In 2011, the Weldborough Hotel beat the likes of world famous Cradle Mountain to the title of Tourism Initiative of the Year – not bad for a country pub that’s nowhere near anywhere in particular. And what was the reason for the award? Beer. Or, more accurately, beer and cider, with new owners turning the hilltop inn into a home for every microbrewery and boutique cider producer in Tasmania.
Blessed with a stunning location in the middle of the forests of north east Tasmania – and an equally stunning beer garden – it had nevertheless been allowed to become just another tired country pub with little to distinguish it from the others in a part of the world popular with hikers, bikers and backpackers. Then new owners took over in August 2009 and set about renovating both the building and the selection behind the bar. Soon, where there had been a single Boag’s tap, there were offerings from the state’s growing collection of craft breweries; before long, every single one was represented and the number of taps was on the rise.
They didn’t stop there, however. Now, accompanying the beers is a dazzling array of information about Tassie’s small scale producers, from maps and guides telling you how to find them to images and posters on the walls that hang alongside old photos and drawings of the hotel that connect it to its past.
Adding to the Weldborough’s appeal are its “No TAB, no Tote, no TV” policy, three fires for the colder months, and classic pub grub on the menu. It also offers a wide range of accommodation, from campsite spots that start from just $5 a night through to bunkhouses and rooms in the inn itself. Little wonder the Lonely Planet declared: “Beer enthusiasts, don’t miss this place.”