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The Makers : Yarra Valley

Description

Only an hour from Melbourne, in the stunning Yarra Valley, a tasting extravaganza awaits! Sniff, swirl, sip and skol an incredible range of ales and lagers along with dry & sweet ciders, blueberry wines, ports, sparkling and artisan spirits from vodka and gin, through to limoncello, whisky and moonshine in a range of venues as diverse as the products they create. This is the Yarra Valley like you have never tasted it before!

Our public tours now have a private tour option catering for bookings of between two to ten guests from the one social, work or family group – starting from late September 2020. This means we can customise your tour, including the start and end times, itinerary and we are now picking up all over Melbourne.

Our public tours of mixed random groups will resume in December 2020 and will be for mixed groups of up to 13 guests. Our public tours are a great option if you are travelling solo or in a small group and want to have a ton of laughs with some new friends. 

Aussie Brewery Tours has been operating for 10 years and during that time we have forged amazing relationships that allow us to try limited edition drinks and single-batches as well as visit areas not available to the public. A famous Czech proverb states that, “you can tell the quality of a drink with just one sip, but it is better to be thoroughly sure”, which is why we shout complimentary drinks after our tasting sessions, it is important to keep well hydrated on your tour. Our guides are the best in the business and we include all your food, extra nibbles and cheese boards so you can sample the best food the area has to offer as you soak up all these drinks.

At Aussie Brewery Tours we are a bit old-school, so when we say “small-group public tours”, we mean small group. Not 22-25 people, but a maximum of 13, with 6-12 people the usual size of our tours. This means we can take our time, sit, chat, laugh and sing together as a group and it gives us the flexibility to tailor the day as we are less confined to strict itineraries or times.

For more private tour options, including larger groups, added activities and itineraries more suited to large celebrations, please head over to our private tours page and request a quote.

Price

Our new, small group, private tours:

  • 2-3 people: $560pp. 
  • 4-5 people: $350pp.
  • 6-7 people: $270pp.
  • 8-10 people: $235pp.
  • Optional pickups: $65 per booking. Vehicle upgrades are available during checkout. For larger private tours please head over to our private tours page.

Public tours, which combine smaller groups into a maximum 13 person group, will return in December 2020, at our regular price of $189pp.

What is included?

  • Everything.
  • Visit 4 breweries, cideries, distilleries or wineries in the Yarra Valley
  • This is a private tour for single-groups between 2 and 12 people (our regular 6-13 person public tours will resume in Dec 2020).
  • Hearty, tasty main meal from Coldstream Brewpub.
  • Nibbles and cheese boards provided at other stops.
  • Very generous tastings and complimentary drinks are all included.
  • Choose what you want to drink: beer, wine, spirits, cider.
  • Professional tour guide.
  • We provide sunscreen and water on every tour.
  • We use only accredited, air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Direct bookings receive a free pickup and drop off in over 30 suburbs (listed below).
  • GST (10%), banking fees and merchant fees (3%) plus booking system fees (6-25%) are all included in the price – our prices.

What isn't included?

  • There is no need for tips and gratuities as we pay our guides well and it is not an Australian custom – your guide will appreciate a thank you or tip when they do a marvelous job.
  • Merchandise can be purchased on tour. If you are keen to top-up your home bar, bring some cash as you will drink some fantastic booze along the way. 
  • Pickups are available in several additional suburbs for a $65 per booking fee. If your suburb is not listed below, please contact us and we will do our best to help.
  • Optional vehicle upgrades (from a Toyota Commuter to Mercedes, BMW and others) available.

What do I need to bring?

  • An extraordinary, devil-may-care attitude! 
  • Your dancing shoes and your singing voice. 
  • We request that all participants bring a face mask. 
  • We provide hand-sanitiser.
  • We provide bottled water, however it’s also cool to bring your own drink bottle.

Times & Pickups

Each tour session starts at ~10am and returns ~6pm. For private tours you can change any aspect of your tour just by chatting with us.

Private Tours

Include a free pickup and drop off from any address in one of the following postcodes:

  • Melbourne: 3000, 3002, 3003, 3004, 3005, 3006, 3008, 3010, 3050, 3051, 3052, 3053, 3054, 3065, 3066, 3067, 3068, 3111, 3127, 3128, 3129, 3131, 3132, 3134, 3135, 3138, 3140, 3141, 3205, 3206, 3207.
  • Yarra Valley: 3770, 3775, 3777.

We can also pick you up at an address in the following postcodes for a fee of $65 per booking

  • Melbourne : 3011, 3013, 3015, 3016, 3031, 3032, 3039, 3055, 3056, 3057, 3070, 3071, 3078, 3079, 3101, 3102, 3103, 3104, 3105, 3109, 3114, 3116, 3121, 3122, 3123, 3124, 3125, 3126, 3130, 3133, 3136, 3142, 3143, 3144, 3145, 3146, 3147, 3152, 3153, 3161, 3181, 3182, 3183, 3184, 3796.

