Adelaide Catches The Craft Beer Wave II

March 22, 2015, by Matt King

Adelaide Catches The Craft Beer Wave II

In part one of this two-part series looking at the venues leading the way as Adelaide finally catches the craft beer wave. It featured old favourites and newcomers, which you can read about here.

In part two, Matt King shines a light on some more of the bars and hotels getting on board the craft beer revolution – and a few who've been doing it for a while.

Earl of Leicester

Where: 85 Leicester Street

Taps: Seventeen taps in the bar area with eight pouring craft and one hand pump

Bottles: Between 150 to 300 different bottles of beer on the wall

Everyone loves a challenge and the Earl of Leicester has tapped into the competitive spirits of the modern beer drinker. The 'Beer Legends Club' is considered a rite of passage for any craft beer connoisseur looking to have their name etched in the Beer Legends honour board; the ever changing bottled beer list creates a fun beer appreciation experience for the beer lover. This underrated craft pub on the outskirts of the city is decked out with an array of craft beer memorabilia, slogans, bottle caps and other quirky fun decorations. The craftiness flows all through The Earl of Leicester, even into the kitchens where the chefs use their own grown hops in innovative dishes such as smoked hop lamb roasts. The taps flow with some outstanding amber liquid imported from some of the best beer brewing nations in the world. With new craft beers hitting the fridges and the taps every week, the Beer Legends challenge and an atmosphere fit for any beer lover, the Earl of Leicester is one pub definitely assisting with the craft beer rise in Adelaide.

The Highway Hotel

Where: 290 Anzac Highway

Taps: Twenty-two taps in their lounge area supporting five dedicated craft taps

Bottles: Up to 30 different crafty brews at any one time plus a superb bottleshop next door stocking 100s more

Supported by an outstanding bottleshop, the Highway Hotel is a venue far removed from its colourful past. Slowly but surely the 22 taps displayed in the lounge bar area are being converted to Australian and overseas craft options. If one of the tap beers doesn't take your fancy, then drinkers can opt for one of Fu's "Crafty 5", chosen by their very own craft been enthusiast Fu Hefner. These top five change every month depending on what is tickling Fu's taste buds at the time. The Highway Hotel also boasts a huge beer garden, available for use all year round, making it the perfect place to sit and enjoy ice cold pale ales in the summer or a warming stout or porter in winter. With a solid bottle lineup in the fridges and more craft being rotated into their taps, The Highway Hotel is well on the way to becoming a craft beer haven in South Australia's capital.


Where: 11-13 Leigh Street

Taps: Four taps all dedicated to craft.

Bottles: Twenty four quality brews in the fridge.

Tucked away in the tiny laneways of Adelaide's bustling CBD lie a plethora of small crafty venues, including this gem. udaberri pintxos y vino was the first small venue to jump into the fold when the small venue legislation changed in 2012. Indeed, udaberri pre-dated this new legislation and the small venue license was even modelled around the small night spot after difficulties were experienced during the start up process. The new category of liquor license was designed to help smaller pubs take on the big guys and to bring life to all the small alleyways in the Adelaide city. Known for both its Basque tapas and premium drinks, udaberri is showing other venues how to attract revelers to drink craft beer. The tap list rotates between breweries such as 4 Pines, Stone and Wood and all the local favourites. This pub/club/eatery is always full to the brim: blasting out mellow vinyl tunes and serving tasty Basque bites alongside even better crafty beverages.

Clever Little Tailor

Where: 19 Peel Street

Taps: Three taps all serving nothing but craft beer

Bottles: Twelve different bottles in the fridge all of the crafty type

The Clever Little Tailor is another outstanding small venue hidden in the vibrant and busy Peel Street. These guys keep things incredibly simple with just three taps, pouring some of the best craft beer the nation has to offer. Many brewing companies are represented, from BrewCult and Young Henrys to local ales from the likes Little Bang Brewing. Many different beery varieties can be found in the fridges too: KAIJU! 'Hopped Out' Red Ale, Mornington Peninsula IPA, Doctor's Orders Prescription 12, Sixpoint Lager and Epic IMP Session IPA to name a few. Just like the other small venues in these little lanes, The Clever Little Tailor is always full and cheery. The vibe set in this place is mellow yet energetic and should definitely be on any Adelaide travellers to do list.

Bank Street Social

Where: Corner of Bank and Hindley Street

Taps: Four taps with three of them pouring craft beer and one pouring craft cider

Bottles: Between 10 to 15 different bottled brews bless the fridges at any one time

Another small venue license owner, Bank Street Social is located in the same vicinity as all the other small crafty venues in the city. To enter, revellers must first walk down three sets of stairs to an underground oasis. Dim lights, solid timber beams and outstanding craft beer awaits those who are determined enough to drink underground. One of the taps flows constantly with the Clare Valley-brewed Pikes Beer Company Pilsner Lager while the other two taps rotate through other top South Australian breweries. Their fridges are also blessed with nothing but South Australian beers, such as Lobethal Bierhaus, Clare Valley Brewing and Prancing Pony. This small venue is flourishing in its unique underground hideaway and is doing its part to push the rise of craft beer in Adelaide to new heights.

Jack Ruby

Where: King William Street

Taps: Ten taps with nine pouring craft beer

Bottles: A variety of bottles from mainly American origins

This vibrant energetic underground pub is named after Jack Leon Ruby, the man known (set up?) for murdering the accused assassin of JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald. It's one of the 20th century's most fascinating stories matched by an equally interesting venue located on King William Street in Adelaide's CBD. With nine (10 taps if the craft cider is included) taps to choose from, all flowing with craft amber liquid, Jack Ruby is an outstanding location to bunker down for a Saturday night session. Supporting an American vibe, the fridges are heavily stocked with American style bottles and cans from some of the best breweries in the States. Jack Ruby is an outstanding example of a modern day, American themed craft bar and passes the craft beer test with stars and stripes.

There are numerous outstanding breweries and beer drinking venues scattered all over the state of SA, many of which have been doing craft extremely well for some time now. With the increasingly crafty attitude change, more and more South Australians are now switching to good beer and letting the craft beer wave take them on a journey of beer appreciation. Their taste buds are being delighted by independently crafted light, hoppy pale ales and their skin warmed by rich chocolate Russian imperial stouts.

The above list features just some of the venues that are supporting the rise of craft beer; do yourself a favour and tick them all off the bucket list.

There is no excuse any more, the craft beer revolution has hit South Australia and it has hit hard. After many years of hard work, at last this great state's craft beer scene has boomed, so book your plane ticket, tell your mates, tell your brothers and sisters: the craft beer revolution is here to stay!

You can check out Matt "The Craft Beer King" King's adventures in the SA beer scene via his blog. And you can follow him via the CraftyPintSA Twitter account too.

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