01 February, 2023

The Great Ocean Road’s great brewpubs

Sun, surf, sand, stunning rocks and cold, crafty beers await along Victoria’s ultimate driving route.

It’s most famous for the 12 Apostles seastack rock formations, but the Great Ocean Road is also fast getting a reputation for beaut breweries. Head west from our new Geelong port, pausing along the way to sip some of Victoria’s best craft beers by the seaside.

Torquay Beach. Photo: Visit Victoria

Bells Beach Brewing

The 243-kilometre Great Ocean Road begins in Torquay, about a half-hour drive from Geelong. Three crafty breweries welcome visitors here, including Bells Beach Brewing. Park yourself in the taproom – or outside when the rollerdoor rises on warm days – and try core-range beers like Endless Summer lager, plus seasonal and small-batch brews. There are often food trucks too. Psst! There’s also a Bells Beach Brewing outpost in Geelong.

What’s nearby? Wander down to the beach for fish ‘n’ chips from joints like Fisho’s or Bell Street Fish and Chips.

Sou'west Brewery. Photo: Sou'west Brewery

Sou’west Brewery

Steps away is a more sleek but still relaxed venue with various spaces and beer-friendly food. Fancy a burger and XPA in Sou'west Brewery’s bright, breezy tasting room? Or a seafood platter with pale ales in the classy beer hall, where you can see the brewhouse behind a huge glass wall? If you’re travelling with kids you’ll love the space overlooking a fenced, well-equipped playground and the menu’s junior options.

What’s nearby? The Australian National Surfing Museum, here in this town where the nation’s surf culture was born.

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Jan Juc Beach, Great Ocean Road, part of the Surf Coast Walk. Photo: Visit Victoria

Blackman's Brewery

Arthur Smoked Porter. Patsy Wildberry Sour. Local Pacific Ale. That’s just some of the Blackman's Brewery core range, plus there are seasonal and special brews to try – all just metres from where it’s made. There’s also comfort food like wood-fired pizza, and a warm-weather beer garden. Blackman's Brewery has bars in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula town of Ocean Grove too.

What’s nearby? Starting in Torquay, the 44-kilometre Surf Coast Walk has 12 linked sections. Ramble along one or two and soak up epic ocean views.


Aireys Pub. Photo: Rob Blackburn / Visit Victoria

Salt Brewing Co

Thirty kilometres along the Great Ocean Road, in the hamlet of Aireys Inlet, you’ll find an old pub that’s moved with the times in a good way. Aireys Pub is home to Salt Brewing Co, whose beers include Ink coffee stout and Moby pale ale – the sale of which helps support ocean conservation. Yes, they’re environmentally friendly, from solar power to ethically sourced food for the smart-casual menu. They’re also kid- and dog-friendly, have live music on weekends and an open fire in winter.

What’s nearby? Experience wild ocean panoramas – perhaps including whales and dolphins – from atop Split Point Lighthouse, and two lookouts close by.

Lake Elizabeth, Great Otway National Park. Photo: Mark Chew / Visit Victoria

Great Ocean Road Brewhouse

Your next stop is about 60 kilometres away in Apollo Bay, where Great Ocean Road Brewhouse offers more than 100 craft beers. On tap are numerous Prickly Moses brews made at their sister venue an hour inland. So sure, it’s not brewed here, but the beer could hardly be fresher. Plus you get Southern Ocean vistas, a globetrotting menu, their Tastes of the Region shop’s local food and drinks, live music, accommodation and a warm welcome for dogs.

What’s nearby? The Great Ocean Road nips inland near here through Great Otway National Park, where you can walk or picnic among tall trees, ferns and waterfalls.

Sow and Piglet. Photo: Sow and Piglet

Sow and Piglets

About 100 kilometres further along in Port Campbell, relax at a guesthouse, brewery and bar all in one. While Sow and Piglets’ accommodation and food is simple, the beer’s special, made following the centuries-old German purity laws. So there’s no additives, filtering or pasteurisation, and styles include Deutsch faves like kölsch and dunkel. Or would you prefer the Aussie pale ale?

What’s nearby? No less than the 12 Apostles, plus other rocky coastal wonders like Loch Ard Gorge.


Please drink responsibly.

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Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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