Smiling Samoyed

A short drive from the buzz of Adelaide, via the windy stretches of Port Willunga Beach and surrounds, you can find yourself in the tiny town of Myponga. Located on the popular Fleurieu Peninsula, Myponga was discovered in 1840 by a family from the South West of England. Today, there are not many more than 600 people that call it home, but what the town lacks in size it makes up for in personality.

Smiling Samoyed Brewery is at the heart of it and the driving force for much of the tourism. Weekends see people venture into the brewery to stock up on award-winning beers, munch on wood-fired pizzas and take in the view of the Myponga reserve backing the brewpub. The rejuvenated brewery is owned by dog and beer lovers Kate Henning and Simon Dunstone, who have been local to the area since deciding to turn their backs on careers in litigation and software development respectively to make a living brewing beer instead.

The couple took over the site in November 2012 and later renamed it Smiling Samoyed. The name, surprisingly enough, came from their love of a certain breed of dog; at time of writing, the brewery is home to three friendly Samoyeds: Mia, Cooper and Hoppy. They live up to their description, interacting with the guests and proving a real favourite with kids as parents line up one of the brewery's unique tasting paddles – each created from vinyl 12-inches.

This all grain brewery uses a 12 hectolitre brewhouse to craft four core beers and many different seasonal and limited release beers. Kolsch, 12 Paws Pale Ale, an IPA, and a Dark Ale make up their regular collection while a Saison, Chocolate Orange Stout ‘Shamouti’, chilli beer, Poppet Brown Ale, an ESB, a stout and a Harvest Ale (and more) have appeared as limited releases. Since Simon and Kate commenced brewing in August 2013, the beers have enjoyed success, not least at the 2015 and 2016 Royal Adelaide Beer Shows where the Dark Ale won Most Outstanding Beer in Show, then again in 2018 when they collected a Champion Brewery title.

As well as the brewhouse, Smiling Samoyed also boasts a bottling line, a 50L pilot system, three single batch fermenters and seven double batch fermenters, making for an extremely full brew shed. The beers can be found throughout South Australia, but the best place to enjoy their beers is at the brewpub, where their home is liberally adorned with beer cans and bottles and other paraphernalia; it's evident that Simon and Kate are somewhat craft beer crazy.

The restaurant itself is open seven days a week for lunch (closed only on Good Friday and Christmas Day). It's a good idea to book in advance as most weekends are packed to capacity. Drinkers can kick back with a beer inside and admire the crafty decor or take a tasting paddle out back to take in the views and maybe even spot a few kangaroos. You'll find beer events throughout the year too. Functions are welcome at the brewery bar with the venue regularly hosting weddings, birthdays, engagements, corporate events and birthday parties.

Kate and Simon are proud of their local area and feature other local products in the bar including fresh vegetables, cheese and wine. The workforce at the brewery has been constantly expanding since they commenced brewing in August 2013 to allow the couple to focus more of their attention on the most important job at a brewery: brewing.

As the name suggests, Smiling Samoyed is an extremely welcoming place, with smiles on the faces of owners, customers and dogs alike. Having created a venue that reflects their beer crazy personalities and seen the crowds flock for their fine beers, Kate and Simon have not only proven the wisdom of their career change but also provided a boost to tourism in this corner of South Australia, not to mention adding colour to the state's thriving beer scene too. Woof!

Matt King

Photos not watermarked with The Crafty Pint taken by Julia Henning, Imagenel Productions.

Name
Smiling Samoyed
Address

48 Main South Rd
Myponga
SA 5202

Phone
(08) 8558 6166
Website
Regular events

Trivia every Friday night
Live music every Sunday 1pm to 4pm

Hours

Mon to Thurs: 12pm to 4pm
Fridays: 11am to late, serving dinner
Sat & Sun: 11am to 6pm
Most public holidays: 12pm to 4pm

