If you think the Hunter Valley is all about wine, think again. The Hunter is also home to a thriving micro-brewery scene. And when it comes to beer tasting in the Hunter Valley you’re spoilt for choice.  

In fact, the Hunter Valley has several award-winning breweries and a number of boutique craft brewers that you can visit, each offering their own selection of distinctive locally brewed beers and special seasonal releases that you can sample.

In many cases, you can go behind the scenes and see how these local beers are made and talk to the brew master for insights into their particular beer-making process. 

With an amazing variety of beers and ales from the traditional to the surprising, as well as the region’s popular ciders and ginger beers, you’ll find the Hunter Valley’s breweries just as interesting and diverse as the region’s world-famous wineries.

No matter if you’re a serious beer connoisseur or simply a keen amateur who enjoys trying new things, here are some of the top spots for beer lovers to try on a Hunter Valley beer tour.


Hunter Beer Co at Potters Brewery

Hop 1 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Central Pokolbin Bus Tour

The Hunter Valley’s original microbrewery is located at Potters Hotel Brewery Resort. Amazingly, given its prodigious range of beers, the Hunter Beer Co. is one of the smallest breweries in the country.

For the brewers at Hunter Beer Co. it’s all about distinctive handcrafted brews using traditional methods and all-natural ingredients. Though it’s not all traditional, with chocolate beer and bacon beer just two of their unconventional creations. Make sure you have some time because they typically have 10 craft beers on tap for you to try as you watch the beer being made. The tasting paddles are a great way to try a range of brews.

A visit to the Hunter Beer Co. is about the experience. Join head brewer Keith ‘The Beer Guy’ for a casual tour of the brewery and insights into the process. Daily brewery tours run at 4:00 pm. Book directly at the brewery.


Sydney Brewery Hunter Valley

Hop 3 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Lovedale & North Pokolbin Bus Tour

The Sydney Brewery Hunter Valley is located in the grounds of the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley hotel in the central Hunter Valley town of Lovedale, with the popular Lovedale bar and restaurant right next door to the brewery and distillery.  

The brewery boasts a vast range of beers brewed on the premises from the finest, filtered Hunter Valley water, which provides the brew masters with a blank canvas to create a wide variety of beers from traditional lagers to rich oatmeal porters.

What to try? You’ll find a rotation of seasonal beers on tap, so there’s always something new and different to sample. Staples include the brewery’s popular Lovedale Lager – a traditional Munich-style lager that combines three types of German hops to create a smooth citrus aroma complimented by a slightly toasted malt backbone. The brewery’s famous Sydney cider is on tap everyday. 

You can also join a behind the scenes tour of the brewery to see how they do what they do, enquire directly through Crowne Plaza.


Matilda Bay Brewery Hunter Valley

Hop 10 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Central Pokolbin Bus Tour

Located at the Hunter Valley Resort, Matilda Bay is Pokolbin’s first boutique brew house, and where the story of the popular Blue Tongue brand of beer began. The Resort is also known for its glorious outlook over the Hunter Valley.

The Matilda Bay Brewhouse is another stop where you’ll want to spend a bit of time, with 12 craft brews on tap, including lagers, ales, stouts, cider and alcoholic ginger beer, plus regular ‘special’ brews ready for you to try, all with accompanying tasting notes. Choose a tasting a paddle of lighter or darker style beers to get the full perspective.

Also onsite is the Hunter Wine Theatre, Wine School, the Hermitage Road Wine Tasting Cellars, Hunter Valley Adventure Centre (Segway tours, horse riding and electric bike hire) and the Heavenly Hunter Massage Centre.

Hunter Valley Pubs, Breweries & Beer


Hope Estate Brewery

Hop 4 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Central Pokolbin Bus Tour

The Hope Brewhouse is located at the Hope Estate winery in the heart of Pokolbin, set amongst 420 acres of rolling countryside and picturesque vineyards with stunning views.

At the Brewhouse you’ll find 12 different brews and ciders on tap offering a broad palette of styles and tastes. The brewery’s extensive range of award-winning craft beers and ciders are produced on site. Among a vat of awards the brewery has received for its brews, Hope Brewhouse won Champion Small Brewery at the 2016 CBA Awards.  


IronBark Hill Brewhouse

Hop 11 on iHop’s Hop-On Hop-Off Central Pokolbin Bus Tour

The IronBark Hill Brewhouse is Hunter Valley’s newest micro-brewery located at the IronBark Hill Vineyard in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country.

Sit down and enjoy a sumptuous meal overlooking the brewery area or out in the lovely beer garden set amongst the grape vines as you sample the eight delicious craft beers and cider on offer each day. The taps change regularly, so there’s always something different to try.

If you’re not much of a beer drinker, you won’t be left out. IronBark also makes a range popular apple and pear ciders, or sample a top drop from the Peter Drayton Wines range that are also made onsite.


An evening of Beer, Wine, Cheese and Delicious Food

If you’re looking for a great way to experience some of the region’s best beer, wine and food the Hunter Valley has to offer in one fun evening, join us for iHop’s Taste of the Hunter After Dark Tour.

Kick off with a guided wine tasting with local cheeses at an award-winning cellar door. Then enjoy a tasting paddle of top Hunter Valley brews or ciders (as well as some delicious bites) as you get an insight into the beer brewing process at a local boutique brew house. Afterwards, compare tasting notes over a selection of gourmet wood-fired pizzas, tapas and drinks at a popular local restaurant.

