Move over wine - Craft Breweries Cash In On Refining Beer Palates 

Likening beer tasting to wine tasting, beer drinkers are seeking to be educated about hops, bitterness scales (IBU) and regional influences and are turning to a bottle or can of craft beer over the regular pint of Carlton Draught. 

The Highway, awarded SA’s Best Hotel in 2012 and owned by leading hotel group, The Palmer Hospitality Group has reported a huge boost in craft beer sales at the bar and bottleshop with a 145 per cent increase over the past 12 months.

According to The Highway’s General Manager, Simon Adami, the ‘refined craft beer palate’ trend will only continue to grow.

"Gone are the days of bar staff knowing what "the usual" is for their regular customers – they’re now ordering their beer based on where it’s brewed, the level of hops and most importantly, whether they have seen the label before or not," said Mr Adami. 

"It’s definitely become apparent that venues and bottleshops need to stock a wide range of craft beer and we’re starting to realize that the more obscure the label is, the more popular it will be. 

"To meet the growing demand, where we used to have five or so craft beers on a single shelf, we now have to create an entire section dedicated to craft beer in excess of 150 lines," continued Simon. 

McLaren Vale Beer Company’s General Manager, Josh Stuart, has also seen the growth of the craft beer category spread across the country and describes Adelaide’s beer drinkers as ‘pioneers’. 

"We find beer drinkers in Adelaide drink a lot more seasonally than the rest of the country. Being the biggest wine producing state – South Aussies are very deliberate in the seasonality of their grape choice." Said Mr Stuart.

"Craft brewers are a passionate bunch and we want to educate beer drinkers about what they’re consuming, why it tastes the way it does and how it’s brewed," concluded Mr Stuart.

McLaren Vale Beer Company will be among 20 other micro-breweries at The Highway for the inaugural Craft Beer Festival on March 16 and 17. For more details, visit

AHA Awards

Best Gaming Venue - 2013
Best Marketed Hotel - 2012
Best Retail Outlet - 2011
Best Outdoor Area - 2009
Best Redeveloped Venue - 2008
Best Casual Dining - 2015 
Best Sporting Entertainment Venue - 2015
Best Overall Hotel - 2012, 2010
Best Bar Presentation & Service - 2012, 2010, 2008
Best Outdoor Area - 2012, 2010, 2008
Best Marketed Hotel - 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
Best Retail Outlet - 2009
Best Gaming venue - 2013

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