife, alongside their 4 children, arrived from Scotland in 1853. At the start of the brewery’s distribution, they could only produce seven hogsheads ( a whole cask barrel) of beer weekly. In modern day volume, this is an extremely small amount. The business was passed from James Boag I to James Boag II, and eventually in 1919, to James Boag III, making it a fine example of a family-run business. Image thanks to Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman.

In 2000, the business was purchased by the San Miguel corporation–a very big fish in the beer industry – who purchased the company for $92 million, and had big plans to double production every 3 years. They achieved this target until they sold the company to Lion Nathan Ltd. in 2007 for $325 million.

This large brewing company now produces 10 different types of beer, ranging from premium light lager to Boag’s St. George, a Californian-style lager, all the way to Boag’s Wizard Smith Ale, an English pale ale. The company even has The Lame Dog Hotel in their ranks, which is known by locals as ‘Boag’s Centre for Beer Lovers’ and has been running for 26 years in Launceston.

Microbreweries and What to Expect

Craft and microbreweries have been popping up all over Tasmania for many years now, and seem to be checking all the boxes for even the most complex tastes.

Little Rivers Brewing Co., Tasmania, AustraliaLittle Rivers Brewing Co. is marketed as a boutique-style craft brewery in the north-eastern town of Scottsdale. Chris Carins is the man behind the operation and got started when he moved back to Tasmania in 2012 after working in Burleigh Brewing in Queensland for 7 years learning the art of winemaking. The first batch went on sale in February 2014, and was greeted with immense praise for its diversity and robust flavour. Image thanks to Flow Mountain Bike.

The Moo Brewery was established in 2005, and is situated in Mora which was known as Moorilla Estate at the time. The first barrel was sold in June 2005, and production hasn’t stopped since. They craft 5 main beers, a Pilsner, a German-style Hefeweizen, a Belgian Pale Ale, an American Pale Ale and an American Dark Ale. Smaller batches of specialty beers are also released throughout the year to keep their ever-thirsty customers satisfied.

Where to Find the ‘Amber Gold’

There are numerous ways to sample craft beers and ales throughout Tasmania. With over 20 microbreweries, beerlovers are spoiled for choice. Get to know the makers behind each beer and don’t stop! In a 1 day tour, you can explore as many as 4 to 5 local breweries, sampling beers from each one as you go (may we suggest some water in between samples!?).

Saint John Craft Beer, Tasmania, AustraliaThere is also a wide array of local pubs and bars where you can sample up to 10 craft beers and ales on tap. Ask most locals in specific areas and they will be sure to point you in the direction of their local watering hole to wet your whistle. Image thanks to Tourism Tasmania & Chris Crerar.

In addition to tours and pubs, there is a large variety of different craft beer shops and cellars. Find these clustered across Hobart, with a smaller but still decent selection of these shops in the north around Launceston and Devonport.

What to do

Beer in Tasmania

Tasmanian Beer Tour - Day Tour

Hobart

Our TASMANIAN BEER TOUR will introduce you to some of Tasmania’s leading brewers. We will have the opportunity to hear their stories, be shown around the breweries they’ve built, taste direct from the tanks, and learn about their journey into establishing a craft brewery and what sets their beers apart. Of course we will sample numerous beers along the way – from traditional Tasmanian Ale’s to Barrel-Aged Stout’s, and from German-influenced Heferweizen’s to hopped-up Indian Pale Ale’s and if the season’s right – fresh-hop Saison’s, as Tasmanian brewers prove to you they are world-class when it comes to making beer.

This tour is suitable for beer-lovers, home brewers, industry professionals and the uninitiated who just want to be entertained while drinking delicious beers. We’ll tell you the story of how Tasmanian brewing began in the early days of colonial settlement around 1804, when the island, known as Van Diemen’s Land, was home to many rogues and villains, some of whom played a major role in establishing Tasmania’s brewing industry, including Peter Degraves, founder of Australia’s oldest brewery, Cascade.

Book Tasmanian Beer Tour - Day Tour
AU$129

1 Day Tour

AU$129

1 Day Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

Hobart Beer Tour - Yeast & Yarn

Sample craft beer from local favourites, learn first hand of the beer making process, tasty lunch included, here stories of Tasmania's beer history. Guided by local, qualified guides who care about Tasmania and what they do.

AU$125

AU$125

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It only takes 2 minutes

Hobart Beer Tour - Yeast & Yarn - Half Day

Visit 3 breweries, sample craft beer, learn first hand of the beer making process, here stories of Tasmania's beer history. Guided by local, qualified guides who care about Tasmania and what they do.

AU$55

AU$55

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It only takes 2 minutes

Whisky & Beer Half Day Tour

Our Whisky & Beer Half Day Tour offers guests the chance to experience global award-winning Tasmanian distilleries and the best of our emerging craft brewers all in an afternoon. This is the afternoon half of our Signature Tour.

AU$149

AU$149

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Old Hobart Pub Tour

Characters, pubs, alleys and ales… join us for a tour of Hobart’s intriguing history of watering holes.

AU$33

AU$33

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It only takes 2 minutes

Drink Tasmania Signature Full Day Tour

Our Signature Tour allows you to sample the finest of Tasmania's whisky, wine, beer and cider all in one fabulous day. Designed to experience the best of Tasmania's award-winning craft beverages.

AU$199

AU$199

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It only takes 2 minutes

Willie Smith's Distillery Experience

Spend 1.5 hours with Willie Smith's distiller in the still room and learn about the French art of cider distillation using Australia's only Charentais Alembic Still. Enjoy a guided tasting of Charles Oates apple spirits with matched food.

AU$95

AU$95

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It only takes 2 minutes

Bruny Island Traveller - Seven-Course Gourmet Day Tour

Hobart - Bruny Island

A Seven Course Gourmet food tour of Bruny Island. Explore spectacular landscapes and gourmet local produce on this full day land based tour.

AU$175

1 Day Tour

AU$175

1 Day Tour

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It only takes 2 minutes

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