Beer tours are such a great afternoon out, you learn something interesting, meet some lovely and passionate brewers and get to taste all the beer. (Joel was doubly thrilled as I don’t like beer, so he got my samples too.)
We went on the Potter’s Brewery tour one Saturday afternoon and it was terrific. The friendly fellow who ran the tour explained the differences between beer, stout and ale. Let us watch some of the processes and took us on a tour of the brewing area, whilst having a few tipples himself which made the tour very entertaining. I love chilled people like that. Have a little look at their brewing chart here for an idea of the process.
Potters Brew house has a rich history, it was the site of a brick pottery, the kiln used still stand as a beacon in the beautiful Hunter Valley landscape. The site was even chosen because it has clay deposits for making the bricks, these bricks were used locally for coal mines and houses.
In 1928 the owners Robinson & Hennery Ltd started producing terracotta garden pots instead, then it changed again in 1931 to Cessnock Potteries, and they made all of the salt glazed stoneware sewage pipes for the surrounding area. Potters was declared an essential industry for the war effort in the 1940s, and was finally converted to electric power.
In 1989 it was bought and a tavern was built and the kilns heritage listed. Now there is a resort surrounding the kilns and a micro brewery (the only one in the Hunter Valley) The Hunter Beer Co. they produce signature beers throughout the year, including a smoked oyster stout, german ales and a Christmas Cheer special.
Incidentally the brewery happened to be quite photogenic. So after our tour Joel and I sat down with our complimentary beer tasting paddles and soaked up the sunset before a delicious pub dinner. I would thoroughly recommend the beer tours at Potter’s Brewery, you could even get lucky like us and have it included in the room (we booked through wotif.com)
Luckily because we were also staying at the brewers hotel, we didn’t even need to elect a designated driver. Hoorah, a merry afternoon was had by all!