Little Creatures' little brother White Rabbit opened in the Yarra Valley in 2009, promising to bring the expertise that created modern Aussie classics like Little Creatures Pale Ale from the West Coast to Victoria. The brewery's launch beer ' their Dark Ale - has since been refined so successfully it picked up a gold at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards. A second beer was introduced in 2010: a honey-conditioned White Ale made in the traditional Belgian witbier style, created by head brewer Jeremy Halse, formerly of Matilda Bay.
Designed around two custom built 5,000l open fermentation tanks and decorated with imagery from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, the White Rabbit approach to brewing is unique in Australia. Once a brew is completed, the wort is transferred to these open top fermenters where the yeast is added and allowed to go to work making beer unconstrained by the closed containers used in most other breweries. There's no risk of infection as the tanks are kept in a controlled environment filled with filtered air while the benefits of this centuries old method are the creation of unique complexities in the beer and greater flexibility in the management of yeasts.
The brewery is found next to Giant Steps winery's impressive cellar door, in Healesville, where you can sample both beers alongside other craft beers and delicious, fresh food produced onsite. Better still, sink into one of the comfy chairs next to the brewery's own bar where you'll find tiny batch beers on offer. White Rabbit's offerings are also on tap alongside the Little Creatures range at the vast Little Creatures Dining Hall, in Fitzroy, and at its brewery in Geelong.