Explore The Hunter Valley with a short tour of four breweries (and one bar).
The tour starts on Wine Country Drive at Nulkaba, a short drive from Cessnock.
The former Potters Hotel and Brewery, includes in it’s hotel and resort complex the Hunter Beer Co.
The large roadfront building provides extensive indoor and outdoor seating to cater to the tourists flowing through the area. All of which is served by a very small bar.
The full range of Hunter Beers are available along with a couple of specials/seasonals, most on the light side with an interesting Bock in the mix.
Take the short drive north along Wine Country Drive to the Crowne Plaza Hotel Hunter Valley. As you enter the drive you will see the next brewery across the golf course
The unusual setting of the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley hotel is the home of the Sydney Brewery’s Hunter Valley outpost.
Enter through reception and head downstairs towards the Lovedale bar. Situated at the rear of the hotel it serves the whole range of Sydney Brewery beers. The award winning Lovedale Lager is a great place to start on the beer range.
Being a resort hotel and golf course, there is ample room in the bar and outside to enjoy the beers coupled with some good food from the restaurant.
Head back out the resort, turn right and head towards Pokolbin. A short 5 minute drive down Broke Road brings you to the Hope Estate.
The Hope Estate is one of the increasing number of winery estates to begin brewing.
The award winning brewery is contained at the back of the extensive main building with a German bierkeller style seating area overlooking the brewing equipment. Further seating areas are upstairs.
The bar in the reception area/shop serves the full range of mainly German styled beers including a Gluten Free Pilsner. The India Red Ale is the standout amongst the range.
Part of a huge enterprise, there is more than enough room to sit outside and enjoy a meal from the high quality menu.
Often the location of major events, it would be sensible to check in advance if the estate is being used as an outdoor music venue.
A pleasant 30 minute drive through the Hunter Valley will bring you to the charming town of Maitland, and the wonderful Art Deco Pourhouse Craft Beer Bar on High Street. The ten taps dispense a range of local craft beers including those from Newcastle’s Grainfed Brewing Co.
A final ten minute drive along the Hunter River brings you to the historic town of Morpeth.
The Commercial Hotel, opposite the river bridge, is home to the Morpeth Brewery & Beer Co.
The large traditional hotel with separate bar areas serves the whole Morpeth range of mainly English style beers. A wonderful addition is a permanent Engine Bar serving two of the beers on traditional English handpumps.
The tasting paddle is really worth trying, just for its unusual metal ocean liner style. Be sure to include the Stout and the Big Hitter Special Bitter.
The Brewery itself is in one of the small rooms of the pub with tours conducted by the brewer every Saturday at 12pm.
Check for opening times and special events that may mean some of the breweries are not accessible.
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