2022 was a decent year in terms of beer travel. For the first time in the history of the Back of the Ferry @untappd account, we visited breweries in all six states of Australia in a calendar. Now in a more disciplined blog, that would result in a comprehensive year in review post on a state-by-state basis. Back of the Ferry is not that disciplined.
I didn’t really spend long enough at my favourite Victorian brewery of 2022, so I made a point spending a decent session there on my first visit to Melbourne for 2023. Ramblers Ale Works is a community spirited brewery in Hawthorn that survived a tough opening in 2020. At the end of a long day last year, I stumbled into Ramblers and had one of the best beers I’ve had – Auburn Irish Red Ale. That beer (and a couple of others), the friendliness of a co-owner, the space and the whole vibe was good enough for me.
Melbourne had turned on a cracking day and constant rehydration was the order of the day. Rambler’s range is broad with lagers, ales, sours, dubbels and darks. They seriously don’t do a bad beer. One BotF’s best Melbourne wingmen was up for it and we worked our way an eclectic selection of styles. The Auburn lived up to its billing, but the Munich Dunkel should become core – brilliant.
I reckon most of Melbourne were still in their beach houses, but a varied crowd of punters enjoyed a chilled band and a food truck pumping out “Epic Toasties”. The food is good and maybe I’ll get along to a trivia night this year. Ramblers Ale Works is a place worthy of repeat visits.
For the record, my breweries of 2022 by state were as follows:
Fox Friday Craft Brewery, 105 Murray Street, Hobart Tasmania. Insanely good beers (esp IPAs) and a bowl of Chili.
The Seasonal Brewing Co: 175 Guildford Road, Mayland WA. The best of a big and worthy field. Great space and eclectic range.
Bowden Brewing: 12 Fourth Street, Bowden SA. A great place to drink beer – attractive.
We wrote about Broulee Brewhouse in NSW and Coral Sea Brewing in Qld – both worthy winners of the BotF 2022 state awards. I’m sure 2023 will be another great year in Australian beer travel. Who knows – we might get to the two territories as well. The good news is that more breweries are still opening in Australia as opposed to closing. And BotF will try to get to as many of them as possible.
Happy New Year and see you out the Back of the Ferry.