Find out more about iHop Hunter Valley’s Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours and Taste of the Hunter after Dark tour here.


Looking for things to do in the Hunter Valley?

The Hunter Valley is a very special place. Although you might know it primarily for its world famous vineyards and wines, the wide range of tourist attractions across the Hunter Valley region, and the amazing variety of things to do and see in the Hunter Valley, might surprise you. 

So what to see in the Hunter Valley? Well, from tasting world famous wines to indulging in unique local produce of all sorts; from exploring the stunning natural beauty of the region by hoof or heel to teeing off on a competition golf course among the grape vines; from a hot air balloon adventure to a soothing spa treatment, there’s just so many things to see and do in the Hunter Valley.


Tasting Tours of Wine, Beer and Spirits

For most people visiting the Hunter Valley, a vineyard tour and wine tasting is top of their must-do lists, and for good reason. With more than 150 wineries in the region, from world famous names to family-owned boutique wineries, there are just so many great choices and wonderful wines ready to be tasted.

But there’s a lot more to the Hunter than just wine. The region also boasts several award-winning breweries where you can taste a variety of beer styles and seasonal releases produced on the premises.

Looking for a change of pace? At the Hunter Valley Distillery, you can try their award-winning spirits, including gin, vodka, liqueurs and schnapps, all made from premium organic and natural ingredients.

You’ll find more information here: Hunter Valley Vineyards and Restaurants: Find Food and Wine Tour Ideas

See more about iHop’s Hunter Valley winery tours here.


Casual through to Fine Dining

As we know, fine wine and food naturally go hand in hand. You won’t be disappointed with the fine dining and casual dining options available to you in the Hunter Valley. Experience the amazing variety of local seasonal produce prepared by some the best chefs in the country and the world.

You’ll find more information here: Top Restaurants in the Hunter Valley You Must Try

See more about iHop’s Hunter Valley restaurant and winery tours here.


Cheese Tasting in the Hunter Valley

With amazing dairies throughout the Hunter Valley, it’s not surprising that the region is becoming equally well known for its exemplary cheese making. You can even see how it’s made and learn to make your own from an expert.

You’ll find more information here: Hunter Valley Cheese Companies You Must Visit and Hunter Valley Cheese and Wine Tasting – A Match Made in Heaven



Discover Unique Produce of all Sorts

The variety of produce and gourmet foods produced locally is astounding. Virtually around every corner you’ll find magnificent produce and locally made gourmet products, such as beautiful olives and olives oils, breads, cakes, sauces, jams and condiments, and much, much more. Oh, and the chocolates and gelato are definitely not to be missed.

Love a good market? There are also local markets that run throughout each month across the region, so there’s always a local market with a range of good quality products and produce to wander through.

Love learning and gaining new skills? You’ll find a wide variety of fascinating courses and instructional tours that you can take part in across the Hunter Valley: tutored wine tastings, winery behind the scenes tours, wine blending classes, food and wine matching courses, cheese making, candy and pizza making courses and cooking classes are just some examples. 


Hit the Links or Pamper at a Day Spa

With a number of golf courses, including championship standard courses, all with gorgeous scenic views, the Hunter Valley is a popular spot for golfers of all skill levels, and particularly for those who like to be rewarded with a fine drop after a round.

Golf not your thing? Then a rejuvenating visit to one of the region’s popular day spas or a relaxing massage might be more your scene.

You can find out more here: Where to Stay in the Hunter Valley.


The Hunter Valley from up in the Sky

When it comes to the best things to do in the Hunter Valley, a hot air balloon tour is way up there – literally. It truly is one of the most spectacular ways to take in the full scope of the vineyards and natural surroundings. There are a variety of Hunter Valley balloon tour and adventure options to choose from.

Looking for a little more action? Try a helicopter tour instead.


Discover Natural and Cultural Wonders

There are many ways to discover the natural wonders of the Hunter Valley – by foot, wheel or hoof. Take a scenic drive by coach or car to take in the full beauty of the stunning vineyards and farmlands. Get your walking boots on and explore the many bush and farmland trails that meander through the Hunter. Join a bicycle tour for a relaxed way to see the sites and vineyards or hire an electric bike or even a Segway on your own and explore the Hunter as you please. Horse riding adventures and carriage tours are another popular way to experience the Hunter Valley.

Looking for top views? The lookouts at Mount Bright, Bimbadeen and Pokolbin Mountains Road offer great views across the Valley and are accessible on foot or by car.

Other top places to visit: Brokenback Range (beautiful natural bush land, views and bushwalking); Aboriginal cultural heritage sites in World Heritage-listed Yengo National Park; explore other nearby national parks, including Watagan Ranges, Mt Royal and Wollemi National Parks; visit Lake St Clair for sailing, swimming, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking and camping.


Fun for the kids and other top attractions

Sure, there’s plenty to keep the big kids amused, but what about the little ones? They’re no problems there with a bunch a great attractions for children of all ages to let off a bit of steam. Talking about letting off steam, how about a visit to the Richmond Vale Railway Museum near Kurri Kurri. Other popular attractions for things to do in the Hunter Valley include the Hunter Valley Zoo at Nulkaba, Luskintyre Airfield and Aviation Museum, Australian Army Infantry Museum, Hunter Valley Gardens Aqua Golf & Putt Putt and Hunter Valley Adventure Centre offer a host of fun and educational activities.

Find out more about iHop’s food and wine tours here.

Find out more about getting around with iHop’s Hop On Hop Off bus tours here.