Public Tours

Pickup from these central, convenient locations:

  • Melbourne CBD – Forum Theatre Side Entrance – 5 Russell Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Melbourne CBD, Southbank, Docklands accommodation.
  • Ringwood Train Station (Eastland Side) – 163 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood VIC 3134
  • Healesville – Cherry Tree Cafe – 246 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC 3777.

Dress code

  • There is no dress code.
  • You can wear your dress thongs. Please note though that if a venue invite us into a back of house area, closed shoes are generally required. You can just stay outside with a drink though, up to you. This brings us to the next item…
  • To be honest, we don’t care what you wear, however, some venues we visit might. Singlets (on guys) or offensive clothing may mean you’re refused entry, so stick to sleeves and civility. Which brings us nicely too…
  • Take into consideration what you might get up to post-tour when you get dressed in the morning. And don’t forget…
  • We operate rain, hail or shine. Most venues have indoor and outdoor areas and we use each appropriately, but please take the weather into consideration and dress like a local. Remember, Melbourne has 4 seasons most days!

Daily itineraries

Aussie Brewery Tours love flexible touring, free from time constraints and overbearing guides. Our tours are about generous tastings followed by soaking up the atmosphere of each venue with a glass of your new favourite drink in hand. 

We have always run small group tours, so we can cruise around at our own pace. It’s time to leave for our next destination when there are more empty glasses than full glasses.

  • Mondays – The Likely Suspects: Watts River Brewing; Coldstream Brewery (lunch); St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery; Four Pillars Gin. Possible: Matilda Bay; Helen and Joey Winery; Meletos / Punt Road.
  • Tuesdays – Not operating: Contact us for an itinerary.
  • Wednesdays – The Likely Suspects: Meletos / Punt Road; Coldstream Brewery (lunch); Four Pillars Gin; The Public Brewery Possible: Matilda Bay; Helen and Joey Winery.
  • Thursdays – The Likely Suspects: Watts River Brewing; Coldstream Brewery (lunch), St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery; Alchemy Distillery. Possible: Four Pillars Gin; Matilda Bay; Helen and Joey Winery; Meletos / Punt Road; The Public Brewery.
  • Fridays – The Likely Suspects: Watts River Brewing; Coldstream Brewery (lunch), St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery; Alchemy Distillery. Possible: Four Pillars Gin; Matilda Bay; Helen and Joey Winery; Meletos / Punt Road; The Public Brewery.
  • Saturdays – The Likely Suspects: Watts River Brewing; Coldstream Brewery (lunch), St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery; Alchemy Distillery. Possible: Four Pillars Gin; Matilda Bay; Helen and Joey Winery; Meletos / Punt Road; The Public Brewery.
  • Sundays – The Likely Suspects: Watts River Brewing; Coldstream Brewery (lunch), St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery; Alchemy Distillery. Possible: Four Pillars Gin; Matilda Bay; Helen and Joey Winery; Meletos / Punt Road; The Public Brewery.

Example menu

We can cater for vegetarians, vegans and most dietary and allergy needs. Drop us a line if your requirements are very specific. The following is an example of a menu from this tour. Please note the restaurant we visit changes their menu almost daily, so please use this as an example only:

  • brewery burger: 150g ground beef burger with aioli, lettuce, tomato, pickles, bacon, cheese sauce, caramelized onion, fried egg served with fries (gf on request).
  • southern fried chicken burger: spiced chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese, jalapenos & spiced aioli served with fries.
  • veggie burger: house-made veggie pattie topped with cheese, lettuce, fresh tomato, egg, picked vegetables, caramelized onion & aioli served with fries (vegan and gf on request).
  • pulled pork burger: 13 hr slow cooked bbq pork burger, with cheese sauce, slaw, curry infused aioli served with fries (gf on request).
  • chicken parma: crumbed chicken breast with Napoli, shaved ham, 3 cheese blend with chips & salad.
  • pulled pork parma: crumbed chicken breast with bbq sauce, pulled pork & cheese with chips and salad.
  • crispy skin barramundi: crispy-skinned barramundi served with vegetable rosti, chorizo aioli, olive tapenade and a citrus sweet leaf salad (gf).
  • gnocchi: served with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, finished with parmesan, roquette and walnuts.
  • pizza – margherita: Napoli base, buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes finished with fresh basil & fresh cracked pepper (veg).
  • pizza – mushroom: garlic base, roasted mushroom, buffalo mozzarella finished with rocket & truffle oil (veg).
  • pizza – roasted pumpkin: garlic base with roasted pumpkin, buffalo mozzarella, finished with house marinated feta, basil pesto, sumac salt, balsamic glaze & rocket (veg).
  • pizza – bbq meatlovers: smokey bbq base with salami, chorizo, bacon, beef capsicum, red onion, buffalo mozzarella finished with sweet paprika salt, parsley & honey.
  • pizza – maple bourbon: Napoli base, red onion, pork, bacon, buffalo mozzarella finished with maple bourbon sauce and parsley.

