Craft beer paradise: 6 Hunter Valley breweries

Welcome to the beautiful Hunter Valley, located in New South Wales. Only a short drive from Sydney, this beautiful part of the country offers its visitors incredible journeys of wine and food. But – typically known for its stunning vineyards and luxurious wine – the Hunter Valley is also home to a growing industry of boutique breweries. With a collection of unique and flavourful craft beers being produced here, the Hunter Valley it’s quickly becoming a go-to destination for beer lovers. Looking for a break from the wineries? In this article we share six Hunter Valley breweries to drop into during your next weekend escape to the vines.

A drink for everyone

When we think of the Hunter Valley, we think of wine. We think of romantic European landscapes, decorated in Australian gum trees and gorgeous cellar doors filled with passionate wine makers. In 2023, this all still stands true. But while Hunter Valley has always been renowned for its wine, it is now emerging as one of Australia’s top destinations for craft beer. Those looking for a more diverse beverage experience in the Hunter Valley are having their prayers answered!

From traditional lagers, to bold IPAs and smooth stouts, the Hunter Valley offers a wide range of beer styles – something for every beer enthusiast. Meanwhile, each brewery has its own unique style, and a visit offers an opportunity to learn about the brewing process and the story behind each individual beer.

7 Hunter Valley breweries

More of a beer fan than a wine connoisseur? There’s no shame in that! Let’s dive into the best of Hunter Valley breweries and the tantalising flavours that this beautiful region has to offer! In this short guide, we’ll be taking you through the top seven.

FogHorn Brewery at The Mighty Hunter Valley

Put down the wine glass for a second, because you’re in for a more refreshing treat. FogHorn Brewery at The Mighty Hunter Valley is an incredible destination for beer and food enthusiasts seeking a unique and wholesome experience in the Hunter Valley. The brewery offers a selection of its signature craft beers, including the famous FogHorn IPA, and a variety of local wines, spirits, and soft drinks. They also serve a range of mouth-watering dishes that perfectly complement their brews.

Besides the delicious food and drink offerings, visitors to FogHorn Brewery can also participate in various interactive experiences. For example, you can opt for a beer tasting session, a brewery tour, virtual reality games or you can simply dine in the beer garden overlooking the stunning Hunter Valley vista (we’re talking New York style pizza!). FogHorn Brewery also hosts live music events and other entertainment options throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled. Moreover, they offer workshops for visitors interested in brewing, beer cuisine, or permaculture farming.

hunter valley brewery

Pic credit: Destination NSW / Hunter Valley Resort

Hunter Valley Resort

Visit the newly opened 4 Pines at The Farm, a 600 square metre establishment comprising of a taproom, bistro, and cellar door – right in the heart of the Hunter Valley. Enjoy an ice-cold beer or if you’d still like a glasswork of white, opt for a refreshing Semillon while basking in the sunlight with your friends. Choose from the 12 different taps on offer to discover your favourite brew, and embrace the stunning 360-degree panoramic views of the breathtaking Hunter Valley and its lush vineyards. Adjacent to the Hunter Valley Resort and Hunter Farm, 4 Pines at the Farm is the perfect venue for a memorable and complete Hunter Valley experience. And whilst you’re here, don’t forget to indulge in a wide array of food on offer!

Sydney Brewery Hunter Valley

At the dreamy Sydney Brewery Hunter Valley, filtered Hunter Valley water is used to create a range of beers from Lagers to Porters and beyond. Every single pint is poured with pride, and there’s no compromise on quality! During your visit, revel in the outdoor beer garden or relax indoors with a beer in one hand and some tasty snacks in the other.

Speaking of snacks – the Lovedale Bar + Grill serves incredible beer-infused food to enjoy alongside your beverage of choice. We’re talking about share plates, cocktails, live music, and tasting paddles – all in one beautiful place! Interested in learning a little more about your beer? Visitors can join the brewery tour every Saturday at 2 pm for $20pp, including four beer/cider samples and a 15-min tour.

IronBark Hill Brewhouse

IronBark Hill Brewing Co is situated within the IronBark Hill Vineyard grounds, where visitors can also find the Peter Drayton Wines Cellar Door. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! The amazing brewhouse opened to the public in 2017 after brewing their first beers in 2016 using a custom-built German brewing system. Today, the on-site brewing team produces an impressive range of 12 tap-poured beers and ciders, including Pale Ales, Lagers, Stouts, and Porters. Additionally, many of these beers are available in cans, so you can take them away and enjoy them later at home!

So during your weekend escape to the Hunter Valley, drop into IronBark Hill. An easy six minute drive off the Hunter Expressway, you’ll find their fabulous Brewhouse set amongst the sprawling vines at IronBark Hill Vineyard and Peter Drayton Wines. In the midst of it all, you can sit back, relax and enjoy a beverage with quintessential Hunter Valley views. Idyllic!

hunter valley breweries outdoor seating

Friends enjoying beer tastings at IronBark Hill Brewhouse in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley.

Hope Brewery

When in the Hunter Valley, you’ll certainly be heading into Pokolbin. And whilst you’re there, there’s no way you’ll want to miss one of the best Hunter Valley breweries. Hope Estate, located at the heart of Pokolbin in Hunter Valley wine country, is a family-owned and operated winery, brewery, and distillery. The Estate’s cellar door offers award-winning craft beer, estate-grown wine, and premium Australian grain spirits too!

This incredible spot is also home to Australia’s biggest purpose-built outdoor winery concert amphitheatre, hosting legendary performers each season. The Hope Brewery opening in 2014, prides itself on its range of hoppy ales, recognisable by their black cans and amp design (paying homage to Hope’s love of music!). Head here for a legendary tasting and sip on a paddle of four varieties from the 30 beer on-tap range.

Pokolbin Cider House

So it might not be beer, but cider is just as good, and deserves some attention. Pokolbin Cider House is an awesome place for cider lovers to enjoy local drinks with a twist. Over 8 years ago, the business started dabbling with cider and produced their Classic Draught Cider, a pretty traditional Apple Cider. But since then the range has grown and grown to include many flavours, with some influenced by the wine region within which it sits.

When you visit Pokolbin Cider House, don’t miss out on a taste of their impressive range, including original flavours like The Dark Grape, Raspberry & Cranberry, Passionfruit Perry, Sweet Apple, Classic Draught, and Pear Perry. Opt for a tasting paddle to try them all! Bringing the kids along for the ride? Pokolbin Coder House also offers juice tasting paddles (also perfect for designated drivers).

Aus Weekend Escapes Top Hotel Pick!

Hunter Gateway Motel is the ultimate Hunter Valley accommodation – perfect thanks to its location, comfort and amenities. Enjoy easy access to world-renowned wineries, vineyards, breweries and historic attractions. During your stay, you’ll also enjoy comfortable rooms as well as an outdoor swimming pool for those hot summer days.

Click here to book your room. 

Receive 10% off your stay at Hunter Gateway using the code SAWE10!