The Yorke Peninsula’s newest attraction is also a first for the region and a huge boost for tourism in the area.

Located in Minlaton on the South West Yorke Peninsula, less than half an hour drive from Bluff Beach is Watsacowie Brewing Co and from this weekend you can drop in and sample some fantastic ales from their brand new cellar door and bar.

Brendan and Roxanne are the proud owners of the Yorke Peninsula’s only craft brewery and are unveiling their coveted cellar door and bar this weekend, just in time for thirsty local punters knocking off for the Christmas break and holidaymakers travelling to the Yorke’s family-friendly destinations.

Despite a lack of craft brewers in the Yorke Peninsula, Brendan reminds me that ‘Watsacowie Brewery lies within an area known as the Barley capital of the world’. Whilst other South Australian regions including the Fleurieu, McLaren Vale, Eyre Peninsula, Limestone Coast and of course Adelaide have begun to turn out some incredibly impressive craft beers with popular breweries offering an alternative to wine, the Yorke Peninsula has been lagging behind – not anymore.

Watsacowie will impress the many craft beer lovers of the region and encourage more of the Yorke Peninsula’s tourists to visit Minlaton and surrounding towns and beaches on their journey to and from Innes National Park and Marion Bay.

So what about the beer?

beer barrels The microbrewery set-up at Watsacowie is impressive, with a lot of love and not just hops, grain and yeast going into every barrel.

Brendan and Roxanne offer a growing range of beers and seasonal ciders and for those of you who have beer loving friends but prefer the wine and want to enjoy the atmosphere, they do have you covered with some SA sourced red, white and sparkling.

The current range of beers include:  

Minlaton Mid – a mid-strength lager with a crisp, dry palate and subtle malt aroma. Perfect drinking if you’re playing all day, or are heading out camping, fishing or boating.

Windmill Wheat – for those German loving beer folk – is a golden ale reflecting the ripe fields of wheat surrounding the region during the Summer. This tipple takes it easy on the hops with some banana and clove characteristics creeping in and goes superbly with local seafood including King George Whiting.

The Depot Ale is a light bodied, crisp and clean ale in the Kolsch style, perfect for slamming down on a hot summer day – or for sipping in the shade after a hard day’s work.

S.Y.P Ale (Southern Yorke Peninsula) is the session beer for pale ale lovers with that distinctive floral, fruity and citrus aroma. The smooth, malt flavour makes it perfect all year round and a great social beer for enjoying around the campfire, barbeque or out on the boat.

Every brewery dog deserves to have a beer named after them – none more so than the fun and fruity Jazz, Brendan and Roxanne’s loveable kelpie. And so Jazzy Red Ale was born – brewed with premium ingredients including lashings of Mosaic and Palisade hops it has a gorgeous red colour (just like Jazz) – full of body, strength and flavour. This Indian Red Ale is not just a hit with dog lovers like us, but beer connoisseurs who like it strong and hoppy.

The Sunset Cider comes from the delicious combination of Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples and is aged in Chardonnay barrels on Chardonnay leaves, using Champagne yeast. Yum – enjoy it with a few cubes of ice for a tasty refreshing end to the day.

Why not sample the range on a tasting paddle and let us know what you think?

Beer and ciders lined up

In addition to exceptional craft beers, the charm of the Watsacowie microbrewery comes from the craftsmanship that’s gone into the venue itself and the hands-on/all in approach of the people who’ve made this cool little dream, a refreshing reality.

The venue is an ex Highway’s Department maintenance depot, colloquially known as ‘The Depot’. Inside you’ll find a fully functioning brewery, bar and cellar door that doubles as a function space suited to gatherings of up to 100 people.

Although just completed, the building has an otherworldly character with recycled jarrah and oregon timbers reclaimed from a nearby shearing shed used to construct most of the bar and cellar door. These materials give the brewery a 120-year-old history – not bad.

This York Peninsula beer-loving couple has been focused on creating a business that brings the rich agricultural and natural history of the region to life – building something with their own hands they are truly passionate about and can’t wait to share with you.

The cellar door at 9 Depot Road, Minlaton is just a short walk from the town centre and caravan park and will open from 11 am – 6 pm on Saturday 9th December with a grand opening bash to follow after the Christmas and silly seasons have passed.

Families and well-behaved dogs are welcome so there’s no excuse not to support the locals, especially over the coming months. With over 5 acres of land, there’s room for a game of cricket, the dogs to stretch their legs and the kids to kick a footy, so head over during school holidays and relax with a Watsacowie brew.

Follow Watsacowie on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest information including up to date opening hours or phone the team with any questions.  And if you’re around over the next 3 weeks the brewery will be open Friday-Sunday so say hello and ask what’s up with the name?