Craft Beverage Trail

Infused with the flavours, aromas and textures of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, craft beverage alchemists have created a carafe of distinctively flavoured beverages for connoisseurs of alcoholic libations and teetotalers alike.

By Ellen Hill

Beverages have come a long way since the rough drops served to travellers in the first colonial inns along the highway over the Mountains.

The 21st century purveyor of drinks can imbibe in a veritable punchbowl of boutique potions concocted by distillers, brewers, and cider, wine and non-alcoholic drink makers.

Wend your way along the Blue Mountains Craft Beverage Trail up the Great Western Highway to Valley Heights and Lawson, and pause to slake your thirst or restock your cellar at Katoomba. From Blackheath, drive down into the picturesque Megalong Valley to visit the wineries before returning to the highway. Make your way up to Mount Victoria and cut across the Darling Causeway to Bells Line of Road. Enjoy spectacular views as you head to Bilpin, Grose Vale, and then back to Sydney.

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1.          Brew Mountains Brewery

Boasting 12 taps and different food trucks each Friday and Saturday, the brewery overlooks bush and has an intimate and personal atmosphere with a strong local focus.

Owner and head brewer Craig Talbot opened the taproom in 2020. Handcrafted beers include XLA eXtremeLocalAle made with Blue Mountains hops and locally grown grains.

The brewery also celebrates local collaborations: even the 4m-long bar is made from a storm-fallen stringy bark tree - hand-milled, cured over seven years and made onsite with friends.

Unit 3/2-4 Tayler Rd, Valley Heights T: 0492 870 691
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.brewmountains.com.auwww.facebook.com/brewmountains

Friday: 4pm–8pm | Saturday: 12pm–5pm | Sunday: 1pm–5pm

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2.          The Little Coffee Co.

The Little Coffee Co. is a Blue Mountains-based family-owned business.

TLC may be little but we are big on quality and flavour. Powered by the sun, our Lawson roastery brings global flavours home to your cup.

The Little Coffee Co. blend travels stories from coffee plantations around the world with local Blue Mountains heroes. Myles Dunphy and Dr Dark are stars in the TLC range, and their stories take you on a journey – from picking coffee in Panama to brewing coffee in Dark’s Cave. Coffee so long and sweet you’ll be whistling. Visit the website for beans delivered to your doorstep.

Unit 6/114-116 Somers St, Lawson
T: 0477 114 362
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: www.thelittlecoffeeco.com.au

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3.          Herbs of Life

Always cultured, never compromised; with no sweeteners, concentrates, flavourings, extracts and nothing artificial. Herbs of Life certified organic artisan food and beverage company in Lawson specialises in traditional raw fermented sauerkraut and kombucha tea.

Brewed traditionally with the four ingredients of authentic kombucha (Blue Mountains-sourced spring water, raw cane sugar, green tea and kombucha mother SCOBY), the handcrafted kombucha is raw, living, active, organic, ever changing. All flavours are achieved with 100 per cent natural whole fruits or fresh juiced fruit and spices, unfiltered with a low glycemic index and gluten free. Find Herbs of Life products at local markets, local stockists and online.

T: (02) 4759 3852
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.herbsoflife.com.au

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4.          The Bootlegger Smokehouse & Bar

The historic Niagara building (circa 1905) across the road from Katoomba railway station is the perfect home for The Bootlegger.

While slow cooking and smoking meats is the heart of the menu, the liquors and vibrant cocktails are just as much of a feature. As well as showcasing international and locally-distilled spirits, the bar is also stocked with new and old world wines, while the taps are loaded with local and classic beers.

Bootlegger is also one of the few places in the Blue Mountains open late—the kitchens close at 10pm but the doors stay open until midnight so you won’t be kicked out early!

Niagara Building, 92 Bathurst Rd, Katoomba 

T: (02) 4782 6368 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.bootleggerbar.com.au
Wednesday-Thursday: from 5pm
Friday-Sunday: from 12pm
Monday-Tuesday: Closed

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5.          Carrington Cellars & Deli

Enter the Blue Mountains’ most remarkable bottleshop and deli in the old Katoomba power station and savour the fine taste of experience, well served.

Take your time to browse the extensive range of local, regional and imported deli items and boutique, local and international wines, spirits and beers or just admire the restored power station building.

Expert staff can help create a memorable experience by combining the best products to suit the occasion, taste or budget.

Free local delivery between Hazelbrook and Mount Victoria for orders over $100.

Parke St, Katoomba

T: (02) 4782 0999                                                                                                              E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.thecarrington.com.au/cellars-deli

Sunday–Thursday: 10am–6.30pm
Friday & Saturday: 9am–7pm Public Holidays: 10am–6.30pm
(Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day)

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6.          Dryridge Estate

Get away from it all and relax with a leisurely repose of cheese and wine in the tranquil rural landscape of the Megalong Valley amid rambling vineyards and native forest ringed by towering sandstone escarpments.

