Recently we took a trip to Healesville. A town near Melbourne Victoria, well known for it’s animal sanctuary, but also home to a couple of breweries and surrounded by wineries. Unfortunately we were only there for 2 nights, so we couldn’t visit everything, but what we did see, we loved. I didn’t take that many photos (they say a picture paints a thousand words, but this ain’t a photo blog), so please enjoy this photo of me at the White Rabbit Brewery, one of the only photos we took.
We stayed at the Maroondah View Hotel for $80 a night (booked online at www.lastminute.com.au). We ate and drank at Healesville Hotel, White Rabbit Brewery and Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander. Also, we visited the sanctuary, of course
The first one we noticed was the promised Wifi wasn’t working. When I asked at reception about it, I didn’t get much more than a “it’s broken”. No real explanation or “it’s broken but there is an internet cafe in town”. This was annoying as I had planned to Skype my sister for her birthday… but it’s not a huge issue at the end of the day.
Finally, the BBQ area and swimming pool were in bad need of a tidy up. The BBQ area was just a couple of BBQs and a plastic table, while the pool looked like it needed a good clean. Both looked kind of shabby and not very inviting.
The Trumer Pils is a fairly easy drinking pilsner, but nothing too exciting.
The Hefeweizen on the other hand… that tasted like tomato sauce. I don’t know if it was to do with the glass, the taps, or the beer itself, but it definitely tasted like tomato sauce. You are probably thinking “beer can’t taste like tomato sauce”, but it did. Earlier in the day I had a bottle of their Pale Ale and that was enjoyable, with a much less tomato sauce kick.
White Rabbit Brewery
The Dark Ale from the bottle is very easy drinking. Not as strong in flavour as a typical dark ale. At the brewery however, it’s a different story. The beer is extremely hoppy (I’ve seen NZ Sav Blanc described as smelling like cat pee, so by the same token I would describe this beer as smelling like “wet dog”, but in a nice way), very complex and quite creamy.
The brewery itself is just set back from the main road. You can taste their two beers and the Pipsqueak Cider, sit and have a drink surrounded by the vats, or buy some to take home. They also sell Little Creatures beer, which are also worth checking out if you haven’t already (both breweries are owned by the same parent company; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_World_Beverages).
Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander
This place does everything. It’s a winery/cellar door and bistro/pizzeria, which also roasts coffee, has a bakery and there’s a cheese room as well. The pizzas we had were thin crusted and delicious… so delicious we had the leftovers for breakfast the next day. As well as that, bought some sourdough bread which was just as delicious as the pizza.
It’s a pretty exciting place if you like food and drink and I’ll definitely stop by next time I’m in the area for more baked goods and assorted alcohols.
I really enjoyed our all too brief visit to Healesville , and would love to visit again to check out the Coldstream brewery (car trouble derailed those plans), as well as the Buckley’s and Hargreaves breweries. The Sanctuary is also worth another visit as it’s very relaxing to spend a day wandering round amongst the animals (Protip: take some meat to BBQ at the sanctuary for lunch, as they have a few BBQ areas dotted around the grounds).
I rate Healesville; 5 smoking crabs