Mention “Foster’s” in Australia and you are guaranteed a look of disgust. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Big beer brands around the globe are becoming taboo. As I have found in towns from Portland Oregon to Cape Town South Africa, Joe Beer Drinker is fed up with watered down and commercially backed beer. Sydney Australia is no different. To help me explore this better-beer revolution down under I spent an afternoon with Dave’s Brewery Tours, a Sydney Brewery Tour that is out to educate the Beer-illiterate.
From the rest of the world’s point of view, Foster’s comes out of every counterclockwise pouring tap in Australia. Our afternoon with Dave’s Brewery Tours was out to prove otherwise…and it started off right. At 2 PM on a Tuesday afternoon the Keg & Brew Hotel, a Surry Hills neighbourhood favourite, was hopping. I finished off my pint of Steam Ale, a Melbourne craft brew I had fallen in love with while touring the great ocean road, when our ride showed up. “Cybal,” a customized cargo van with Dave’s Brewery Tours plastered on the side, and the man himself were ready to share the up-and-coming craft beer scene in Sydney.
Let’s do this.
As he drove us to Young Henrys, one of roughly 15 craft breweries in Sydney, Dave gave us a rundown on the day ahead. In-between the itinerary you could pick out the craftiness of this craft beer fan. Fed up with the grind, Dave left a director position at an engineering firm to start Dave’s Brewery Tours. This may sound like one of those “follow your dreams and everything will work out” stories however Daves methodical approach to starting this company proved there is a little more to it. It involved hard work and a research trip that took him up the Pacific Northwest to see some of the best breweries in North America. He took tours and notes in an effort to put forth the best product possible in his hometown of Sydney. If that’s not a determination I don’t know what it is. Then again, I’m 3 pints in.
Dave’s business sense isn’t the only secret to Dave’s Brewery Tours success. He also really loves beer. From his first sip of warm “Emu” out of a Vegemite glass he shared with his grandfather, he had found his passion. That statement also counts as the most Australian thing I’ve heard on my trip down under, but the sentiment was not lost. It’s good to be passionate about what you do. It’s also good to know your product and Dave’s Brewery Tours knows beer. After a sampler at Young Henrys which included wheat beer made with mussels (Think beer and Clamato minus the tomato) Dave gave us a full on lesson in beer making. Unlike other beer tours I had taken, the guides of Dave’s Brewery Tours take the reins and give the behind-the-scenes tours when possible.
After the awesome and highly detailed lesson of all that is beer, I was convinced to start a brewery of my own. Then again I was now filled with 4 pints of liquid inspiration.
As we made our way to the next stop I commented on Dave’s impressive beer knowledge. Then he told me about the Institute of beer – a school he started to help spread the good work. If you are on the fence about taking one of Dave’s Brewery Tours, this fact alone should prove you are in good hands. He built a freaking beer school!
Remember when I was on a “craft beer Tour” in Adelaide and questioned the difference between an Australian IPA and a North American the hostess at Vale Brewery couldn’t answer it? That is what Dave is trying to abolish.
Amen to that.
While sampling the selection at Batch Brewery our group got into the conversation of beer prices in Australia. In short, it ain’t cheap. That’s when it hit me. This afternoon of amazing beer with Dave’s Brewery Tours is one hell of a deal. Now on the equivalent of six pints I started doing the math. It took a while but 3 brewery stops and samplers at each + transportation + an awesome guide = a win. Dave’s Brewery Tours are not only a fun choice, it’s a fiscally responsible one as well.
That I can get behind.
Experience the REAL Beer Down Here
After our choose-your-own-adventure sampler at the Rocks Brewing Co. our day with Dave’s Brewery Tours concluded back where it started…at a pub. We had gone full circle expect I had arrived back with a better appreciation of Australian beer and a hefty buzz. This informative and super fun day was a welcome change after 3 months of sh*t beer in Asia and was a unique way to see the city with some genuinely cool people.
I’ve said it before, I will say it again; craft beer tours are a great way to see a city and Dave’s Brewery Tours may just be one of the best out there.
Then again, I am 7 pints in.
Note: Zero Foster’s were consumed while documenting this day out with Dave’s Brewery Tours.
Dave’s Brewery Tours Good to Know
Tour Cost: $110 AUD (3 in 3 Tour)
Includes: Awesome guide, transportation, and lots of great beer.
Don’t Miss: Young Henrys Clam Whit, Dave’s beer knowledge.
What say you?
Thoughts on my time with Dave’s Brewery Tours?
Let’s hear it!
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Although I was provided a complimentary tour thanks to Dave’s Brewery Tours,
the experience, opinions, and 7 pints of beer are my own.