First customer to complete the South Coast Ale Trail

The South Coast Ale Trail only launched in December 2021 but one keen beer lover has already competed the trail from top to bottom. Nathan Leicht who lives nearly Wollongong had already visited a number of the breweries around him but he hadn't ventured to far South. When heard about the trail he was keen to make the journey and tick them all off, so he started planning his trip and managed to fit a few of them around a family holiday.

Below is Nathan's personal account of his visits and his assessment of each of the venues.

The catch phrase of the South Coast Ale Trail is that “It’s not a destination, it’s a journey” and this is entirely the truth. Whether you choose to visit these craft breweries as a one off, in a group of a few or as a larger collection over several days is not that important, what is important is that they all share similarities but have their own unique differences making visiting them all more and more enticing.

Resin Brewing
The furthest north geographically and being in Wollongong’s Northern suburbs and in the restored Bulli Railway Guest House this is probably what I consider the “fanciest” of the bunch. This place screams class with a great dining experience and good beers. Don’t be put off by the fanciness though, its still a great place to spend a few lazy hours on a weekend with some quality brews in a cool  atmosphere

Reub Goldberg Brewing
One of the more hidden spaces of the bunch, tucked away in downtown Tarrawanna (I will give you a moment to Google where Tarrawanna is) this place is just a great place to kick back, grab some food from one of the close by venues (the next door Tacos and  next to that Thai are legit next level) and sink some quality beers. Everything they do is good but as a core range beer their Kolsch is excellent and is getting more and more available with the addition of beers in cans to their repertoire.

Seeker Brewing
Seeker is both the new kid on the block and a Wollongong mainstay at the same time, having taken over the previous Bulli Brewing location the boys at Seeker have rebranded, renovated and reinvigorated the space in the industrial area of Unanderra. Fresh, vibrant and cool describes both the location and the beers and they nail the execution of everything from opposite ends of the scale from the ultra-low ABV Maxi Smalls at 1% ABV to the Triple Double IPA at 8.1% ABV.

South Yeast Brewing
Another of the “tucked away in the industrial area” variants of craft breweries this is a cool little space with the option to grab a good ale, play a game of darts, indulge in a local food truck option and let the kids run around in the car park under a moderate level of supervision. One that is close to me and will be on the list to put some more time into.

Jervis Bay Brewing
The Huskisson and Jervis Bay area is all about a chilled, relaxed, seaside atmosphere and despite being located in the industrial area on the edge of Husky, these guys deliver 100% on the coastal chill vibe with a large beer garden, great rotation of food trucks and most importantly excellent brews. If you are looking for somewhere to spend a sunny afternoon knocking back some high-quality  beers then this is the place for you.

Broulee Brewhouse
Relative newcomer to the Trail and to the South Coast, Broulee Brewhouse just screams “sit back and relax” With the location a couple of hundred metres from the beach, the smell of salt water in your nose, a retro beer garden, good beers and good food, this is the venue that every coastal town needs.

Tilba Brewing Co (Dromedary Hotel)
With the beer brewed by Stoic Brewing and the pub being a 120 year old location this was always going to be a winner. The best way I can describe the Dromedary Hotel in Central Tilba is that it is a classic country pub, public bar on one side, dining room on the other, rooms upstairs and the slatted tables and chairs on the balcony looking down the main street of Central Tilba. Don’t be too presumptuous though, the people are warm, the food is next level, the Palace Pale Ale is well worth the visit and they have an Amber Ale to be added to the lineup very soon.

Camelrock Brewery
For me as a coastal estuary fisherman, when looking for a family holiday location in a South Coast caravan park I have a few standard items, lakeside location, good cabins, a boat ramp and activities for the kids like tennis, minigolf etc. The Big4 at Wallaga Lake meets all of these, add the fact that it has Camel Rock Brewing inside the Caravan Park and its appeal goes through the roof. Add to this that the beer is good, the wings are excellent and the music bangs makes it a definite option for a caravan park holiday

Longstocking Brewery
Geographically the most southern and in this list last but definitely not least, Longstocking in Pambula hits home on so many levels, it’s a nice bunch of things to do on the one eclectic place. Oyster bar, woodfired pizza place, garden centre, art gallery, petting zoo, pony rides, backyard cricket all come together to ensure it has something for everyone. All this plus a hefty range of quality beer and ciders means that you will not leave disappointed.



Thanks for sharing your story with us Nathan, we have sent you some fresh South Coast beers to enjoy while you remember your journey.

Win prizes: If you are visiting any of the South Coast Ale Trail venues, make sure you Check in via FB, upload a photo at the venue and tag @southcoastaletrail for your chance to win monthly prizes.