Southern Bay Brewing

In 2012, a new brewery entered the Australian craft beer scene. Except it wasn't new at all. In fact, it had been around nearly 25 years and some of its brewing equipment was much older. Yet it was still a new face on the scene. Confused? Then let us explain...

Southern Bay Brewing has been operating in one form or another since the late 1980s. Predominantly it was known as a contract brewery, using its large brewhouse and unique tanks and packaging setup to brew beers for companies across the country. It also brewed a couple of its own beers, but nothing you'd call craft. Then things changed.

The brewery was rebranded, the brewers were tasked to come up with new beers like the eminently quaffable Southern Ocean Ale, and then they brought in Steve "Hendo" Henderson from Prickly Moses on a mission "to make better beer, not more beer". The first fruits of his endeavours arrived mid-2012 in the shape of the Metalhead Porter and Requiem Pilsner, beers now produced by a new brewing team headed up by former Grand Ridge head brewer Phil Rutjens.

The result is a brewery that still brews dozens of beers for others but which is placing a greater focus on its own. For the time being the beers are brewed on a truly unique setup that features, among other things, a towering wood clad lauter tun purchased from the Corio Distillery, rectangular fermentation tanks (great for dry-hopping apparently) and various other pieces of machinery that would decorate any brewing museum.

If everything goes to plan they could well be in a museum soon too as the next stage in the rebirth of Southern Bay is set to involve the building of a brand new brewery on the site. Watch this space...

Southern Bay Brewing

80 Point Henry Rd
VIC 3224

(03) 5248 5710

Cellar door sales:
Mon to Fri: 8:30am to 4:30pm


By appointment only

The Regulars

Southern Bay Hop Bazooka

How many beers start off as a t-shirt? Not too many, we'd wager, but not long after head brewer Hendo started at Southern Bay, the name Hop Bazooka was conjured and said t-shirts soon followed. And, with the brewing team being signed up hop lovers, it was only a matter of time before the beer followed. As you'd imagine, Bazza (as we're naming it for short) is a hop heavy affair, an American style IPA which the brewers say is "bursting with resinous hop flavour and aroma that often strikes the senses with layers of tropical fruit and passionfruit." It features the big-hitting Citra, Galaxy and Stella hops, they reckon it's perfect for cutting thirst on a warming spring afternoon and who are we to argue? What's more, it's a beer that proved so popular as a limited release it's now part of their permanent range. ··· Read more
American IPA

Southern Bay

Randall's Geelong


Purvis Beer Richmond

Brunswick St IGA

Odyssey Tavern


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Released Wed Oct 10 2012

Southern Bay Southern Ocean Ale

One of the first beers to appear after the rebranding and one that looks set to stay for a long time. It's their take on the American Pale Ale style and a tasty one at that, offering up some tropical fruity notes on the nose and plenty of sweet caramel and nutty malt flavours in the mouth. There's a pretty full body too and enough bitterness to counteract the sweetness of the malts and entice you back for more. ··· Read more
Pale Ale

Southern Bay Metal Head Porter - Archived

New head brewer Hendo didn't waste much time putting his stamp on the beers from Southern Bay, swiftly concocting the biggest dark beer to go through the brewery in partnership with his brewing team. Packed with darker malts, although very little from the roastier end of the scale, it's low on bitterness and high on the sweeter side of things, such as chocolate, mocha and burnt caramel. ··· Read more

Southern Bay Requiem Pilsner

This pilsner - or "uber pale pilsner" - is Southern Bay's attempt to create a lager of interest to the craft beer world. Against a background of pale malts they've lined up three takes on the Hallertau hop variety: the original from Germany and a couple of its descendants from New Zealand and Oz. The result is a beer with light floral, spicy hop aromas, sweet, biscuity malt and citrus flavours and a bitterness that's gentle for the style. ··· Read more

