Woolshed Brewery

The Woolshed Brewery is located in an old shearing shed on the banks of the picturesque Murray River in the Riverland region of South Australia. The sheds are steeped in history with many yarns spun and hard earned knock off drinks enjoyed in them over the years.

The entire station on which they’re situated, previously known as Murtho Park, was once a thriving wheat farm too, with former owners, the Wilkinson family, using the Murray River to transport their grain to all parts of Australia. These days, it has a rather different use for wheat and grain.

New owners bought the part of the station known as Wilkadene in 1988 and have since converted the grounds into a brewery and cellar door. The view from the verandah looking over the Murray River is now one of peace and tranquility – a far cry, one imagines, from the intense shearing sessions of yesteryear.

The Woolshed Brewery is a short drive from the country town of Renmark and welcomes guests with the warm hearted country spirit being typical of the region. Its owners live in a small homestead with a friendly dog, aptly named Murray. The cellar door, brewhouse and a few historical snapshots of the past fill the old woolshed. And out the back lies the new shed, which is where the magic happens: inside you’ll find three fermenters, kegging and bottling machines and a conditioning room.

Of course, you don’t have to arrive by car: Anyone cruising the river can moor their boat right outside and clamber up a few stairs into the brewery. In fact, even if you do arrive by car, you don’t have to leave that way; as well as offering craft beer and cosy accommodation, The Woolshed Brewery also dabbles in houseboats. There’s a fleet of four with options that cater for a large group or a small family, all fitted with creature comforts including double beds, a BBQ, Eskies, stoves and (naturally) a craft beer tap through which you can pour beer from the brewery.

Within the brewery itself, the bar area is made out of white ant resistant native pine posts and brings the natural surroundings inside. This emphasis on locality and nature pervades the beer range too: two ales are named after local flora and fauna, the Amazon Ale was named after a little creek that runs close by in the Murray River and the Cherax Destructor is the scientific name of the common yabby, which you can find in abundance in the river below.

Judas The Dark’s name also reflects the station’s past. A ‘Judas’ sheep is one used to lead the other sheep into the shearing sheds or onto a sale truck; one that’s usually trusted by the rest of the flock. Hence the saying on the bottle: “Judas will lead you into an unknown darkness.” Continuing the natural feel, Judas The Dark is brewed using locally grown and roasted wattle seed.

Since 2010, brewing has been overseen by Jackson Beavis, who left a career in manufacturing management for large companies to pursue a passion for brewing close to his family’s hometown of Renmark. In 2014, he was joined by Dave Hartigan, who left a job as a theatre nurse after responding to an ad on The Crafty Pint and moving to the Woolshed from Port Lincoln with his family. With Jackson embarking on a yearlong pilgrimage to the UK to work and learn new techniques and ideas from the country's brewers, his fellow former home brewer is stepping into the head brewer role.

Whether its the warm country welcome, picturesque views, relaxing atmosphere, natural woolshed cellar door and locally-inspired beers, there's little doubt The Woolshed has plenty of enticing reasons to hit the road or, better still, cruise up the Murray.

Matt King

Name
Woolshed Brewery
Address

65 Wilkinson Road
Murtho
SA 5341

Phone
(08) 8595 8188
Website
Hours

11am to 5pm daily

Tours

By appointment

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Two for One Tasting Paddles at the Woolshed Brewery

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Woolshed Brewery Regulars

Woolshed Brewery Firehouse Stout

They don't just take inspiration for their beers names from their locality at Woolshed; here, they join forces with another small, independent local business. The Riverland's only roaster, Arrosto coffee, uses a cold extract technique on single origin Columbian coffee beans to supply the goods for this coffee stout. And it's no coffee stout in which a more typical stout has a touch of coffee – this is coffee through and through, from the roast coffee and dark bean aroma through to the roast bitterness… Read more
Style
Coffee Stout
ABV
5.6%

Woolshed Brewery Cherax Destructor

It sounds like something from a horror movie set in space: "Cherax Destructor III: The Ax of Doom". Yet it turns out that Woolshed's IPA takes its name from something rather less terrifying and rather more tasty: Cherax Destructor is the scientific name for the yabby that lives in the river next to the brewery. The beer to which the creature lends its name is described by the brewers as "exceedingly hoppy" and features a quartet of varieties: Amarillo, Ella, Summer and Galaxy.… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
5.8%

Woolshed Brewery Judas The Dark

Turns out just drinking beer can teach you things to which you might easily imagine have gone through life totally oblivious. Case in point: a Judas sheep is one used to lead the other sheep into the shearing sheds or onto a sale truck – or "into an unknown darkness" as the label suggests. The beer that takes its name at Woolshed makes use of locally grown and roasted wattleseed to add complexity to the darkest beer on their year round lineup. It's a dark brown ale that pours with a lovely,… Read more
Style
Dark Ale
ABV
4.7%

