Boutique micro brewery equipment

Private Beer & Cider Tour

Beer Brewery Tours Craft beer tasting

Craft Beer Tasting Flight – sample and compare styles

Private Beer & Cider Tour

Harvest Beer

With the wine harvest for V17 all but finalised, it’s a perfect time to share a piece on harvest beer. Enjoy a private beer and cider tour that showcases hops, with the hop harvest season at a close and fresh harvest ales now packaged.

If you are passionate about Boutique Brews, now is a great time to get on board a small group private beer & cider tour and embrace some of the amazing fresh craft beers on offer around Adelaide.

Hop Harvest

As autumn approaches every ear many winemakers eagerly await the arrival of this years fruit to craft into the new vintage. At the same time brewers are rubbing their hands together for the opportunity to brew with fresh hops.

Hop harvest is a time where, before hops are dried and packaged ready for use all year round, that they can be picked fresh and sold to brewers all over the country. This is for use in fresh or ‘wet’ hopped beers, also known as harvest beers.

Hops grow on bines which typically grow up to 3m tall on trellises and are harvested around the same time many wineries are picking grapes. The plant is a perennial and is trained up a string on these trellises, much like grapes. The harvest is typically over in all of 6 weeks, with differing varieties ready at differing times. Much like the vineyard and winery at vintage, hop harvest has its operational challenges.

Variety = flavour

There are well over 300 varieties of hops commercially available around the world and thousands are discovered as a product of breeding programs designed to find the next best new hop for brewers to exploit. Crosses of varieties are being generated every year in the search for new, interesting and unique cultivars with their own flavours and aromas. In Australia, roughly 20 varieties of hops are grown and sold commercially and each variety (much like grapes) offers specific and differing characteristics. Hops contain alpha-acids for bittering beers as well as essential oils which give beers some of their flavour and aroma. The hot brew is poured over the hop heads or the plant flowers, to give the beer its bitterness and reduce the otherwise sweet brew.

Most Australian hops express tropical fruit aromas and flavours such as lychee, passionfruit, pineapple and melon.

Exclusive boutique brewery beer tasting

Craft beer tasting on Tour

Brewing Wet Beers

Hops are normally picked, dried and then pelletized before they are packaged and stored carefully for sale and then used by brewers. Once a year however, some brewers  either travel to hop farms to collect freshly picked hops or have them sent overnight to use in their brewhouse.

It is this time of the year, by using these ‘wet’ fresh hops straight from the plant that they can produce a beer that is extremely special and unique. Wet hops lend a freshness to harvest beers, a grassy note or slightly woody character to the beer.

Harvest beers (typically ales) aim to feature the hop of choice as much as possible without too much malt or yeast character getting in the way. These beers are usually light pale ales of moderate ABV and will usually feature just a single hop variety, in an effort to showcase what each particular hop variety has to offer.

Growing Hops

Although Australian hop harvest volumes are small in the global scheme of things, producers have the ability to cater to the diverse demands from smaller producers, seen as a bonus for the craft brewing scene.

But the window of opportunity is naturally very small, with brewers planning to brew a harvest beer having to hop on the wagon quickly, as the hop farms in both Alpine Victoria and Tasmania wind up their harvest season and prepare for the growing season over winter and summer.

Harvest Beer on Tap

For the Craft Beer consumer, this means that this time of the year select boutique bars and brewpubs will be tapping harvest ales from all over the country, with almost every hop variety available.

One of our Shiraz & Co Tours Beer and Cider Tours is a great way to experience the best that the South Australian craft beer and cider scene has to offer. There are a host of award winning producers within easy reach of Adelaide, some even offer interpretive tours of the brew house or cider production process.

Tastings are available, making these tours a great and engaging way for visitors to try new beer and cider styles that are not normally available at the major liquor outlets or hotels.

Our tours take in the beautiful local scenery as we make our way through the picturesque near city locations, and lunch is specially matched to the beer experience at one of our wonderful local participating venues.

If you want to join in on a small group private tour and avoid the crowds, simply complete one of the Booking Enquiry forms on the website, send us an email at or if its urgent and you want to get going soon, give us a call on 0411752062.