The Specials

Southern Bay G-Town Brown

Last year saw Southern Bay's brewing team impress with a couple of fine seasonals. Taking time out from brewing for other brands as well as their more straightforward core range, Phil Rutjens and colleagues produced a luscious Vanilla Oatmeal Stout some had down as their best of the year as well as one of the better takes on a Belgian IPA we've come across on these shores. Their run of fine limited releases continues with the G-Town Brown, an American brown ale that pays homage to the brewery's hometown of Geelong (or G-Town or Geetroit, whichever you prefer). It ticks the boxes required of the style by keeping things pretty simple. Juicy malts from New Zealand give it its deep brown colour and Milo head, its soft, creamy cocoa, Ovaltine and chocolate aromas and its toasted flavours. US hops Cascade and Centennial chime in with some piney hops on the nose then contribute much more to the flavour: a touch of sticky citrus and ripe pineapple, as well as the building bitterness. Three for ··· Read more
American Brown Ale

And select beer venues and bottleshops in Victoria

Released Wed Mar 23 2016

Southern Bay White IPA

If you've visited Southern Bay's brewery outside Geelong, you'll be aware that it's one of the more idiosyncratic in the land. Wander through the sheds and you'll find various bits of repurposed steel, horizontal fermenters that look like prison cells from a lo-fi Eastern European sci-fi movie from the early 1970s and pieces of machinery that make the experience akin to a journey into brewing's past. Yet, in recent years, brewers at the brewery that still makes more beer for other brewers than itself have been seeing how far they can push the Old Lady. During Hendo BrewCult's stint as head brewer, they got a reasonably beefy porter out of her as well as the fine IPA Hop Bazooka. Now under Phil Rutjens' stewardship, they've been pushing things a little further still and achieving some impressive results. A Vanilla Oatmeal Stout released earlier this year wowed judges at a blind tasting we held earlier in the year and we expect the latest limited release to find favour too. This time around ··· Read more
White IPA
60 IBU

Littlefoot (Footscray)

Birmingham Hotel (Fitzroy)

Chas Coles Cellarbrations (Geelong)

Grovedale Hotel

Castlemaine Wine Store

Jack's Cellarbrations (Ballarat)

Bottles and Barrels (Geelong)

Barwon Heads Wine Store

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Released Fri Oct 9 2015

Southern Bay Brewery Vanilla Oatmeal Stout

Southern Bay's brewery is one of the largest in the Aussie micro world and is responsible for producing a wide range of beers for other brewing companies as well as those bearing its own name. As such, you don't tend to see much in the way of limited releases from the Geelong based brew crew. But occasionally they do get to experiment, such as when they created a one-off keg for a beer festival. With the beer never originally intended for commercial release, the brewers claim it was "brewed without limitation", the result being this rich, dark ale that crams eight specialty malts, oatmeal and vanilla into the mix. It's a combo that creates an aroma not dissimilar to the creamiest of Swiss milk chocolates and a similarly luscious taste – with a touch of Nutella – but with a high enough carbonation to prevent it becoming cloying. It reminds you it's a stout after all at the end as a roasty bitterness comes gatecrashing the party late (but politely). ··· Read more
Vanilla Oatmeal Stout

Aireys Pub

Barwon Heads Winestore

Corkscrew Cellars Torquay

Melbourne stockists to follow

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Released Mon Jun 29 2015

Southern Bay Summergalactic Belgian Blonde

You'll have to make an effort to get your hands on the latest limited release from Southern Bay, or at least be attending the right festivals this summer. The first chance to get your hands on the Summergalactic Belgian Blonde will be this weekend at the Bendigo Craft Beer Festival and, following that, the remainder of the kegs will only be pulled out for the other Victorian festivals they're attending: Willy Beer Fest, Ballarat Beer Festival and the Great Australian Beer Festival in Geelong. Well, it is a summer beer, after all. The beer itself, which comes with a decal that suggests it was a good winter for shroom hunters around Geelong, is one that's been given a "traditional backbone", so expect lighter malt and spicy yeast characteristics that allow the Aussie Summer (think soft melon) and Galaxy hops to shine. The booze has been kept pretty restrained compared to many traditional Belgian Blondes with head brewer Phil Rutjens saying the intention was to craft something that ··· Read more
Belgian Blonde

