Craft beer and so much more.
Mudgee has a long history of beer brewing, with the first brewery established in 1853 followed by the much-loved Federal Brewery in 1883, which supplied hard earned cold ones to Aussie soldiers fighting in the Pacific in WWII.
And although these days Mudgee is best known for its wine, the region’s penchant for brewing is still very much alive and burning bright at the Mudgee Brewing Co.
Like all microbreweries worth their salt, the idea for the Mudgee Brewing Co was ‘brewed up’ as a hair-brained idea over a few beers between mates. And so set owner Gary Leonard upon a lifelong love affair with boutique brewing.
Garry believes two things influence the way a boutique beer is crafted: local water and local taste. To that effect he has created six signature beers that encapsulate Mudgee in sweet liquid gold. From American-style pale ale to European-style wheat beer, there’s a beer to suit every taste.
In a nod to the Mudgee brewers of old, Garry has created an imperial stout beer ominously named ‘Mudgee Mud’. It takes its inspiration from the Federal Brewery, which for years used pristine water from a farmer’s well to create its beer.
But when Mudgee was connected to town water the quality went down, and for a while there was so much sediment in the beer it became known as Mudgee Mud. The modern incarnation is decidedly tastier and packs a serious punch at 8.5%. It’s a rich, smooth stout with hints of aniseed and liquorice undertones, topped off with a creamy head.
For a lighter taste, try the Mudgee Pale Ale, a refreshing beer made from malted barley, hops, yeast and clean Mudgee water. It has a floral aroma and a crisp, clean taste, and at 4.4% is better suited to the unlucky soul on driving duty.
The brewery is centrally located across from the old theatre in Mudgee and is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As you might expect, the lunch and dinner menus are full of beer drinking food; think smoked and slow-cooked meats, wood-fired pizzas, chilli-laden pasta, fried chicken, buffalo wings and – my personal favourite – crispy fried bang bang prawns smothered in a creamy chilli sauce. Is your mouth watering yet?
There’s live music playing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and the sprawling warehouse-style brewery is an atmospheric place to dine, drink and make beer-fuelled merry with friends. That’s the Mudgee way, after all.