The Wheaty

Ask well travelled Aussie beer lovers for their favourite craft beer bars and the chances are The Wheaty's going to feature high – if not first – on their list. Leading the way for better beer in Adelaide since 2003, when it was launched by avowed hopheads Jade Flavell, Emily Trott and Liz O'Dea, who turned a rather shambolic "country pub in the city" into a true craft beer haven.

Initially, they spent three months renovating it and replacing the beer system themselves but, in all honesty, it's been a renovation of sorts that's continued ever since and will continue to do so; as Jade Flavell – now the sole owner after Liz left the business and Trotty passed away from cancer – puts it, there's always something you can be doing better. 

For the first decade-and-a-bit after they took control, it become one of very few places where you could find a truly dazzling array of wonderfully curated beers, both local and imported and independent too – long before indie beer became such a big thing. 

It achieved its notoriety without having a food offering to speak of – the kitchen had been coming "soonish" for more than ten years before they accepted it would totally change the vibe of the place. Instead, there's a steady stream of food trucks that rotate just like the taps inside. It allows The Wheaty to concentrate on the magic of malt – not just across the taps, a hand pump and diverse can and bottle list, but also in the shape of whiskies. And we're talking weird and wonderful whiskies: unusual releases from established distilleries, bottles from producers you've probably never heard of, malts from Australian microdistilleries, Swedish and Japanese whiskies, plus tastings led by visiting producers that regularly attract up to 80 guests.

They were early adopters of collaborations, with Jade inviting brewers to get creative on her 50 litre homebrew kit, and often launch new beers three ways: through a regular tap, on the handpump and through the Glasshopper. As they put it: "Retro-fitting, retro-fixing, or retro-fucking as the case may be." Then there are festivals such as the annual Good Beer Wheaty spin-off from Good Beer Week in May and Thebartonia, which brings 4,000 people to the 'burb every February.

If that's not enough to entice you to visit, there's also a small but lovingly curated wine list focusing on local winemakers and live music in the shed out the back four nights a week. It's normally kept pretty chilled - think alt country / bluegrass - but don't be surprised if you walk in and find a balalaika ensemble giving it some love.

In 2014, they opened their brewing arm, the Wheaty Brewing Corps where ideas for beer could be tested in earnest. Rather than relying on a core range, WBC beers are broken down into regulars, not so regulars and one-offs. They've been prolific from the off, the 600L brewhouse putting out 44 different beers before the brewery's first birthday and branching out to everything from casks to barrel ageing. 

Their collaboration – "spooning" as it's affectionately known – has gone up a gear too, with every passing brewer stopping in to lend a hand in the brewhouse, showcase their beer in the pub and share a drink or three with punters. The calibre of guests you can expect to see is a who's who of the Aussie scene with a smattering of international guests like Sierra Nevada, To Øl, Magic Rock, Sixpoint, Tiny Rebel and more.

The brewery has been expanded over time, with Fermentation Alley allowing for more tanks and thus more beer and beers, hardly any of which pour outside the brewery. A container bar that opens seasonally in their ever-evolving beer garden boosts the number of beers they can offer at any one time too.

The launch of the Wheaty Brewing Corps saw the pub switch from serving the best local and international beers to mostly their in-house brews; not all of their long-term fans were initially overjoyed at the decision, but it didn't take long for Jade and her brewers to prove their brewing chops – the Champion Small Brewery at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards adding weight to their decision.

As well as fulfilling a long-held dream of running a brewpub rather than just a pub, it also ensured The Wheaty keeps offering something you can't get elsewhere. Now, with other SA pubs offering rotating lineups of local and international beer, this keeps them in the unique territory they've always occupied.

Just a kilometre or two from Adelaide's CBD, The Wheaty remains an absolute must for any beer aficionado passing through – and something of an addiction for those that live there.

The Wheaty

39 George Street
SA 5031

(08) 8443 4546
Regular events

January: Font of Tartness 40+ wild/sour/farmhouse beers
May: Good Beer Wheaty
July: Font of Darkness 40+ dark beers
September: Font of Hoppiness 40+ hoppy beers

Open Hours

Mon to Fri: 1pm to midnight
Saturday: midday to midnight
Sunday: midday to 9pm
Public hols: 1pm to 9pm

This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

Regularly featured brewers

Barrow Boys Barrow Boys

Barrow Boys

PO Box 541
North Melbourne
VIC 3051

Big Shed Brewing Concern Big Shed Brewing Concern

Big Shed Brewing Concern

1154 Old Port Road
Royal Park
SA 5014

Bridge Road Brewers Bridge Road Brewers

Bridge Road Brewers

Old Coach House
Ford Street
Beechworth VIC 3747

Cavalier Brewing Cavalier Brewing

Cavalier Brewing

Unit 8/2 Derrimut Drive
VIC 3030

Feral Brewing (CCA) Feral Brewing (CCA)

Feral Brewing (CCA)

152 Haddrill Road
WA 6056

Fixation Brewing Co Fixation Brewing Co

Fixation Brewing Co

414 Smith Street
VIC 3066

Hargreaves Hill Hargreaves Hill

Hargreaves Hill

Factory 60
64-86 Beresford Road
Lilydale 3140

Hawkers Beer Hawkers Beer

Hawkers Beer

167 Henty Street
VIC 3073

Hobart Brewing Company Hobart Brewing Company

Hobart Brewing Company

16 Evans Street
Macquarie Point
TAS 7000

Kooinda Brewery Kooinda Brewery

Kooinda Brewery

28 Culverlands St
VIC 3081

Little Creatures (Kirin) Little Creatures (Kirin)

Little Creatures (Kirin)

40 Mews Road
WA 6160

Lobethal Bierhaus Lobethal Bierhaus

Lobethal Bierhaus

3a Main Street

Modus Operandi Modus Operandi

Modus Operandi

14 Harkeith Street
Mona Vale
NSW 2103

Moo Brew Moo Brew

Moo Brew

76a Cove Hill Road Bridgewater
TAS 7030

Mornington Peninsula Brewery (Tribe) Mornington Peninsula Brewery (Tribe)

Mornington Peninsula Brewery (Tribe)

Mountain Goat (Asahi) Mountain Goat (Asahi)

Mountain Goat (Asahi)

80 North Street Richmond

Murray's Murray's


3443 Nelson Bay Rd
Bobs Farm
NSW 2316

Nail Brewing Nail Brewing

Nail Brewing

323 Collier Road
WA 6054

Nomad Brewing Nomad Brewing

Nomad Brewing

5 Sydenham Road
NSW 2100

Pirate Life (Asahi) Pirate Life (Asahi)

Pirate Life (Asahi)

18 Baker Street
Port Adelaide
SA 5015

Smiling Samoyed Smiling Samoyed

Smiling Samoyed

48 Main South Rd
SA 5202

Stone & Wood Stone & Wood

Stone & Wood

100 Centennial Circuit
Byron Bay
NSW 2481

Temple Brewing Temple Brewing

Temple Brewing

122 Weston Street
East Brunswick
VIC 3057

Van Dieman Van Dieman

Van Dieman

537 White Hills Road
TAS 7258

Wheaty Brewing Corps Wheaty Brewing Corps

Wheaty Brewing Corps

39 George Street
SA 5031

Woolshed Brewery Woolshed Brewery

Woolshed Brewery

65 Wilkinson Road
SA 5341