White Rabbit (Lion)

In 2014, White Rabbit's owner Lion announced that the brewery's original home in Healesville was to close. The operation was to move to the site already occupied by big sibling brewery Little Creatures in Geelong.

Despite the fact the brewery was to continue operating, there were still noises around the beer world that this was a sign of a change for the worse – an inevitable change for a microbrewery now under major brewery ownership. Would the unique physical brewery be retained or would White Rabbit merely become another brand within the Lion empire, with beers brewed at whichever brewery had a suitable capacity; after all, its more popular beers were already brewed offsite to meet ever-growing capacity.

While the May 2015 date for the opening of the new brewery was missed, by the end of that year the new brewery was open. And no one could deny that the new home was impressive. Part brewery, part barrel room, part educational visitor centre, it's one the makes full use of the greater space available in the old Geelong factories.

The open fermenters installed when the original site opened in 2009 are still there, as are key members of the brewing team, who are now focusing much of their attention on taking the sort of experiments they were carrying out on a tiny scale in Healesville into larger dimensions: well over 100 barrels are filled with beers that will result in, among other things, lambic and Berliner Weisse style ales.

The references to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland have been retained, along with the core range of three. The first release was the Dark Ale, a beer that took out gold at the Australian International Beer Awards within its first year, followed by the witbier-inspired White Ale and a lightly fruity and spicy Belgian pale ale.

That trio continues to do the volume shifting, but it will be elsewhere that those looking for pointier end beers will be focusing. Indeed, it's easy to wonder whether White Rabbit's significant exploration of oak and fermentation could end up playing the sort of role that Little Creatures' Pale did for hops in Australia, by bringing the niche in front of a more mainstream audience.

Name
White Rabbit (Lion)
Address

221 Swanston Street
Geelong
VIC 3220

Open Hours

Sun to Thurs: 11am to 5pm
Fri & Sat: 11am to 9pm

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

White Rabbit (Lion) Regulars

White Rabbit Golden Sour Ale

Tapped May 8th, 2020
Not long after Boatrocker opened the doors to their Barrel Room, the first of its kind in Australia, White Rabbit opened theirs in Geelong. Yet, while the former's barrel-aged delights have become some of the most talked about and sought after of their ilk on these shores, those from the latter haven't created as much noise. This despite the fact there have been some quality Flanders red style beers, complex Berliner Weisse and so on released over the years. Maybe it's down to the fact White Rabbit… Read more
Style
Hoppy Golden Sour
ABV
4.7%

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
Style
Witbier
ABV
4.5%

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… Read more
Style
Dark Ale
ABV
4.9%
Awards

Gold Medal - 2010 Australian International Beer Awards

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… Read more
Style
Belgian Pale Ale
ABV
4.9%

White Rabbit (Lion) Specials

White Rabbit & Pana Organic Chocolate Stout 2020

Tapped March 30th, 2020
It feels like Easter, as with pretty much everything else other than adjusting temporarily to a new way of life, is cancelled for 2020. But if you feel like getting in the mood (well, the mood that involves chocolate, bunnies and hunts rather than murder and alleged resurrection, at least) then there are still brewers out there keen to lend a hand. White Rabbit have been putting out a chocolate stout in cahoots with Pana Organic for a few years now and their 2020 version – brewed with cacao from… Read more
Style
Chocolate Stout
ABV
5.6%

White Rabbit Jackalope

Tapped January 15th, 2020
The fearsome Jackalope, a rabbit with the horns of an antelope – not to be confused with a horse with the head of a rabbit and the body of a rabbit – are said to roam North America and would strike fear in the hearts of travellers who'd been on the road a little too long. Head to the White Rabbit barrel hall in Geelong and you’ll find a different Jackalope roaming, one with the base of a wheat beer and a top of whisky from months in Starward barrels. The beer was first brewed for GABS back… Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Wheat Beer
ABV
5.5%

White Rabbit Sour Red Grand Cru 2018

Tapped January 15th, 2020
Less than a year after moving the brewery from Healesville to Geelong, the brewers at White Rabbit released Sour Red. It was the kind of beer that might have shocked a few beer nerds who expected the Lion-owned brewery to focus on better known styles once the new operation was up and running. This site's founder was among them, giving the beer highly dubious honour of being The Crafty Pint’s lengthiest beer write up at the time (and likely still). A few years on and the brewery's remained committed… Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Sour Red
ABV
7.7%

White Rabbit Chocolate Stout

Tapped April 12th, 2017
It wasn't too long ago that the only beers White Rabbit put into bottles was its core range. Increasingly, however, the sort of beers that were once only found pouring at the cellar door or special events and festivals are being packaged, albeit still only available from the brewery or direct from Lion's online store. Following in the footsteps of a few sours comes another beer with an eye on Easter: the Chocolate Stout created with Pana Chocolate. Rather than simply add chocolate to the beer, the… Read more
Style
Chocolate Stout
ABV
5.6%
Stockists

Launched April 13 at the brewery

Also available via MoCu

White Rabbit TeddyWidder

Tapped February 28th, 2017
If you've visited the White Rabbit brewery in Geelong, there's a good chance you'll have tasted TeddyWidder. It's their take on a Berliner Weisse (typically low ABV, sour wheat beers) and has been pouring at their tasting bar – offered with a range of syrups as in Germany. And now they've popped a limited amount of the beer into schmick 750ml bottles so people can take them home. If you're familiar with such beers – and indeed those of White Rabbit – perhaps the best way to imagine this is… Read more
Style
Berliner Weisse
ABV
3.1%
Stockists

White Rabbit Barrel Hall

Online via MoCu

White Rabbit Barrel Aged Red

Tapped April 29th, 2016
Had you invited a cross-section of beer lovers to predict the direction White Rabbit would take once the Lion purchase of Little World Beverages (which owned both the then Healesville-based brewery and Little Creatures), it's unlikely many (OK, any) would have said: "Building a large barrel ageing program and turning it into an immersive visitor experience. Oh, and maybe adding a Flanders red style beer to its core range." And yet... In hindsight, if you look back at what the brewers liked… Read more
Style
Flanders Red Style Ale
ABV
4.9%
Stockists

White Rabbit Brewery

Glamorama

Cookie

Father’s Office

Transport

Mt Erica Hotel

Hop Temple

More stockists...

White Rabbit Porter

Tapped December 11th, 2013
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… Read more
Style
Barrel Fermented Porter
Hit enter to search or ESC to close