Blue Mountains Craft Beverage Trail

Craft_Beverage_MAP-0524.jpg

For early travellers, the only place to stop for a drink was along the old highway, where rough drops were served at colonial inns. Now we’ve carved out a different route, featuring everything from roasteries to wineries. Find cider from a century-old orchard, beers brewed down canyons and spirits infused with local botanicals for a true taste of the Mountains.

Wend your way 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 into the Megalong Valley to visit the wineries. 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 Valley and then back to Sydney. 

 Brew Mountains Brewery

1  Brew Mountains Brewery

Boasting 16 taps including cider, ginger beer, hard lemonade and a selection of Blue Mountains wines, the brewery hosts different food trucks each Friday and Saturday and has an intimate and personal atmosphere with a strong local focus a bush outlook.

From making seasonal beers with Blue Mountains hops and grain to local collaborations, even the 4m long bar is made from a storm-fallen stringy bark tree that was hand milled and cured over seven years and made onsite with friends.

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

Opening times:
Friday 4pm–8pm
Saturday 12pm–8pm With food trucks Unit 3 2-4 Tayler Rd, Valley Heights
T: 0492 870 691
brewmountains.com.au

Herbs of Life

2  Herbs of Life

Always cultured never compromised, with no sweeteners, no concentrates, no flavourings, no 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 organic whole fruits and fresh juiced fruit juice and spices. Herbs of Life kombucha is unfiltered, low glycemic, vegan friendly and gluten free.

Herbs of Life products are available at local markets, local stockists and online.

T: (02) 4759 3852
herbsoflife.com.au

Blue Mountains Gin Co(IMAGE: Deep Hill Media)

3  Blue Mountains Gin Parlour

Relax with a flight of gins or a delicious cocktail from Blue Mountains Gin Company in the atmospheric foyer of the 1930s Avalon restaurant. You can taste the Mountain Devil Spirits named after distinctive local features such as mountain devil, Nelly’s Glen, the Wild Dog Ranges and Boar’s Head. Blue Mountains Gin Company is the first provider of craft spirits based in Katoomba and is dedicated to producing artisan gin and vodka for a growing spirits drink business synonymous with the Blue Mountains. Look for the cheeky Mountain Devil neon sign outside the Avalon at the top of Katoomba Street.

Winter Opening times: Saturday and Sunday from 12pm
18 Katoomba St, Katoomba
avalonkatoomba.com.au/gin-parlour
bluemountainsgincompany.com.au

 187095-19_EDIT.jpeg(IMAGE: Destination NSW)

4 Bootlegger 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 meals 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 kitchen closes at 10pm but the doors stay open until midnight, so you won’t be kicked out early! 

Wednesday to Saturday 12pm – 12am, Sunday 12pm – 10pm

Niagara Building, 92 Bathurst Rd, Katoomba
T: (02) 4782 6368
www.bootleggerbar.com.au

Carrington Cellars

5  Wines of the World Festival, August 17-18

Costing less than a bottle of decent wine ($20 valid both days), you can meet the makers of your favourite regional drops, taste their wares and stock your home cellar at the annual Wines of the West festival, held in Carrington Cellars & Deli. 

The event showcases winemakers from the Blue Mountains and Central West region of NSW, including from Megalong Valley, Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee and more. 

Housed in the old Katoomba power station, the cellars is a boutique bottle shop which stocks local and imported produce such as honey, gourmet snacks, exotic pantry items and deli goods. The friendly staff can even create small picnic hampers for your daytrip, bushwalk or picnic. Ask about free local delivery (from Mount Victoria to Hazelbrook) for orders over $100. 

Open daily, 10am - 6.30pm

Carrington Cellars & Deli, Parke St, Katoomba

T: (02) 4782 0999
thecarrington.com.au/cellars-deli

Dryridge Estate

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 Doyle and Emma MacMahon since 2015, the boutique vineyard Dryridge Estate produces distinctive crisp mineral-flavoured wines from the pink granite soil.

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

Opening hours:
Saturday – 11am–5pm Sunday – 11am–4pm Friday – 12pm–4pm (Winter only) Monday to Friday – group bookings (10 plus) by appointment 226 Aspinall Rd, Megalong Valley
 T: 0403 118 990
dryridge.com.au

Megalong Creek Estate

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 sparked Prosecco-style wine named Prozzante and a late harvest unique dessert-style wine.

Cellar door: Saturday 12pm to 5pm, Sunday 12pm to 4pm
Online orders available any time.
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.
megalongcreekestate.com

Bilpin Cider

8  Bilpin Cider

The Bilpin Cider Co Farm is fast becoming one of NSW’s must visit destination venues. Set amid the World Heritage-listed national park, visitors can enjoy panoramic views as they amble through the orchard and engage with our curious and friendly farm animals. 

With ample under cover and al fresco seating, guests can choose from 14 alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer and cider options (or try a tasting paddle). On weekends, the Farm Kitchen is open from 11am until 3pm. Monday to Friday the Farm Kiosk serves cheese platters, meat boards, and delicious apple pie and coffee. Enjoy live music on the “Thirsty Third Sunday” of every month from 12pm until 4pm.  

Opening hours: 10am to 4pm seven days (except Christmas Day)
2369 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin
T: 1300 245 746 bilpincider.com

Hillbilly Cider(IMAGE: Destination NSW)

9  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. 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
Woodfired pizzas from 11.30am 2230 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin
T: (02) 4567 0965
hillbillycider.com.au/visit-us

 Karu.jpg

10 Karu Distillery

Hidden in the Devils Wilderness, in the Blue Mountains foothills, Karu Distillery has a new collaboration you can sink your claws into. 

Wilding: Jubatus Dry Gin uses botanicals from the home of the cheetah – Africa. Proceeds go to the Wild Cat Conservation Centre in Wilberforce and their breeding and rewilding program. 

The independent, small-batch spirits producer uses mainly local botanicals cut down with pure mountain rainwater to create quality spirits that focus on flavour. 

Karu’s spirits are also available at Blue Mountains independent bottle shops and served in cocktails at many local bars and restaurants. 

296 Cabbage Tree Rd, Grose Vale

T: 0493 408 090 karudistillery.com.au

Check the website and Google for opening hours and open days. 

 Craft Beverage bus tour

11  Craft Beverage Trail Tour

Have your cake – and wine, spirits, cider, kombucha and coffee – and eat and drink them too on a Fantastic Aussie Tours (FAT) Craft Beverage Trail Tour.

FAT managing director Jason Cronshaw said the new trail tour “means you can have a tipple and we’ll navigate the road for you”.

“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. A range of vehicles is available for private charter, from small minibuses to large double-decker buses and coaches, for any size of group. 7 days subject to venue operation times.

T: (02) 4780 0700
www.fantastic-aussie-tours.com.au

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