The Great Ocean Road officially begins at Torquay which is around 90 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD. It is around 400km long from Torquay to Nelson on the South Australian Border. The route of the Great Ocean Road is one of spectacle, winding it’s way alongside the wild and windswept Southern Ocean. It’s also home to some of the worlds best surf at Bells Beach – if all that isn’t enough for you, there’s also a great selection of venues to sample some of the regions best craft beers.
We start the trail at Torquay and head westwards towards the South Australian Border. First Brewery on the list is Blackmans Brewery in Torquay (26 Bell Street). Get a taste for the core range of beers by grabbing a tasting paddle. Seasonal beers and even some experimentals should be tried if you get a chance. The venue also offers some good grub that will suit most pallates – the pizza’s and sharing dishes are not to be missed.
Heading out of Torquay and pick up the Great Ocean Road at it’s western end. About 5 minutes out of Torquay, there’s a photo opportunity at the world famous Bells Beach. After Bells Beach we head for Aireys Inlet, which is home to a famous lighthouse from the telly (have a guess on which programme below) but it’s also home to Airey’s Pub.
The pub is located on the highway itself (45 Gt Ocean Road),was opened in 2011 and also houses a small brewery at the rear of the venue called Salt Brewing Company (previously Rogue Wave). The pub serves up fresh pints of their Salt Lager, Moby Pale Ale, Cranky Missus DIPA, Blood Orange XPA, Ink Coffee Stout and some seasonals. Again, this a great place to pick up some hot food.
Heading west again on the Great Ocean Road, there’s another photo opportunity at Eastern View – The Memorial Archway. No Great Ocean Roadtrip would be complete without a selfie beside the monument. Enjoy the rest of the scenery until you get to the outskirts of Lorne, when we take a slight diversion from the route and head up into the Otways to visit a gem of a place in Forrest.
Forrest Brewery caters for not only craft beer guru’s but also welcomes mountain bikers with open arms. It’s surrounded by huge amounts of forest and mountain bike trails, so it’d be silly not to cater for the bikers somehow. Hot food and fresh craft beers are available both on tap and by the bottle – grab one of the Untamed Turkey’s as a takeaway’s – you’ll not regret it.
Next up, we head south towards Skene’s Creek, which takes us back onto the Great Ocean Road and into Apollo Bay. Great Ocean Road Brewhouse is at 29-35 Great Ocean Rd, Apollo Bay and offers a good selection of tap beers with a focus on those from local brewer, Prickly Moses. Guest taps regularly feature the likes of Blackmans, Holgate and Grand Ridge beers.
For our final venue, we head past the 12 Apostles – so get the camera’s at the ready, and we eventually end up in the small seaside town of Port Campbell.
Sow & Piglets opened in 2017 and located at 18 Tregea St, right next door to the hostel. The brewery has six year round beers, IPA, Session IPA, Aussie Pale Ale, Kolsch, Dunkel and Marzen as well as a number of seasonal favourites.