Ocean Reach Brewing


Ocean Reach Brewing

47 Thompson Avenue
VIC 3922

(03) 5952 5274
Open Hours

Wed to Fri: 4pm to 9pm
Saturday: 11.45pm to 9pm
Sunday 11.45 pm to 4pm

When Simon Bismire let people know about his plans to bring craft beer to one of Victoria’s most popular holiday locations, he was met with a mixed response.

A large proportion of people, both Phillip Island locals as well as frequent visitors, were thrilled. Yet he was met with some hesitancy too.

“Some people thought we were mad,” he says of those pre-launch times.

Like many holiday destinations, Phillip Island is a place where the population is in a state of flux, swelling over summer and dropping off over winter. But, since Ocean Reach Brewing opened their brewpub in Cowes towards the end of 2016, one thing has remained consistent: its popularity with locals and tourists, something Simon sees as a reminder that you should never underestimate the power of craft beer to bring people together.

His own journey to become a brewery owner started in 2011 when he first tried his hand at homebrewing in his parents’ garage. But it was while on holiday in 2015 that he and wife Alex began planning in earnest to bring local brewing to the seaside destination, ultimately naming the brewery after a local surf break.

With Simon’s father Wayne also part of the team, the initial plan was to stay small with a taphouse in Cowes where they could brew and showcase Simon’s love of everything beer. Indeed, when The Crafty Pint first visited shortly after opening, it appeared he was everything beer – brewing it on the small kit behind the bar and pouring it from the row of taps lining the way separating bar and brewery.

“Phillip Island had been screaming for something like this for a long time,” he says. “That became really clear once we started pouring beers."

The taphouse is located in Cowes’ main strip, just a short walk from the ocean, where the combination of local beer and a menu designed with beer in mind – their Food Van serves up burgers, wings and onion rings – proved a winning combination on the Island.

As demand for his beers grew, it wasn't long before the Bismires were drawing up new plans for a larger, off-site production brewery – as well as putting beer into cans and starting to distribute further afield, not something they'd envisaged prior to opening.

In 2018, they moved brewing out of the taphouse and into a warehouse on the island, before enlisting Craft Instinct – also responsible for The Crafty Pint's rebrand and subsequent design work – to design their cans. It's proved a wise move with their Tropical XPA cans landing in the top ten of the inaugural GABS Can Design Awards.

Evolution has played a big role in shaping Ocean Reach’s beers too, with Simon holding onto his roots as a homebrewer keen to experiment while balancing a core range that's an approachable mix of classic craft styles with limited releases that frequently head into hazy or sour territory – sometimes both. A pair of golds for the core range IPA and Porter show the beers aren't just pretty on the outside too.

That said, the first half of 2021 saw them focus on the pretty a little more with the launch of their Artist Series. The first two releases feature work by Joel Ebsworth which you can check out here.

The combination of a passionate family, making beer in a picturesque locale, and serving it in welcoming venue, makes you wonder why anyone would have doubted Ocean Reach’s ability to be welcomed into town. But, as Simon says, there’s a power to craft beer.

Ben Hopkins

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Stories featuring Ocean Reach Brewing

Core Range

Ocean Reach Hazy IPA
Hazy IPA
Ocean Reach Pilsner
Ocean Reach Pale Ale
Pale Ale
Ocean Reach IPA

Limited Releases

Ocean Reach Artist Series: Frolic & Jazzed Up
Hazy IPA & Black IPA
6.5% & 6.4%
Ocean Reach Czech 1, 2 & Midnight Dancing Panther
Dark Lager & Stout
5.5% & 7.3%
Ocean Reach Fresh Hop Galaxy & Frank Moses
Fresh Hop Pale & Red Rye IPA
5.6% & 6.3%
Ocean Reach Flip It & Reverse It
East Coast & West Coast
Both 6.3%
Ocean Reach Lucky 7 & Shades On
Oat Cream IPA & Pine Orange Sour
7.0% & 5.4%
Ocean Reach Artist Series: Dreamwave Temple & Virtual Oasis
Hazy IPA & West Coast
6.1% & 6.5%
Ocean Reach Crisp Tropics & Witch Doctor III
IPL & Hazy IPA
Ocean Reach Rode It Hazy Citra & Absence Of Light
Hazy IPA & Black IPA
7.2% & 6.2%
Ocean Reach Counting Clouds & Future Age
Oat Cream IPA & Imperial Stout
6.4% & 8.2%
Ocean Reach Up & Oats Brekky Stout & Frank Moses
Coffee Stout & Red Reye IPA
Both 6.5%
Ocean Reach Artist Series: Synth Blossoms & Redshift Horizon
NEIPA & Double Red IPA
7.5% & 8.8%
Ocean Reach Pine Lime Sour
Ocean Reach Brewing Rollin And Tumblin
West Coast IPA
Ocean Reach x Free 3D Hands Kinetic
Hazy IPA
Ocean Reach Dream Lover
Oat Cream IPA
Ocean Reach Brewing Little Wing
Sessions IPA
Ocean Reach Cosmic _Dip
Dip Hopped IPA
Ocean Reach Witch Doctor II
Ocean Reach Cosmo Seawater Kolsch
Ocean Reach It's Time
West Coast IPA
Ocean Reach Kick Starter, Rode It Hazy Galaxy & Comfortably Numb
Coffee Milk Stout, Hazy IPA & Barleywine
6.5%, 7.0% & 11.4%
Ocean Reach One Vision
Ocean Reach Artist Series: The Ninch & Gippy
Hazy Triple IPA & Chocolate Fudge Stout
9.3% & 7.9%
Ocean Reach Helles Good
Helles Lager
Ocean Reach Brewing & Free 3D Hands Bionic
West Coast IPA
Ocean Reach Dreamy Daze & Goldie Saison
Hazy Pale & Saison
5.0% & 4.8%
Ocean Reach West Coast IPA & NEIPA
West Coast IPA & NEIPA
7.8% & 6.0%
Ocean Reach Draught (RETIRED)
Aussie Draught
Ocean Reach Coastal Palooza
Hazy IPA
Ocean Reach Love Rollercoaster Oat Cream IPA
Oat Cream IPA
Ocean Reach Grapefruit IPA & Hazy Pineapple DIPA
7% & 8%
Ocean Reach Rode It Hazy
Hazy IPA
Ocean Reach Coffee & Bun
White Stout
Ocean Reach Artist Series: Oat Cream IPA & Sour IPA
Oat Cream IPA & Sour IPA
Both 7.2%
Ocean Reach Lager – RETIRED
Ocean Reach Porter
Ocean Reach Strawberry Gose
Strawberry Gose
Ocean Reach Tropical XPA
Ocean Reach Witch Doctor NEIPA
Ocean Reach Hazy Pineapple IPA
Pineapple IPA
Ocean Reach Raspberry Saison
Raspberry Saison