Watts River Brewing
7 Hunter Rd, Healesville, VIC, Australia
03 5962 1409
Only opening in September 2016, Watts River Brewing is the new kid on the Yarra Valley block. The Healesville based takes its name from the Watts River that flows through the township.
Brewers Aaron and Ben began their careers creating homebrews for their friends and family but it wasn’t long before they decided to follow their passion and take their hobby to a professional level. Despite both completing a graduate certificate in brewing from Ballarat University, the pair first met whilst working for another local brewery. Whilst they loved the experience, they kept dreaming of a time where they could play around with flavours themselves and create a brew that was truly their own.
Now, together with their wives Emily and Hanna, they’re the proud owners of a 500L brewery with three (soon to be four) beers to their name.
Watts River Brewing is a truly local brewery. Ben’s family farm, Hopefield in Murtoa, grows the barely used to create many of the beers. This is supplemented with Australian malt and a small amount of European malt.
The team brew in either 500L or 1000L batches with each batch taking 3-4 weeks to brew, ferment and package. Although these are small batches, it allows Aaron and Ben plenty of flexibility. Alongside their core beers, they try to have at least one experimental or seasonal batch ready to go.
The team love dry, drinkable beers and brew to their tastes. Their ethos is to keep it simple, flavourful, dry and drinkable.
Stop by the cellar door to relax on the comfy couches and sample the delicious brews on tap. You’ll find a light blonde ale that uses a combination of Australian malt and international hops to create a bright clear flavour that is easy to enjoy. The IPA is bolder with some of the team’s favourite big, juicy hops from around the world. Then there’s the stout, a dry, roasty brew built of flavours of coffee and dark chocolate with just a hint of smokiness. There’s a fourth brew, a Brett, on the way and the team hope to expand to seasonal brews in the near future.
While a kitchen is on the cards for the future, for now Watts River Brewing has a selection of chips, nuts and jerky and also welcome BYO food. If you pop past on the weekend, don’t be surprised in you see East Side Smokers set up out the front with offerings that are perfectly paired with a pot of ice-cold beer.
Apart from the cellar door, you’ll find Watts River Brewing stocked at plenty of Healesville and Yarra Valley establishments, as well as throughout Melbourne. Take a look at the website to find out where you can try some brews from this up and coming brewery.
Watts River Brewing celebrates its surrounds with thirst quenching beers that provide a taste of Healesville and the Yarra Valley.