Woolshed Brewery AAAMber Ale

The AAAM brand is given only to the finest Merino wool once a sheep is shorn. So, having selected what they reckon are the best Aussie hops and combined them with rain water collected from a sheep shearing shed roof, the brewers at Woolshed figured they'd appropriate the name for their Australian amber ale. Originally produced to mark the centenary of the Wilkadene Homestead where the brewery is based, it gets its colour – and crisp, biscuit and toffee flavours – from a healthy addition of crystal… Read more
Style
Amber Ale
ABV
5.4%

Woolshed Brewery Amazon Ale

One of many beers from Woolshed with a name that references their local region, the Amazon Ale takes its title from a small creek that runs nearby. The beer itself is the brewery's pale ale and is a step up in character from the Summer: a little darker in colour thanks to a blend of barley and wheat that adds some sweet caramel malt flavours too; and a touch fruitier as well. Despite the use of more hops, there's a good balance that keeps any bitterness at the gentler end of the scale.… Read more
Style
Australian Pale Ale
ABV
4.5%

Woolshed Brewery Summer Ale

Woolshed's entry level beer is one that is based on the German light ale style, Kolsch, but then given a contemporary Aussie twist. The very pale colour and light, grainy malt character of the German ale are there but the use of Tassie-grown hop Summer adds a melon-like soft, fruity character and a gentle drying bitterness.… Read more
Style
Summer Ale
ABV
4.5%

Woolshed Brewery Specials

Woolshed Brewery Double Destructor Double IPA

Tapped August 17th, 2018
There are few animals on the planet with a better scientific name than the common yabby. Cherax destructor. It opens up all manner of possibilities. For the brewers at Woolshed, it's the name given to their core range IPA. And, now that they've decided to give it a bigger sibling, they've gone with Double Destructor. It's built with a blend of US and Aussie hops (Cascade, Galaxy, Ella and Amarillo) but with the balancing malt bill ramped up too so that it presents more as a big, boozy and bitter… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.3%

Woolshed Brewery Blood Orange NEIPA & The Big Orange & Chocolate Breakfast Stout

Tapped July 5th, 2018
The team at Woolshed has been making regular trips to the Hunter Valley to make use of Hope Brewhouse's canning line, with these three beers all making it out of the brewery in pretty close succession. The Blood Orange NEIPA utilises Mosaic, Riwaka, Galaxy and Ekuanot at differing stages then, to inject even more fruitiness, adds in some Riverland blood orange juice for good measure. In typical NEIPA style, this beer pours super hazy with a burnt orange colour and a slightly off white head. Huge… Read more
Style
NEIPA & Kettle Sour & Breakfast Stout

Woolshed Brewery Bunyip Imperial Stout 2018

Tapped June 19th, 2018
Winter time in the Riverland can get particularly cold thanks to the chill breeze blowing off the Murray River. It's one reason why the Woolshed brewing crew has brewed three very different dark beers to help survive the season. The baby of the trio is a dark ale, brewed with roasted wattleseed, the middle child, a stout, is laced with lashings of coffee and, lastly, the big brother, is a Riverland imperial stout called the Bunyip. The name refers to a dark beast that lurks in the waters nearby;… Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
ABV
8.1%

Woolshed Brewery Bunyip Imperial Stout

Tapped June 2nd, 2017
There's something skulking in the deep, murky waters of the Murray in the Riverland. No one really knows what it is but, so the legend says, it will rattle you. People liken it to a bad dream – nay, a severe nightmare; your head hurts and the brain is shaken. “The Bunyip has struck!” are the words uttered the following morning... In the case of this Bunyip, it's going back for one too many that would leave the head hurting: it's Woolshed's annual winter release, a Riverland (rather than Russian)… Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
ABV
8.5%
Stockists

Woolshed Brewery

And select good beer outlets in SA, NSW & online

Woolshed Brewery & Big Shed Tribute Red IPA

Tapped March 2nd, 2017
Disclaimer: The following details are a little sketchy, largely due to the numerous good times that were had and the large swag of bottles that were emptied on the night in question... This story begins on the weekend of the 2017 Riverfest Festival, which takes place on the banks of South Australia’s Riverland. Big Shed’s main men, Jason and Craig, were in town pouring their KolsChisel and drinking beer with Jackson and Tom from the Woolshed Brewery. An unlabelled bottle presented itself on… Read more
Style
Red IPA
ABV
6.4%
Stockists

Woolshed Brewery

Westside Massive

Woolshed Brewery River Time Session Pale

Tapped December 6th, 2016
Picture this: a 40 degree South Australian summer day, camped on the banks of the Murray River, all while sinking back a few beers with your family and friends. Smoke fills the air, a strong whiff of steak hits the nose, just as a bead of sweat trickles down your forehead. You need a drink, one that's refreshing, clean and easy to throw back without feeling the immediate effects. You want to refresh, relax and laugh the afternoon away without the worry of feeling the effects of booze. Woolshed’s… Read more
Style
Session Pale
ABV
3.5%
Stockists

Woolshed Brewery

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