Bendigo Craft Beer Festival

Willy Beer Fest

Ballarat Beer Festival

Great Australian Beer Festival Geelong

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Released Sat Nov 15 2014

Southern Bay Buzz Marzen

It's the time of year when nobody can get enough of all beers German. So, hot on the heels of their coffee stout, comes a beer inspired by the country's south from one of Australia's most southerly breweries. The Buzz Marzen is their take on the festive lagers that have been consumed by the Edith Maersk in recent weeks worldwide and as such is built upon nothing by German malts: pilsner, Vienna, Munich and more. That said, there's a twist. It's hinted at in the name: Buzz, with the addition of local honey from the You Yangs region adding, says brewer Phil Rutjens, "yet another layer of intrigue and enjoyment to the rich depth of malt character expected from this style." ··· Read more


Vue Grand, Queenscliff

Odyssey Tavern, Mt Duneed

Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet

Raccoon Club, Thornbury

Birmingham Hotel, Fitzroy

Young and Jackson's, Melbourne Grape and Grain, Moorabin

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Released Tue Oct 21 2014

Southern Bay / Cartel Mr B.I.G.S.

The brewers down at Southern Bay are planning to have a little fun. They're launching what will be a semi-regular (or irregular if you prefer), keg-only releases that could be as little as a single keg or could be a dozen, and they're doing it with a collaboration that has quite the genesis story. They hooked up with award-winning local roasters Cartel and set about conjuring something that would make the most of the beverages each are renowned for brewing. The result is Mr B.I.G.S. (Belgian Inspired Guji Stout), which features cold drip extract from Guji Kercha beans sourced from Ethiopia. It's a bean that we're told has berry fruit characteristics, which were specially selected to complement the malt bill and the fruitiness of the beer's Belgian yeast strain, along with all manner of nut, cocoa, molasses and rose characteristics. On the brewers' side, they piled more malt into the mash tun than ever before at the brewery followed by enough hops to block the heat exchanger... As for how ··· Read more
Belgian Coffee Stout

Bended - Yarra St, Geelong

Vue Grand

Young & Jackson

Raccoon Club - Plenty Rd, Preston

Deja Vu

You will also find two kegs at Bendigo on the Hop at the Shamrock Hote

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Released Tue Jul 22 2014

Southern Bay Lone Sailor

Victoria's Southern Bay returns to its nautical roots with its latest seasonal release. The Lone Sailor is one that has done something of a round the world trip, with the brewers sourcing a wide range of malts from New Zealand and Europe to create this multilayered amber ale. Gladfields, from across the ditch in New Zealand, supply five different varieties with a dash of rye malt from Germany's Weyermann included to add a touch of spice to the mix. According to the team at Southern Bay, even the creation of the beer led to "the most amazing aromas in the brewhouse". This wall of malt has been kept in check with the use of American Simcoe hops, while the use of an English ale yeast should add a touch of fruitiness to the mix. The result is, we are told, "a beautiful mahogany colour with layer upon layer of interesting malt character." All of which sounds delightful ' perhaps the Lone Sailor on the label should tuck into a couple himself and raise a smileâ?¦ ··· Read more
Amber Ale
32 IBU

Southern Bay direct

Venues TBC

Released Fri Apr 4 2014

Southern Bay Le Petit Tronc

Given this beer is a Saison, a beer with its origins in France and Belgium, one assumed that the "Tronc" in question was some sort of weird reference to a trunk. However, it is instead a reference to the departed head brewer from Little Creatures, Alex Troncoso, who is off to ply his trade at the Camden Town Brewery in London. It turns out that Alex is good mates with another Alex, who is one of the brewers at Southern Bay. Not just one of the brewers at Southern Bay, however, but the one who won last year's in-house "Southern Bay Super Summer Saison Smackdown" in which all of the brewery team made a small batch of a Saison with the the best one being brewed as the brewery's next seasonal. So what is this farewell nod to the former Little Creatures Brewer? According to head brewer Hendo, it is "the first non-lager or pale ale that SBBC has ever brewed. Turns out we have an old tank outside our fermentation cellar which lacks any temperature control - this was ideal ··· Read more


Carlton Cellars

Village Brasserie (ex-Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone)

East Of Everything


[Purvis Cellars](/beer/bottleshop/purvis-beer/

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Released Sat Jan 19 2013


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