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While travelling the Great Ocean Road, why not take a break by stopping to sample some local blends at the area’s breweries, distilleries and wineries? Artisan makers on the Surf and Shipwreck Coast use only the best produce and purest water from the Otway rainforests in their craft. Take a breath of the freshest ocean air as you drop in to try some of their wares.
Great Ocean Road wineries
Great Ocean Road wineries produce a range of impressive vintage and non-vintage wines. Whether you prefer a European style Riesling, an elegant Pinot Noir, or a typical Australian sparkling Shiraz or Chardonnay, there’s something to whet your appetite.
Bellbrae Estate (Bellbrae)
Bellbrae Estate is a family-run boutique winery just five minutes from Bells Beach, right on the Great Ocean Road. The cellar door is open for sales and tastings on most days, and this winery produces a range of very drinkable wines – from a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Longboard Rosé to a sparkling Shiraz.
Blake’s Estate (Deans Marsh near Lorne)
Travel just a little inland from Lorne to Deans Marsh in the foothills of the Otway Ranges to discover Blakes Estate. The cellar door is open during weekends for most of the year, and they specialise in Pinot Noir. Wines include a champagne-style sparkling white, a small quantity of rosé and a Burgundy-style red.
Newtons Ridge Estate (near Port Campbell)
Newtons Ridge Estate was established in 1998 by the Falk-Deppeler family. They produce an impressive selection of red and white wines from handpicked grapes. This winery is close to Port Campbell, in a lofty yet sheltered position atop a north-facing ridge.
St Anne’s Winery (Lorne)
St Anne’s Lorne cellar door showcases wines produced by the McLean family using grapes from three vineyards owned across Victoria, and one in New South Wales. The Lorne Cellar Door is right by the beach, and is open for free tastings seven days a week. As well as wines, gifts such as home decor and chocolate products can be purchased at the shop. Make sure to try their fortified wines that are the perfect after dinner tipple.
Basalt Vineyard (Killarney, near Warrnambool)
Basalt Vineyard can be found along the Great Ocean Road, just 9 kilometres from Port Fairy. This vineyard stands out because it also serves food such as Spanish-style tapas, lunch dishes and of course coffee and cake. Drop into the cellar door for tastings, bar snacks and a few tales, and you can learn about their organic viticulture practices – as well as why they opted to plant Tempranillo, Riesling and Pinot Noir vines.
Great Ocean Road craft breweries
When it comes to refreshment, Great Ocean Road craft beer has you covered. Stop for a break while you sample some fabulous craft ales and lagers from a range of local beer producers situated close to the legendary route.
Bells Beach Brewing (Torquay)
Bells Beach Brewing is perfectly situated for quenching your thirst after going surfing – or watching others catch the waves. This craft brewery specialises in creating a variety of bold beers that are big on flavour. The names of Endless Summer Lager, Point Addis Pale Ale, Bells Beach Blonde and more reflect the local area perfectly. Food is served, and sports matches shown on the big screen too.
Salt Brewery at Airey’s Inlet Pub (Airey’s Inlet)
Airey’s Pub has plenty to offer both those on a pitstop or if you’re planning on a longer visit. Inside this Aussie pub there’s a trio of spacious dining areas plus an outside beer garden. The stage hosts a Comedy Roadshow annually as well as regular live music. At Airey’s you can sample a tasting paddle of beers crafted by the Salt Brewing Company as you enjoy a gourmet pub meal.
Great Ocean Road Brewhouse (Apollo Bay)
Where the hills tumble down to meet the sea in Apollo Bay is the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse. This must visit stop on the Great Ocean Road boasts a bar with beer garden, live music and sports as well as a bistro, bottle shop and even accommodation. The Brewhouse showcases handcrafted beer, particularly from this part of Australia – including Otway Brewing’s range of Prickly Moses beers.
Sow and Piglets Brewery (Port Campbell)
Just 12 kilometres from the 12 Apostles you’ll find the Sow and Piglets Brewery. This Great Ocean Road brewery near Port Campbell claims their beers benefit from the fresh ocean air and crisp, clear waters of the region. Sow and Piglets produce a range of beers, including India and Aussie Pale Ales, an English Chocolate Porter and even a Christmas Beer.
Forrest Brewing Company (Forrest – 40 min drive from Lorne and Apollo Bay)
All beers are brewed on site at the Forrest Brewing Company, a small scale craft brewery in the small hamlet of Forrest, before being hand bottled for labelling and bottle conditioning. Visitors can see for themselves the 600 litre brew house and discover how the beer is made. The company produce seasonal and year round brews plus special release beers, while the child, pet and bike-friendly restaurant serves up a range of international and Australian dishes.
Great Ocean Road distilleries
It’s not all about gin at the distilleries you’ll discover along the Great Ocean Road – although there is of course lots to satisfy fans of the juniper spirit. Sample an expertly mixed cocktail, sip a fine Scotch-style whisky or buy limoncello or a lime gin as gifts when you stop at the area’s local distilleries.
Great Ocean Road Gin (Aireys Inlet)
A gin garden and tasting room on one of the world’s greatest and most scenic routes – does travel get any better? The innovative Great Ocean Road Gin in Airey’s Inlet produce pre-mixed, gin-based cocktails like the dry martini or kaffir lime gimlet. You can buy a gin tasting kit to take home – or simply invest in one or two award-winning, full-sized bottles.
Apollo Bay Distillery (Apollo Bay)
Situated in one of Apollo Bay’s oldest buildings, the Apollo Bay Distillery distillery serves up fresh salads, sharing platters, wood-fired pizzas and great coffee alongside their SS Casino dry gin or Speculant Grapefruit gin. Wash it all down with a Amphitrite gin liqueur before deciding what to take home.
Timboon Railway Shed Distillery (Timboon)
If you want to branch out from gin, make sure to visit Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. They produce some fine whisky, vanilla vodka, strawberry schnapps, limoncello and a coffee cream liqueur. The distillery also stocks artisan foods from other Great Ocean Road producers, as well as having a restaurant on site for those seeking a longer refuelling break.
Where will you take a break on the Great Ocean Road?
Where do you start? From sampling an Aussie Pale Ale near the 12 Apostles to sipping a sparkling Shiraz when you end up in Lorne, don’t miss the chance to sample some local wines, beers and spirits when taking your trip along the Great Ocean Road. Make sure to drink responsibly, never drink and drive but most of all have fun!