Terms and conditions

Aussie Brewery Tours will always act professionally and be fair and transparent with all of our business dealings. We have the correct insurances and licences to operate. On tour, we want you to drink as much as you want, sing, laugh, dance and be merry, but please, please don’t be a d!ckhead! Below is some extra information regarding fees, taxes, bank charges, legal conditions, cancellation policies, how much our lawyer charges us, insurances, licences, charity donations and how not to be a d!ckhead please continue…

Our full terms and conditions, FAQ and support team, via the live chat, email or phone, are a valuable source of information.

Payments

  • Our secure payment facility accepts Mastercard, Visa and American Express (Paypal coming soon). 
  • During checkout, you can pay 100% of the tour or a 30% deposit with the balance due on the day (cash or card).
  • All prices include a 6-25% booking fee, 3% merchant fee and 10% goods and services tax (GST).
  • Online agents (Red Ballon, Adrenaline, Viator, Tripadvisor, Expedia, etc) take between 25-35% commission to take your booking. That money is better off as value-added into your tour. Booking direct with us will allow us to always give you the best customer service, the best refund policies and add more value to each tour including more inclusions and free pickups.

Cancellation policy

Public event cancellation or rebooking (changing date) policy is:

  1. Between 0 and 48 hours from the event, 45% refund.
  2. Between 48 hours and 4 days from the event, 80% refund.
  3. Greater than 4 days – full refund minus any accrued bank/booking/merchant fees and charges.
  4. All public events require a minimum number to run. If we do not meet the minimum number of participants, we reserve the right to cancel your booking. In the event we cancel a booking, we will issue you a full refund or reissue and extension of gift cards.
  5. We reserve the right to cancel any public tour event if we reasonably believe that it can not operate safely (bushfires, zombies, etc).
  6. If we receive late cancellations, we reserve the right to cancel the entire tour if it falls under the minimum numbers.

Please also see the COVID-19 section for COVID specific policies

COVID19

COVID-19 didn’t really change how we operate. We always work hard to ensure every tour and event we run is exceptional, safe, hygienic, and we work with the best venues in the country, each one operating to a very high standard. We will always refund you if government restrictions limit our ability to operate legally and safely and we will always be sensible, well-trained and well-informed of our obligations as your hosts. 

Public Tours:

  1. If you contact us within 20 hours of the tour starting with symptoms, we will refund you in full – nobody likes sick people and I don’t care how cool you are, yuck!
  2. If you have tested positive to COVID19 within 2 weeks of your tour, we would refund you in full.

Private tours:

  1. We would refund you in full if we receive evidence that your group or the larger portion of the group has been placed in quarantine – and also send you and your friends a few cases of beer for quarantine!
  2. For individuals within the tour, we would also refund them if they tested positive to COVID19 or showed symptoms with and contacted us within no later than 12 hours from the event.

We are following the advice of:

Behaviour

Antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will ensure that you are removed from society if you display any…

  • We enjoy a few shenanigans as much as the next person; we take people cruising around drinking for a living. We are yet to have any unacceptable behaviour on tour, however, on behalf of our brewery and venue partners, we ask that you behave in an appropriate and respectful manner throughout your event.
  • We have a strict no-drinking policy on the bus, this is in accordance with state alcohol laws. We will, however, drive you from venue to venue and, no surprises here, none of the places we have visited have ever run out of things to drink! We have also never heard the words “I didn’t get to drink enough today” after one of our tours.
  • All our venues adhere to Responsible Serving of Alcohol (RSA) laws. If you are asked to leave a venue for inappropriate behaviour, the tour is over. 

The stunning Yarra Valley

No matter how many times we visit, it will never get old and we will never lose sight of just how lucky we are to have it only an hour from the centre of Melbourne. It is diverse too and was one of the first regions in Victoria where you could visit a quality winery, brewery, cidery and distillery in an afternoon after an amazing lunch.

Whilst we started as a brewery tour company, we soon realised that we just loved people who were creating something new, interesting, fun and unconventional. If it tastes good, pairs well with family and friends and makes you dance and love better, Aussie Brewery Tours is all about it. It wasn’t long before we added in some cideries, distilleries, fruit wineries, fine dining restaurants and even made friends with a few wineries. 

We were proud to help drive a new direction in how a winery/foodie/brewery tour was run. Because it is no longer 1996, we promise this isn’t a tour of mini-tastings, followed by a sales pitch and pressure to join the wine club. We run small-group (2-13 people) drinking and eating tours where we hunt out the most innovative craft beer, cider, artisan spirits and other unique boozy products we can find. We believe in giant tastings and don’t skimp on the top shelf stuff. After we taste, we drink, and the drinks are on us! Main meal sized food is always included, we train our guides well, have great relationships with the venues and love flexible touring where we mix up your day, based on what you are enjoying. 

Oh, and we never ever rush, there is plenty of time for life later.

Our current venue partners include Coldstream Brewery; Watts River, St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery, Alchemy Distillery, Four Pillars, Matilda Bay, Meletos, Punt Road Wines, Helen and Joey, The Public Brewery, Riders Brewing Co & Kellybrothers cider @ Kellybrook Winery & Chandon, The Grand. We regularly seek out and add new venue partners.