Next to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area at the centre of Sydney’s water catchment, the Megalong Valley teems with wildlife.

Operated by Simon and Emma McMahon since 2015, boutique vineyard Dryridge Estate was founded by Bob and Barbara Tyrrell in 2000 and produces distinctive crisp mineral-flavoured wines from the pink granite soil.

Ask about the onsite wedding venue and picturesque accommodation while you’re there.

226 Aspinall Rd, Megalong Valley

T: 0403 118 990 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; www.dryridge.com.au

Saturday: 11am–5pm; Sunday: 11am–4pm; Monday to Friday: Group bookings (10 plus) by appointment.

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7. Megalong Creek Estate

Sample a tipple of single vineyard wine surrounded by undulating paddocks in the light of glowing Blue Mountains escarpments.

​Established in 2002 by the Davis family, all grapes are grown onsite and handpicked and transported to Mudgee for wine making by highly regarded third generation winemaker Jacob Stein.

As well as viognier, pinot grigio, pinot and shiraz, Megalong Creek Estate produces a lightly sparkled Prosecco-style wine named Prozzante and a late harvest unique dessert-style wine.

The Megalong Creek Estate cellar door is open 12pm to 5pm Saturdays and 12pm to 4pm Sundays, travel restrictions permitting.

Online orders available anytime.

217 Aspinall Rd, Megalong Valley   T: 0402 358 100

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.megalongcreekestate.com/shop

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8.          Hillbilly Cider

No added sugar, no pasteurisation, no added artificial flavours.

Hillbilly Cider is all about keeping it real – 100 per cent crushed fruit fermented in pressurised tanks with minimal intervention to produce naturally sparkling ciders.

Order your cider and Hillbilly merch online and receive free shipping anywhere in NSW.

Collect your supplies from the cider shed and pick up a Neapolitan-style pizza at the same time. Woodfired pizzas available from 11.30am to eat in or take away. Pizza bases (including GF) and Nap sauce are all shed made and cooked in the onsite woodfired oven.

Specialty pizzas are added to the small menu from time to time. And don’t go past the signature apple calzone with whipped cream, freshly baked to order.

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 10am-4pm,
Friday to Sunday 10am-6pm. (Closed December 25-26 and January 1)

2230 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin T: (02) 4567 0965
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
https://hillbillycider.com.au/visit-us

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9.         Karu Distillery

Karu Distillery’s Lightning Gin has been officially crowned the world’s best contemporary gin at the International Wines & Spirits Awards.

An unconventionally smooth navy strength gin, boasting double Juniper and triple citrus tiers of herbaceous Lemon Myrtle, bitter Ruby Grapefruit, and sweet Mandarin. Rose Geranium is picked fresh from their own distillery garden, providing a beautiful herbaceous and floral lingering composition.

Hidden at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, one of Australia's highest award-winning gin distillers (50 gongs and counting) began making gin in 2018.

The independent small batch distillery uses predominantly homegrown and local botanicals cut down with pure mountain rainwater. You can visit their working distillery door on weekends to get a taste of their award-winning spirits range.

296 Cabbage Tree Road, Grose Vale

T: 0405 215 011 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; www.karudistillery.com.au

www.facebook.com/KaruDistillerywww.instagram.com/karu_distillery

10am-5pm Saturday
10am-4pm Sunday
Other days by appointment.

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10.          Western Wine Tours

Indulge in the distinctive flavours of wines and freshly crushed apple ciders grown in the upper Blue Mountains straight from the cellar door.

Taste superb award-winning wines and delight in delicious produce of locally prepared food while discovering older wine styles alongside exciting new ones.

Choose from a range of half and full day tours of vineyards and cider sheds between Bilpin, the Megalong Valley and the Mudgee wine district.

Each tour includes luxury chauffeured transport, food refreshments and spectacular views.

Guests of Shelton-Lea B&B receive a 10 per cent discount on all tours.

Summer special: book six people and only pay for five.

T: 0437 746 833
W: https://westernwinetours.com.au

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11.        Craft Beverage Trail Tours

Have your cake—and wine, spirits, cider, kombucha and coffee—and eat and drink them too with this new service from Fantastic Aussie Tours.

“The new trail bus means you can have a tipple and we’ll navigate the road for you,” says managing director Jason Cronshaw. “We also have large storage bays under the bus, so don’t be shy about stocking up on your favourite drop.”

Choose up to eight venues to visit along the trail for a half or full day experience. Complimentary pick-up and drop-off anywhere on the trail or in Sydney. A range of buses from a 13-seat minibus to a 28-seat retro bus and a double-decker bus is available for private charter groups.

Available 7 days subject to venue operation times.
T: (02) 4780 0700 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: www.fantasticaussie-tours.com.au

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