White Rabbit

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, the Dark Ale, soon afterwards picked up a gold at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards. A second beer was introduced that year too: a honey-conditioned White Ale inspired by Belgian witbiers that has, like the Dark Ale, steadily evolved over time.

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 rare 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 was originally located next to the Giant Steps / Innocent Bystander winery's impressive cellar door, in Healesville, but, as of 2015, was relocated to Geelong. There it shares a site with the Little Creatures brewery and, as well as brewing some of the White Rabbit beers (those that haven't outgrown its capacity) the brewery that was moved from the Yarra Valley has been joined by a barrel room. The brewers at Healesville always liked to play around with barrel ageing and experimental versions of their core beers and now have a large collection of oak with which to do so, with the barrels forming part of the brewery's new educational visitor centre.

The Dark and White were joined in 2014 by a third core beer. The Belgian style Pale Ale had been trialled in various forms on tap at Little Creatures' venues before they settled on the lightly fruity number available nationwide now. Expect to see more limited release oddities appear from the Geelong barrel room.

White Rabbit

221 Swanston Street
VIC 3220


The Regulars

White Rabbit "Belgian style" Pale Ale

While regular visitors to the brewery in Healesville and the Little Creatures Dining Hall in Fitzroy will be aware that there is a steady stream of often experimental tiny batch beers coming out of White Rabbit, it has been a while ' three years in fact ' since they added a beer to their core range of Dark and White. Among those tiny batches has been a number of beers that have loosely played around with the Belgian pale ale style and thus it is that the third White Rabbit year-round beer is this "Belgian style" Pale Ale. Described as a meeting of old school and new, it's a beer that pours a brilliant copper in the glass with subtle herbal aromas that are joined by a touch of fruitiness once it warms. There's some caramel sweetness to taste, with the Belgian influence adding much in the way of spiciness and helping create a distinctly dry finish. ··· Read more
Belgian Pale Ale

White Rabbit Dark Ale

A beer that has been tweaked and refined over its lifespan to become one of the best dark beers in Australia, as evidenced by its gold medal in the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards. A welcoming floral aroma derived from the hop flowers used in the brewery's hop back and the addition of hops into the tank after fermentation draws you in to a smooth, rich, malt-driven beer full of dark chocolate and light roast characteristics with fruity esters from the open fermentation and a solid bitter finish. ··· Read more
Dark Ale

White Rabbit White Ale

The second beer from the Healesville brewery is their take on the traditional Belgian witbier style. It's a fairly restrained recreation, given a touch of both sweetness and dryness from the addition of honey in the kettle. These beers have a history stretching back centuries to the days monks played with spices and fruits in their beers. Here, you'll find hints of coriander, juniper berry and bitter orange that lend themselves to a welcoming, fruity aroma, particularly when sampled in draft form. ··· Read more

The Specials

White Rabbit Porter

One of the side benefits of Little Creatures opening its new base in Geelong is that White Rabbit Dark Ale will now be brewed into open fermenters there, opening up capacity at Rabbit's Healesville home. This will allow Jeremy and his team of brewers to take some of the frequent mini-experiments they carry out onto a far larger scale. Visitors to the cellar door or the Little Creatures Dining Hall in Brunswick will have come across all manner of weird and wonderful things in kegs and firkins, with the Porter the latest. There were only a few kegs brewed (and we're a little lax in popping this up so there may be little of those left), but should you find some we're told it "has a fairly solid hopping with whole New Zealand Pacifica and Rakau, and the malt backbone is comprised of pale, Munich, Midnight wheat, roast barley and a touch of dark crystal." The beer has been barrel fermented with the same English ale strain as the brewery's dark ale in "a little bit of French oak but not too much". ··· Read more
Barrel Fermented Porter

Released Wed Dec 11 2013


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