Before visiting Darwin recently, I consulted the oracle of craft breweries (Craft Beer Reviewer) to see whether there were any breweries in the Top End to visit. Two were in Darwin, but the third – which I’d never have found but for the oracle – must be a contender for the most remote brewery in Australia. I’ll write about Canoelands Brewery shortly, which remote by Sydney standards, but the Purple Mango Brewery is almost 90km from Darwin and not really on the way to anywhere. It is 2.7km off the Arnhem Highway, which is the main road to Kakadu. My daughter and I had been to Litchfield and were heading back to Darwin. We ummed and aahed about making the 100km round trip detour. “Dad, do you think you’ll get another chance?”. So down the Arnhem Highway we went.
If you ever intend visiting the Purple Mango Brewery you have to plan ahead. We rang to ensure we’d get fed and served beer. The “biggest wood fire Pizza Oven in the Northern Territory” was left on just for us. We ordered some pizza and then went into the brewery. This is a one man band and I think is the smallest brewery I’ve ever been in. Graham operates two 50l Braumeister kits that he purchased from Grape and Grain and he does everything himself – no assistants here.
5 beers are available on tap and up to 6 are available in bottles. On the day, the line-up was as follows:
- Lightning Bolt Steam Ale
- Monsoon Belgian Pale Ale
- Build up Blonde
- Mango Mango
- Fat Boy’s Ginger Beer
- Black Friday Wheat Beer
Graham showed the fresh ginger he uses for his ginger beer and photos of mangoes he used in Mango Mango – probably their flagship beer. No essence of Mango used here – it is the real deal.
For mine, the Monsoon Belgian Pale Ale was the pick of the bunch. Graham had nailed it. The Mango Mango is quite sweet and one was enough. I could punched out the Belgian all day. It is worth having a feed at the Cafe. The pizzas are very good.
The Purple Mango Brewery: 294 Stephen Road, Marrakai, NT, 0852