Beer in Australia first arrived during the British colonization and since then Australia has produced some of the world’s best beers. The country produces a wide variety of beers, from ales to lagers to dry beers. Try an iconic Australian beer from our list below when you visit.
Known as VB, Very Best, Vitamin B, or Victory Beer to name just a few nicknames, Victoria Bitter is probably the most iconic of the Australian beer. Its green label has been a staple in Australia since its founding over 100 years ago.
Nothing’s an accident with Victoria Bitter, including the bottle. The stubby was chosen because it sits nicely in the hand for easy drinking. It’s a practical shape with no frills, just like its drinkers. It’s a good shape for the beer too, according to our brewers. Even the brown glass has a purpose – beer has a tendency to develop a ‘lightstruck’ flavour (think onion-y and stale) if it’s exposed to the sunshine, something that can happen most often when the beer is in a clear glass bottle. The dark brown glass was developed to keep the light away from the beer and keep it tasting fresh and at its best.
Cascade has been operating its brewery and producing premium lager in Tasmania since 1824. Be sure to try this beer in Australia!
The Cascade Brewery Company, established in 1824, is located in Hobart at the foot of the majestic Mount Wellington. Here, Australia’s oldest operating brewery crafts a range of exceptional beers for Tasmania and ‘the mainland’. Cascade Pale Ale is Australia’s longest continuously brewed beer, with a heritage stretching back to 1832. Cascade Stout is an award winning example of the style and Cascade Premium Light is Australia’s favourite light beer. These brews are complemented by the Tasmanian stalwarts; Cascade Draught, Cascade Bitter and Cascade Lager.
The story behind James Squire is almost as good as the beer itself. James Squire was a thief born in England. The British transported him to Sydney as a convict in 1788. He later became the first man to cultivate hops and open a commercial brewery in Australia in the early 19th century.
In 1805, James successfully grew the first Australian hop plants. The following summer, he attended Government House with two vines of hops. Governor King was so impressed with their flavour and quality, he ordered that a ‘cow be given to Mr Squire from the government herd’. More significantly, this meant James Squire could officially be called Australia’s first – and finest – brewer.
Today James Squire brews a wide variety of craft beers with names inspired by their founder such as Hop Thief and One Fifty Lashes. Definitely a must try when it comes to Australian beer.
Carlton Draught is a mega-popular Australian lager known for its viral commercial and wide appeal. The brewery also produces a unique brewer’s tank variety of beer. They do not pasteurize it but rather deliver it fresh to select venues.
The Pub. The last bastion of real mateship and a sacred place where life’s big questions, such as the footy score, are resolved. It also happens to be the place where Carlton was born to be enjoyed at its best and freshest. Our proud tradition of brewery fresh beer dates back to 1864. This was when the first batch of Carlton was delivered to pubs in the local area by the same Clydesdales that grace our taps, glasses and packs today.
If you’re planning a visit, be sure to sample beer in Australia from each of these four iconic breweries. Do you have any other Australian beer to add to our list? For more spirited Australian inspiration, explore The Best Wines and Wineries in Australia.