Tours

Tours available with prior booking

Smiling Samoyed Regulars

Smiling Samoyed Dark Ale

Dark ales, like their close stablemate brown ales, aren't really the sort to have many beer drinkers hot under the collar in the manner IPAs, big stouts or whatever the current cause célèbre may be. Yet, done well, they can make for fine, flavoursome yet quaffable drops. The success of Smiling Samoyed's Dark Ale suggest it belongs in the "done well" category, what with the beer named Best in Show at the 2015 Adelaide Beer Awards. If you do find it in your glass, you'll soon concur as… Read more
Style
Dark Ale
ABV
4.3%
Bitterness
17 IBU
Awards

Best in Show – Adelaide Beer Awards 2015

Smiling Samoyed IPA

The first time we came across this beer was during preparations for a public blind tasting we were hosting at The Wheaty in Adelaide. Venue owner Jade had offered to source some local IPAs to go up against a selection from other Aussie states. Among them was Smiling Samoyed's, which she had never tasted. We shared a bottle as the venue opened to see how it might stack up and were pleasantly surprised: here was a young brewery holding little back with an IPA and creating a tight package to boot. The… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
6.8%
Bitterness
60 IBU

Smiling Samoyed 12 Paws

While it was the brewery's Dark Ale that took out the big beer prize at the 2015 Royal Adelaide Show beer awards, Smiling Samoyed's pale ale fared darn well too. The 12 Paws, named after their three Samoyeds, took the trophy for Best Australian Pale Ale. The beer was actually designed as an American style pale ale but opts for Aussie and Kiwi hops. It's one of the beers Simon and Kate have been brewing and developing longest since their home brewing days and is a full flavoured blend of tropical… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
5.5%
Bitterness
35 IBU
Awards

Best Australian Pale Ale – Adelaide Beer Awards 2015

Smiling Samoyed Kolsch

It can get hot on the Fleurieu Peninsula, the region of SA that Smiling Samoyed calls home. Indeed, the first time The Crafty Pint called in to see Kate and Simon at the brewery it was a cool 45C... If that wasn't reason enough to ensure there's an easy-drinker on the beer menu, as well as a means of keeping the less adventurous drinkers happy, then we don't know what is. Thus they have their Kolsch, brewed in the manner of the beers from Cologne to end up with a beer that has just a touch of fruitiness,… Read more
Style
Kolsch
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
24 IBU

Smiling Samoyed Specials

Smiling Samoyed Shamouti Stout

Tapped November 16th, 2018
Striking up friendships in the modern world of business is extremely important and that is exactly what Smiling Samoyed has done with Adelaide CBD venue, The Griffins Hotel. To celebrate their love for each other, the two companies have teamed up for the first of many collaboration beers. Shamouti Stout is a 7 percent ABV chocolate oatmeal stout brewed with orange zest and tropical hops. As for the name, Shamouti is a type of orange also known as the Jaffa, which helps make sense of the beer. Pouring… Read more
Style
Orange Stout
ABV
7.0%

Smiling Samoyed Baby Brain Pale Ale

Tapped November 16th, 2018
It was a joyous occasion: Kate and Simon had just welcomed their first son, Alvin, into the world; they were over the moon. Anyone who has experienced a newborn can attest to the fact that sleep is hard to come by, especially in the first few weeks, and the idea of feeling even remotely human has to be put on hiatus. However, the show must go on and that is exactly what Simon did – after very little sleep. His intentions when he got to work were to brew Smiling Samoyed's American pale ale, 12… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
5.9%

Smiling Samoyed Coops Copper Ale

Tapped July 19th, 2018
When Kate Henning and Simon Dunstone started Smiling Samoyed brewery, they had three Samoyed dogs. Hence one of their first beers was called 12 Paws, with their pale still retaining that name today. Hoppy the dog still greets guests on arrival at the brewery with a welcoming smile. However, one of their dogs, Cooper, named after the iconic SA brewery, is no longer with them and, in his honour, they brewed this copper ale. Coops pours a bright copper colour with a lingering, white, foamy head. The… Read more

