Australian Beers by State

by Brooke on June 17, 2011

by Brooke | June 17th, 2011  

When traveling around Australia, you will quickly find that different beers are found on tap in different areas. In fact, beer offerings and beer brand loyalty are quite regional, and that means you may have to switch up what you’re drinking depending on where you are in Australia if you’re planning to blend in Down under. Oh, and don’t forget to brush up on all your drinking terms.

>> Learn more about Australian food and drink

Beers in New South Wales

When in New South Wales, beers like Tooheys, Hahn and James Squire are popular with the locals. Victoria’s VB is also found on many pub menus throughout the state.

tooheys new beer
Tooheys has been around since 1869 and currently holds a brewery in a Sydney suburb, Lidcombe. Tooheys produces several different types of beer including Tooheys New, Tooheys Old, Tooheys White Stag and Tooheys Extra Dry. Tooheys Old is a dark ale that would be considered more consistent to the original style beer made when Tooheys originally started in the 1800s.

hahn beer
Hahn Brewery has been around since 1986 and is now owned by the same beverage company – Lion Nathan – that owns Tooheys. Hahn produces several beers including Hahn Premium, Hahn Premium Light and Hahn Super Dry. Super Dry is considered a fairly popular low-carb beer choice in New South Wales.

james squire beer pilsener
James Squire is a brewery that holds the name of Australia’s first commercial brewer. James came to Australia as a convict, but then became a person of many professions and ventures, one of them being cultivating hops and brewing beer. James Squire Brewery is based in Sydney and produces several beers including the James Squire Amber Ale and Golden Ale, as well as seasonal and specialty brews like Sundown Lager.

>> If in the Sydney area, check out my tips for ways to save money on drinking. Or, check out a list of small bars where you can enjoy one of the above drinks.

Beers in Tasmania

The beers in Tasmania are generally split with Cascade in the south and Boags in the north.

cascade beer tasmania
Cascade Brewery is located in Hobart, Tasmania and is considered the oldest brewery in Australia that has been operating at a continuous state. They produce a wide range of beers from the standard Cascade Premium Lager to seasonal brews to homebrews. A visit to Cascade Brewery is always suggested as one of the top things to do in Hobart.

boags beer
Boag’s Brewery is located on the north side of the island in Launceston. It was founded in 1883 by James Boag and his son. This brewery produces a number of beers from the James Boag’s Premium Lager to Boag’s Draught and Boag’s Honey Porter.

Beers in Victoria

Victoria, the state to the south of New South Wales, is popular for VB and Carlton Draught beers.

vb beer
VB stands for Victoria Bitter, and it is the beer that is sold the most in Australia. This beer is brewed in Melbourne by Carlton, but it is sold and drank Australia-wide.

carlton draught
Carlton Draught is a pale lager produced in Melbourne. Although not as popular as VB, Carlton is still on the list of most popular beers in Australia.

>> Have a read about one of my favorite brews based in Victoria, Fat Yak

Beers in Queensland

xxxx gold
Almost as soon as you cross the border into Queensland you will start seeing ads for XXXX, the state’s most popular beer. XXXX is currently brewed in a Brisbane suburb, Milton, and is found on tap in most Queensland pubs. There are several types of XXXX on the market including XXXX Bitter, XXXX Gold and XXXX Summer Bright Lager. XXXX Bitter is the original brew, while XXXX Gold is a lower strength beer. The Summer Bright Lager is a low-carb option.

Beers in South Australia

Some of the beers on offer in South Australia include Coopers, West End and Southwark.

coopers sparkling ale
Coopers Brewery has its headquarters in Adelaide. It is a family-run brewery as it has been since its founding in 1862. Some of the beers on offer from Coopers include the Sparkling Ale, the Pale Ale and the Best Extra Stout.

The South Australia Brewing Company had two breweries: one that produced West End beers and one that produced Southwark beers. Over the years, the two breweries were combined into one, but still both beer brands are produced. Popular West End beers include Draught, Gold and Light, while popular Southwark beers include Bitter, Premium and Stout.

Beers in Western Australia

Popular regional beers in Western Australia include Swan and Emu.

swan draught
The Swan Brewery is located in Perth, an area near the Swan River and Swan Valley. The Swan beers to note are Swan Draught and Swan Stout.

Emu Brewery was also located in Perth along the Swan River until it was bought out by Swan Brewery. Emu brews are still made at the Swan Brewery and include Emu Bitter, Emu Export and Emu Draught.

>> Serious beer lovers should check out this Swan Valley brewery tour
>> Read more about the Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle

A Beer Not on This List

fosters beer
Are you wondering why Foster’s is not on this list? Foster’s is commonly advertised abroad, specifically in the USA, as an Australian-loved beer. The sad fact is that you can rarely even find Foster’s Down Under because it is usually sent straight to export. Don’t let the ads fool you. Foster’s is not Australian for beer.

>> This is one of many things you should know about Australia

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.


{ 4 comments }

What to do in Sydney June 20, 2011 at 1:39 am
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I’m glad James Squire is representing Sydney. A fine brewery with some great beer, especially the pale ale. Well done Adelaide, Coopers would be my second choice from the list in the article.

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Chris June 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm
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A very good guide. Shocked that you didn’t make more mention of the very parochial support state beers get and the hate the out-of-towners get. Most New South Welshmen will mock a VB or XXXX drinking friend (the latter around Origin especially).

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Melissa August 31, 2011 at 8:11 pm
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mmmmmm I love Coopers Pale Ale :) (And I’m not even a big beer drinker… give me a shiraz, preferably one from Margaret River)

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Caitlin October 4, 2011 at 3:21 am
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I like James Squire, Cascade and Boags.

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