Hey mate, how about a cold one? Do you speak Australian beer lingo? Know anything about local beer? Or have an inkling what to order Down Under? You will soon!
Australian beer is definitely some of the best beer that can be found around the world – with many brews consistently winning awards. Thousands of Aussies enjoy the taste of an ice-cold brew – especially on game weekends – or during a particularly sweltering summer when throwing some meat on the barbie. Drinking beer on this continent is a way of life, and we’re going to tell you all about it.
Brief History Of Australian Beer
The use of beer in Australia has a long history, having served as a staple aboard the HMS Endeavour that brought Captain Cook to Australia’s shores.
Beer is purported to have originally been used to preserve drinking water and to keep scurvy at bay. Fast forward a few years and – while beer likely was brewed by many – the first recognised brewer was former convict John Boston, who used a variety of Cape gooseberry leaves and Indian corn to brew the first local beer.
What Are The Major Beer Brands In Australia?
There are just over 70 different Australian beer brands within its borders. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Boag’s Brewery
- Ballarat Bitter
- Abbotsford Invalid South
- Holgate Brewhouse
- Carlton & United Breweries
- Swan Brewery
- Thunder Road Brewing Company
- Queensland Brewery Ltd.
There are plenty more, but the above are some of the top brands you’re likely to encounter.
What Beers Are Australian Made And Owned?
Established in 1824 in South Hobart, Cascade Brewery is the oldest brewery that has continually operated in Australia. However, as it is owned by Belgium company Anheuser-Busch InBev, through its Australian subsidiary Carlton & United Breweries, it sadly is no longer an Australian-owned enterprise.
The only truly Australian-made, and owned, brewery that can be found is Coopers. It is the largest Australian-owned brewery and is located within Regency Park, a suburb within Adelaide. It is known for its high-quality Sparkling Ale and Pale Ale.
What Are Popular Beers In Australia?
There are a large variety of popular beers to choose from when in Australia. The most popular is considered to be Carlton Draught, though XXXX Gold (pronounced four exes), Coopers, Victoria Bitter (VB), Tooheys, Furphy, James Boag and Great Northern are definitely some names you’ll see when visiting the local pub.
Personal taste is what makes choosing a great beer an individual experience, but picking any of the popular beer names listed above will be a good starting point.
What Are The Different Styles Of Australian Beer?
When it comes to the different beer styles, there are well over 100 different ones documented around the world. With microbrewers and sub-styles popular farmers market additions, Australia has a very large variety of beer styles to choose between.
India Pale Ale, also known as IPA / Imperial IPA is one of the most widely drunk beer choices – and many consider IPA’s to be Australia’s most prefered beer. Pale Ale is a close second. Stout, Wheat Beers, Belgian Ales, Lagers, Sour Beers, Amber Ale, Golden Ale, Pilsners, Saison and Farmhouse Ale are all equally tied options on most polls.
Barley wine, however, has the least amount of regular drinkers, with only 1% of Australians reporting that they’ve tried it and would do so again.
What Are The Best Australian Beers By Style?
With IPA being the most popular beer style around, the Australian beer brand that most would choose as their IPA is the Balter IIPA or BentSpoke Cluster 8. These two beers are continuously chosen as top contenders in the IPA category.
For a good Pale Ale, you can’t go wrong trying a Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, which came third in a recent poll rating for top beers, or the Balter XPA Pale Ale. A red IPA to try is Modus Operandi Former Tenant, while a good Imperial Stout would be Boatrocker Ramjet, Nail Clout Stout.
What Are The Best Microbrew Or Craft Beers In Australia?
The top microbrew or craft beers to try would be any who’ve recently won awards for their craft beer styles – or any who come highly recommended in the area you’re visiting. Cheeky Monkey Brewery in Western Australia, Valhalla Brewing and Hop Nation in VIC, Mismatch Brewing Co. in South Australia, Foghorn Brewery in NSW and J Boag & Son Brewing in Tasmania are all worth considering.
What Are The Australian Beers That Have Won The Most Awards?
Australian beers are well worth trying, and if you’re after a beer that’s an award winner, then look no further than Dollar Bill Brewing of Ballarat Victoria, whose ‘Gold Teeth 2021’ beer won the Champion Australian Beer in 2021.
Two Birds Brewing in VIC has several gold and silver medal winning beers, such as their gold medal Hop Harvest 2019. Mismatch Brewing in SA recently won the best European-Style Lager award for their packaged Lager, and Hop Nation in Victoria received an award for their Pilsner called Rattenhund draught.
Do Australians Actually Drink Fosters?
Whether Aussie’s drink Fosters is a point of contention since many believe that it’s a drink chosen more often by tourists. Officially, a decade ago only 100 million pints of Fosters were sold and drunk by Australians, and it was far out-sold by competitors such as Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught. Plus, it’s actually brewed in Manchester, so it’s not actually an Australian beer brand at all!
What Are The Best Australian Beers To Pair With Food?
Beer pairing Down Under is a match made in heaven. No burger and chips would be complete without a crisp Pale Ale beside it, or if you’re hanging outside throwing meat on the barbie, then a Pilsner will definitely hit the spot – and it goes great with chicken dishes too.
An IPA is a good choice if there are plenty of red meats on offer, especially if it’s got plenty of hops in it to compliment spicy, fatty dishes including curry. IPA’s are also a classic choice for anything with rosemary, and anything cheesy.
Best Australian Beer To Pair With Australia’s National Dish, Roast Lamb
When it comes to beer pairings and lambs, India Pale Ales are the way to go. The top IPA to consider trying would be King Road IPA Draught, Cryotherapy Hazy IPA, and Cheeky Monkey Brewery’s Lefties Draught. The citrusy notes in IPA’s all work brilliantly with rich lamb dishes.
How To Order A Beer In Australia
It’s easy to order a beer in Australia – be it at home by ordering online, or by going into a pub and choosing a beer that matches your mood – or food. As for the language, it’s English, but you may want to master the regional slag.
Aussies in Queensland call it a pot, Northern Territorians say a handle, Tasmanians a ten, South Australians say it’s a schooner and New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, and Western Australia all refer to beer as a middy!
Jake has been a craft beer and homebrew enthusiast since his college days. He loves scouring Europe for unique and unusual hops to add to his beers.
Founder of Jake’s Brew Haven – he currently hosts beer-tasting sessions at select local pubs in Baltimore.
Jump To a Section Below
- Brief History Of Australian Beer
- What Are The Major Beer Brands In Australia?
- What Beers Are Australian Made And Owned?
- What Are Popular Beers In Australia?
- What Are The Different Styles Of Australian Beer?
- What Are The Best Australian Beers By Style?
- What Are The Best Microbrew Or Craft Beers In Australia?
- What Are The Australian Beers That Have Won The Most Awards?
- Do Australians Actually Drink Fosters?
- What Are The Best Australian Beers To Pair With Food?
- Best Australian Beer To Pair With Australia’s National Dish, Roast Lamb
- How To Order A Beer In Australia