Smiling Samoyed Saison

Tapped July 19th, 2018
This limited release, housed in 650ml bottles, is a reimagined version of a beer that originally appeared solely on tap>. The founders and brewers of Smiling Samoyed, Simon Dunstone and Kate Henning, found the first version to be too clean even though the ferment temperature reached 35 degrees. Simon discovered the yeast actually loved the heat so he decided to tone the temperature down a little to create some more complex saison esters and, to bolster the flavour even more, dried orange peel… Read more
Style
Saison
ABV
6.7%

Smiling Samoyed ESB 2018

Tapped July 19th, 2018
Autumn weather in South Australia tends to remain quite warm with the odd week of cold thrown in to prepare people for winter. The sort of beer style suited for such unpredictable temperature fluctuations is an ESB. Smiling Samoyed's is brewed using traditional English ingredients, including East Kent Golding hops and an English yeast strain. A rich copper colour starts the ESB experience, with a small, off white head and brilliant clarity. There's a prominent nutty aroma leading the way, alongside… Read more
Style
ESB
ABV
4.8%

Smiling Samoyed SA Harvest Ale 2018

Tapped May 26th, 2018
Another year, another crop of juicy fresh hops from the Adelaide Hills farm, Fresh Hops Co-op. With each year passing, Smiling Samoyed owners and brewers Simon and Kate have learnt a little more about how to utilise the freshness of the annual bounty and fully embed the flavours and aromas into their beer. This time around, 20 kilograms of Columbus and Centennial were used, with a newly installed bottling line allowing the Smiling Samoyed crew to pop the beer into 650ml bottles too. The 2018 Harvest… Read more
Style
Hop Harvest Ale
ABV
6.8%

Smiling Samoyed Chilli Beer – RETIRED

Tapped March 24th, 2016
When Simon Dunstone and Kate Henning took over the former Myponga Brewery, one of the beers on the existing lineup was a Chilli Beer. It had a loyal following so the couple felt it should continue in some form. It does so still as an annual seasonal release, albeit reinvented. Such beers do tend to crop up with surprisingly regularity at regional Aussie breweries yet, while we've enjoyed a few chilli chocolate beers and few dishes are prepared at Crafty Towers without at least four or five forms… Read more
Style
Chilli Beer
ABV
4.8%
Bitterness
24 IBU
Stockists

Smiling Samoyed brewery

Select beer venues, mainly in SA

Smiling Samoyed Poppet

Tapped March 24th, 2016
Be honest. If someone told you they were going to serve you a beer called Poppet, you'd be inclined to expect something light and delicate, fruity maybe. If they told you it was named after a pet Samoyed, that would only send you further down that road. Yet the annual Poppet release from South Australia's Smiling Samoyed is anything but light, delicate, fluffy and fruity. Instead, it's another of brewers Simon and Kate's forays into the world of malt, something they've done so well in the past with… Read more
Style
Strong Brown Ale
ABV
7.6%
Bitterness
60 IBU
Stockists

Smiling Samoyed brewery

Select beer venues, mainly in SA

Smiling Samoyed Seasonal Release ESB

Tapped May 20th, 2015
What could be more autumnal than an autumnal coloured beer inspired by the sort of beers found in cosy English boozers? Probably a few things, but we reckon this ESB from SA's Smiling Samoyed is pretty darn well suited to the season for which it was brewed. It's a limited release beer inspired by English Extra Special Bitters and plays a very straight bat: East Kent Goldings hops add unobtrusive floral aromas to a beer awash with creamy nutty and toffee malts and some raisin like fruity esters. The… Read more
Style
ESB
ABV
4.8%
Bitterness
35 IBU

Smiling Samoyed Hop Harvest Ale 2015

Tapped June 1st, 2015
They make little secret of their love for Aussie hop Galaxy at Smiling Samoyed. So when the hop harvest in Tasmania rolled around in 2015 they secured some fresh hops straight from Hop Products Australia to go into a one-off hop harvest brew. The hops were picked, shipped overnight and added to the brew the next day. The beer has a slightly leaner malt base than the nearest beer to it in the brewery's lineup, 12 Paws, with the Galaxy adding some passionfruit and orange to the biscuit sweetness as… Read more
Style
Harvest Ale
ABV
5.5%
Bitterness
30 IBU
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