Detour Beer Co

The opening weeks of 2019 saw the Yarra Valley brewing community welcome another member to its ranks. Well, sort of...

There's a new brand featuring all new beers and a new taphouse in which to enjoy them. At the same time, there's no new brewery or, indeed, new brewery owners. Confused? Thankfully, there's no need to be.

Detour Beer Co sits where you previously found Napoleone Brewers and brews its beers on the same kit that previously produced Napoleone beers. However, with the Napoleone family focusing its attention once more on cider, they brought in a new team to take over the brewery.

At its heart is Glenn Harrison, whose career in the beer industry since his teenage years covers pretty much every role imaginable, from working in pubs in country New South Wales to repping for Prickly Moses then working his way through the brewing ranks at Hargreaves Hill and Temple before being enticed back to the heart of the Yarra Valley. There, in tandem with fourth generation Napoleone André, he's launched Detour Beer Co – the name a nod to beer representing a change of tack for the owners as well as the brewery's location between the two main highways running through the valley.

As well as infusing Detour with a contemporary look that contrasts with the traditionalist feel of the other elements of the Napoleone operation that surrounds it – the family runs large orchards across the Eastern Seaboard and owns Punt Road Wines and Napoleone Cider – the pair has launched with a quartet of beers very much of their time. The Black Spur Draught, referencing the famous drive into the hills a few kilometres away, is there to offer familiarity to those who've not waded too deep into crafty waters, while the others offer a variety of hop forward experiences, from the mid-strength Trail Ale to an IPA via an XPA.

They're brewed on a setup that once sat atop MONA in Hobart, producing Moo Brew beers before the Tasmanian operation moved to a production site a short drive away, and the intention – at least once the first round of beers is established – is to kick off a barrel-ageing program in earnest. When you've got ready access to used barrels from a winery two doors down, why wouldn't you?

Beyond that, the ambition is to build Detour into a brand that, like Napoleone's ciders, is known well beyond the Yarra Valley. That said, if you head to the source – and you should as the location is nothing short of spectacular – you can still enjoy a brewpub experience.

Within a dairy building dating from the 1860s, you'll find Detour beers pouring in front of the brewery in the same spot where the cows would once have been milked. And, while the original dairy has been expanded significantly over time to include a restaurant and bakery (Meletos) and providore as well as the brewery, the additions have been designed and landscaped in such a way that you’d swear the building had been around for decades.

Expanses of timber and concrete, reclaimed farmhouse gear and repurposed furniture maintain the rustic rural feel, although you’d be excused from not noticing given the towering walls of glass that ensure you can enjoy panoramic views of the distant hills while seated inside.

Add in the luxury accommodation of The Farmhouse next door and you've got a choice of beer, wine, cider and pizza all created on site, often from ingredients grown there too, plus somewhere to rest your head at night if you plan to indulge. Quite the detour, huh?

Detour Beer Co

12 St Huberts Road
VIC 3770

(03) 9738 9100
Open Hours

Sun to Thurs: 10am to 5pm
Fri & Sat: 10am to 7pm

Current Crafty Cabal offers

Complimentary Tasting Paddle at Detour

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Detour Beer Co Regulars

Detour Beer Co Black Spur Draught

Given their location on many a Yarra Valley tour and the broad cross-section of people enticed through the Taphouse doors by the Napoleone family's multi-faceted offering, you can understand the desire of the brewers at Detour to create something not a million miles from the beers still consumed by the majority of Australian drinkers. The result is Black Spur Draught, named after the famous drive into the hills beyond the Yarra Valley. It's a lager fermented at a slightly higher temperature than… Read more
25 IBU

Detour Beer Co XPA

As XPAs first rose to prominence in Australia, you'd find almost as many interpretations as to what they should be as you would actual beers bearing the tag. Over time, however, the majority seem to have settled into a rhythm: pale yellow/gold in colour and with the hops utilised to deliver plenty of aromatics with bitterness and malt character kept to a minimum. The XPA in Detour's launch quartet is a little different, however. For one, head brewer Glenn Harrison says he set out deliberately to… Read more
24 IBU

Detour Beer Co Trail Ale

One of two beers in the Detour opening foursome to come with a name rather than bearing its style on its sleeve is the Trail Ale. It's a nod to what the Yarra Valley offers visitors but also the nature of the beer: it's the brewery's mid-strength, thus suited to refreshment when you're out and about. As with a growing number of beers weighing in around 3.5 percent ABV, it still delivers plenty, with Melba and Astra hops from Victorian hop growers Ellerslie Hop firing off ripe melon aromas and backing… Read more
20 IBU

Detour Beer Co IPA

The biggest of the four launch beers from Detour is their IPA and it's one that eschews the trends within the wider IPA realm as the brewing company announced itself to the world. This is no hazy juice bomb, there's no lactose, vanilla or fruit to be found within – it's more a line and length IPA based around some pretty classic US hops: Cascade, Centennial and Mosaic. Expect to find citrus and stone fruit aromas and flavours alongside biscuity malts and a polite smattering of bitterness that's… Read more
45 IBU
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