Best real ales and ciders of Tasmania AustraliaIn January I wrote about a terrific pub, brewery and boutique beer bar crawl or walk I did in North Carlton and East Brunswick – mostly on Lygon Street and Rathdown Street. 1 pub, 1 brewery and 3 boutique or craft beer bars in Melbourne – heaven!

Not that I am going to make it a habit to do a pub, bar and brewery crawl or walk every 2 months, but in March 2012 I wandered down the east coast of Tasmania and stumbled upon some great spots I encourage people to check out. If you value fine beers, crafts beers and unique breweries here are some of Tasmania’s best ales, pubs and breweries.

1. Weldborough Pub – all craft beers in Tasmania available!

Weldborough Hotel - great craft beer pub in TasmaniaThe publican, Mark, was a friendly and knowledgeable chap. He obviously loves Tasmania’s craft beers and is a huge supporter of up-and-coming brands, like Morrison’s and Van Diemen’s (both brewed in Launceston), Iron House, Two Metre Tall and Moo Brew.

If you are in this gorgeous part of Tasmania invest a little time – even stay overnight if you can – and sample from Mark’s extensive knowledge and collection of wonderful Tasmania craft beers.

2. Pub in The Paddock, St Columba Falls Rd , Pyengana, Tasmania

Great little pub in the paddock with a beer drinking pig in TasmaniaNow this is a classic Australian outback pub. However, instead of it being dusty and on the edge of a desert (as depicted in the great Crocodile Dundee movies) this pub is in a lush green paddock in gorgeous Tasmania!

Out the back they have a pig which likes to be fed (light) beer we are told, but we didn’t venture sharing our beer – even light at that. They also had the wonderful Morrison’s red ale on tap, as we had just had at Weldborough. It went down a treat and we’ll certainly be looking that beer up again in the future.

3. Ironhouse Brewery, Bicheno, Tasmania

One of the best breweries in Tasmania - Ironhouse BreweryThis brewery is a bit of an eclectic mix of new and old. The new brewery is built on the edge of an old seaside resort. The brewery is named ‘Ironhouse’ as on this land the first house in Tasmania with an iron roof stood.

We sampled some excellent lagers and ales, I particularly rate their Pale Ale. I’ve seen Ironhouse ales and lagers offered all around Tasmania, and being the oldest brewery in the state, I am sure it is only a matter of time before we start seeing it more on the mainland.

4. Iluka, Coles Bay, near Freycient National Park, Tasmania

Iluka Tavern or pub is near Wine Glass Bay in Freycinet National Park - Coles Bay

Troy overlooking Wine Glass Bay in Freycinet National Park - working up a thirst for Hazard's Ale in Coles Bay, best tasted at the Iluka Tavern after an 8 hour hike

While I have been to this pub a few times over the years, one great night was for a quiz we held the night before a huge wedding – this time I found the food to be amazingly expensive.

We got some fish and chips to takeaway and when perched on our fold-out chairs on Richardson’s Beach in the National Park, our salivating came to an abrupt halt when we saw 3 tiny pieces of fish. Maybe 6cm long each and 2cm-3cm wide, if we were still at the Iluka Tavern I would have asked if they had accidentally served us the kids menu! For $28 it was not only a disappointment, but a rip-off. As was the $3 they tried to charge me when I asked for lemon, which was not included with our meal.

At least the beer is cold and there is plenty of Hazard’s Bay ale on tap. Probably our favourite brew on this trip. But, that could have been due to them being consumed after a long day of hiking in Freycinet National Park and at Wine Glass Bay – one of the top 10 beaches in the world we are told.

5. Moo Brew Brewery, MONA, Hobart, Tasmania

If you haven’t yet heard of the phenomenon which is MONA, we recommend you check it out on your visit to Hobart. On the site of the stylish Morrilla Bay winery – and Moo Brew Brewery – the world-class museum of new and modern art is providing Tasweigians and visitors alike, a wonderful experience. The Moo Brew brand is becoming more omnipresent on the mainland of Australia, and we are definitely advocates of these great beers. The estate is set up for the perfect beer in the sun – with giant Mojo cushions on the lawn, a stage for music acts and a lovely cellar door / wine bar thingy.


Great craft beers and brewery map of Tasmania

The kind of map of Tassie we love - look at all these craft beers and breweries!!

While we usually write about the best pubs and bars in Melbourne – as that’s what we present in our very popular Best Melbourne Bars & Pubs iPhone app – the above pub and brewery crawl is a wonderful trail to take along the east coast of Tasmania if you are flying into Launceston and out via Hobart.

Over the coming years Jonno and I will keep an eye out for the currently 14 craft Tasmanian beers from the glorious Apple Isle, in many of the Best Melbourne Pubs & Bars – especially the boutique craft beer bars in Melbourne.


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