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Beer Down Under

So I'm going to Australia & New Zealand in a few weeks. A recent post asked where they can find Victoria Bitter in the U.S., so I assume it’s decent. Are there any other beers that I should try? Anything I should avoid (assuming Foster’s is the Budweiser of AUS I will refrain). Any breweries we should visit while we're there? Thanks.

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  1. Cooper's makes good beer, I especially like their Vintage Ale.

    3 Replies
    1. re: warrenr

      ditto, ditto and dittto to that. i turned myself on to it at the autrailian pub EIGHT MILE CREEK in nolita in manhattan during the world cup games. really tho coopers are all just ok, but vintage is so much better than the other coopers styles by far.

      i kind of like tooheys too.

      not that i've tried it all, but generally australian beers are like south american beers, not memorable at best. maybe they have a bigger craft tradition there than we know of? good luck & i cant wait to hear about it.

      1. re: mrnyc

        My memory of Coopers (haven't had it lately) is that they're rather unique beers, particularly the Sparkling Ale (ironically, unfiltered), quite yeasty with a unique, estery fruitiness.

        1. re: Jim Dorsch

          the ales, lager, stout? all are rather bland imo. sparkling is if unique nothing much worth seeking out either. if you have your pick go for the vintage.

    2. I was in Australia just over a year a go and two lagers I thoroughly enjoyed were Cascade and James Boag -

      and yes Fosters is the budweiser down under - do not be surprised to be offered where ever you go - just politely decline and ask what they like to drink - everyone has their favorite beer - that is how I found these two lagers -

      1. victoria - vb

        new south wales - i liked toohey's. several to choose from. i recall tohhey's blue being very good. and crowne lager.

        queensland - xxxx ("four x")

        1. Coopers is a good bet. Years ago, there used to be a good "wit style" beer from Western Australia(?) Red Back. I haven't seen it stateside for many a year.

          1. Don't assume that because somebody asked about Vic Bitter that it is a decent beer.

            1. For places to find good beer in Australia check out Beer Advocate's Beerfly Guide.



              1. Cooper's various brews, especially the Vintage Ale and Extra Stout are raved about on beer blogs I've seen. Some beer blogs also mention Little Creatures as being a very good Australian beer.

                From the Sydney link above, the Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe serves a wide variety of top quality craft brews.

                1. Absolutey any beer you try in NZed will be great! Try them ALL! (ok, maybe not all at once).

                  I'm serious. Every beer I tried was superb, each with its own qualities. They've never fallen into the global export trap that Castelmaine and Fosters fell into, so everything seems to have that fab craft-brewed appeal. And they are much more regional in NZed, similar to the craft brews in the US or the locals in the Netherlands.

                  Tui is probably the most commercial of the lot, but still great.

                  Enjoy the trip.

                  1. Aussie beer does taste much better down there, I don't think it travels well.

                    In addition to the beers mentioned above (I like VB and Fiji Bitter too,) I would also recommend Southwark Premium Lager if you can find it, and Carlton Cold. Used to drop a shot of Bundaberg Australian rum into a 1/2 pint of Carlton Cold and Chug it... delicious on a hot day.

                    1. Coopers if definatley a good recommendation for a good Australian beer... although this list could see the likes of the following:
                      Little creatures Pale ale + Rogers... both brewed in Fremantle Western Australia, a great brewery visit if you ever in perth)
                      Redback ( a larger brewed with wheat)
                      Cascade ( a tasmanian brew)
                      James Squire ( try their pilsner)
                      Hahn premium ( easy to drink larger)

                      Just stay right away from Fosters... how is that our biggest export beer???