We look forward to having you join us and are always here to answer any questions you might have.


Beer Brewery Tours Craft beer tasting

Beer Brewery Tour Facts – IPA Beer Brewing

What’s got everyone hopping on to a Beer Brewery Tour?

IPA’s rise to fame

If you walk into any good bar or bottle shop you will find there is a particular beer style that is easing out competition. We find this not only across our parched and sun-burnt country, but around the world. Who is this quiet achiever? The IPA, or India Pale Ale.

The IPA is high-jacking the taste buds and hearts of the emerging craft beer audience and is hastily becoming a staple of many craft brewers’ core range.

So what has made IPA so popular and the industry go hopping mad?

Boutique micro brewery equipment - Beer Brewery Tours

Micro-brewery installation tour, Adelaide Hills

The IPA story

We love re-discovering heritage products, typically the older the better. It makes us feel like new-age pioneers, adventurers and even trend-setters.

Maybe because of the IPA’s ‘Once upon a Time’ beginning that started unexpectedly in early 1800’s England, it is now so popular.

British beers brewed for the thirsty English working in new colonies in India were struggling to survive the 6 month trip in a leaky boat from England.

Trial and error showed that hops provided antibacterial properties and preserved the beer for the long journey. These heavily-hopped pale ales became a hit back in England and the improved shelf life IPA was here to stay. But that is only the beginning.

Transformation takes centre stage

Clearly the flavour imparted by the extra hops played a part, however that was not the full reason. The IPA brew then was much different to most of the IPA’s we get to experience now, yet it’s popularity and style grew and developed.

Historically IPA’s were simply modest-strength hopped pale ales. It was the Americans who adopted the style and transformed the beer into a whole new beast. The American IPA effort was to take this hopped pale ale and focus on delivering the ultimate knock out flavour punch,  adding more fistfuls of hops.

Flavour, flavour, flavour

By the 1990’s breweries on the US West Coast had adopted this style and turned it into something of their own, showcasing local hop varieties like never before. Their IPA’s typically bright and lively, showcasing beautiful pine, resin and citrus fruit aromas from American hops.

Since then the IPA style has exploded in popularity with countries and their regions from all over the world creating their own interpretation of the style, typically using local hops and malts.

The best of both worlds

We have embraced this evolution of the IPA and are now doing what Australian’s do so well, interpreting and personalising the craft and exploring new possibilities.

It is today’s beer enthusiast that benefits from all this tradition, evolution and interpretation.  Now when you walk into a bottle shop, hundreds of examples of IPA can be found.  Herbal and balanced English IPA’s, big and citrus American IPA’s, tropical fruity Australian IPA’s, floral and malty New Zealand IPA’s and those high-alcohol Belgian IPA’s.

Celebration of hops

Exclusive boutique brewery beer tasting - Beer Brewery Tour

Craft beer tasting on Tour

The IPA today is a wonderful example of what a variety of hops can contribute to the taste and personality of a beer.

Some believe IPA’s are becoming the subject of an internal ‘arms race’ within the brewing industry.  Breweries are striving to produce increasingly higher hopped, bigger and hence more flavourful ales than their counterparts. The American IPA has even seen the birth of the Double IPA or IIPA, a massive IPA with at least 7% alcohol and incredible bitterness levels.

So why join a Beer Brewery Tour?

Almost every craft brewery now features an IPA in their range, which is a testament to how much the style is loved by both brewers and beer drinkers.

The future looks bright for the IPA as more and more breweries try to push the limits of how hop loaded and bitter their beers can be. As more and more hop varieties are discovered and bred the brews will continue to evolve. South Australia has embraced this style too and provides a showcase of samples to try.

Beer Brewery Tours

A great way to experience an IPA crafted by artisan brewers is to join one of our tailored Shiraz & Co Beer & Cider Tours. Our tours visit a diverse range of micro and boutique breweries specialising in small batch production, each with their own signature style.

To book a Beer Brewery Tour call 0411752062, email or visit the website at