Sapphire Cellars serving up Craft Beers on the South Coast.

Sapphire Cellars in Merimbula has been around for a while in one shape or form, but in 2020 it was purchased and rebranded by the new owner Andrew Orman. Previously working in the industry as a Liquor Wholesale Representative, Andrew knew the shop and the local area and was ready to make a move in to retail.
The business was closing down and Andrew took a risk, he purchased the business within days of the doors closing. With an understanding of the industry trends Andrew knew the locals were missing out on the world of craft beer, the response from locals was very positive towards the new craft beer range.

When Andrew meet Nigel Ayling from We Love Craft Beer at the Merimbula Craft Beer Festival they started talking about the growing demand for Craft beer and the rest was history. Andrew started by adding some regional brands like Jindabyne Brewing, Sailors Grave and Tumut River brewing. He then added South Coast breweries like Longstocking, Jervis Bay Brewing, Dangerous Ales & Bulli Brewing. Of course they covered the Canberra region with a full range of beers from including Bentspoke & Capital.

Fast forward to today and they now stock over 45 brands and 200 craft beers. They include the popular brand names like Mountain Culture, Dainton, Hope, Akasha and Hawkers to name a few.  They cover all the styles including Pale Ale, Pacific Ale, Amber Ale, Golden Ale, Pilsner, IPA,  NEIPA, XPA, Sours, Stout, Hazy and Red Ales.

So whatever your taste in craft beer they are sure to have you covered. Next time you are heading through Merimbula, make sure you stop and visit Andrew and the team at Sapphire Cellars. For more information visit their website.

South Coast Ale Trail Printed Map

The South Coast Ale Trail printed map is now available online and will be arriving in South Coast Breweries soon. The map features 9 breweries including



South Coast Ale Trail Map

  1. Resin Brewing
  2. Reub Goldberg Brewing Machine
  3. Seeker Brewing
  4. South Yeast Brewing
  5. Jervis Bay Brewing Co
  6. Broulee Brewhouse
  7. Tilba Brewing Co
  8. Camelrock Brewery
  9. Longstocking


The trail map contains special offers at each of the breweries including deals on beers, food and merchandise. As a bit of a bonus, if you visit any of our breweries, and “check in” on Facebook and tag  @southcoastaletrail, you will to go in the draw for monthly prizes!

Download your copy here and get traveling. Remember the South Coast Ale Trail is not a destination, it's a journey.



Changes brewing at Unanderra

For those in the know, Unanderra (just south of Wollongong) has long been the home of Bulli Brewing. Michael Peloquin set up the brewery in 2017 and has been pumping out a range of tasty craft beers for the locals and thirsty travelers passing through ever since. Mick who describes himself as a “part mad scientist”, a bald version of Doc from Back To The Future, had a mid-life crisis with a bit of spare time on his hands and set up the brewery.

Somewhere in a parallel universe (Bondi) in 2018 Jeff Argent from Grassy Knoll was brewing his first contract brew at Frenchies Bistro and Brewery in Sydney. After a move to Wollongong in late 2019, Jeff saw the need to brew somewhere locally in Wollongong.  As luck would have it,  Jeff was introduced to Mick at Bulli Brewing.  Both had studied commercial brewing at TAFE and they struck up a working relationship over a couple of gypsy brews.  After a short time, Jeff was brewing  100% of Grassy Knoll out of the Unanderra brewery, and they have been co-existing in the same venue ever since.

As often happens, priorities start to change in life, while Jeff was eager to grow his business, Mick was wanting to step back a bit and spend time traveling and visiting family overseas.  So after a few discussions (and no doubt a dozen beers) the two brewers came to an agreement, with Jeff taking over production and running the venue.  Mick retains ownership of the building and the Bulli Brewing brand, but now Mick will become the gypsy brewer in the venue.

But the changes don’t stop there, because whilst Jeff had been brewing under his original brand name Grassy Knoll, this was actually linked to his roots back in Bondi. The Grassy Knoll is a hill overlooking Bondi Beach where musicians (like Jeff – yeah he is in a band too) meet to do impromptu jam sessions and while that suited the story of the brand in Sydney, it doesn’t really fit with the new location in Unanderra.

So alongside the brewery changes there will also be a rebranding of the brewery under the name of SEEKER Brewing!  Jeff said “This came after much deliberation as we felt that a rebranding was in order to better align with the local scene and our core values. Grassy knoll will still be brewing it’s core range out of the same brewery but there will be a focus on the new brand Seeker. “

The venue is now undergoing some major renovations and has reopened but they are still working on brewing the new range of beers.  At this stage the plan is to launch the new range of Seeker beers in late March and by then they will have 12 taps pouring including some popular ones from Grassy Knoll.  Other changes will include the addition of wood fired pizza truck, initially on Fridays and Saturdays, and then extending that to Thursday to Sunday.

So what will the next chapter bring? Well you will have to stay tuned for more details or head over to Seeker Brewing on the socials to stay in touch with updates.
We can’t wait to visit the “new” venue in March and taste all the new beers and we wish Mick all the best with his new endeavours.

South Coast Ale Trail Launch

The South Coast Ale Trail is not a destination, it’s a journey !

The craft beer trail which launched in November 2021 connects 8 Breweries along the South Coast of NSW.  Stretching from Wollongong to Pambula near the Victorian border, the Ale Trail delivers a diverse range of breweries as it winds its way along some of the country’s most beautiful Coast line.

Starting at Wollongong with Resin Brewing which sits inside the newly renovated Bulli Railway Guesthouse. Once derelict, this historic building on the train line dates back to 1887.  Resin Brewing bought the Railway Guest House site in 2017 and they spent two long years transforming the crumbling building into the microbrewery and brewpub that exists now. The gastro-brewpub offers hand crafted local beers and a food menu to match.

Just a short trip down the road and you will arrive at Reub Goldberg Brewing where it’s not just the name that sets it apart. Reub’s ethos is that “A beer should be drunk in the shadow of the brewery in which it was made”. Their goal is to provide quality, fresh beer in the most sustainable way possible. It’s a small brewery with a hyperlocal focus - providing just enough great beer to service the thirst of the local area and of course a few visitors to the region as well. They don’t currently package their beers but offer a fresh growler takeaway service.

Head down the freeway and in the shadow of the iconic Buddhist Nan Tien Temple, you will find Grassy Knoll Brewing and Bulli Brewing sharing a space in a quiet industrial area. These 2 breweries compliment each other with Bulli brewing big West Coast IPA’s, Belgian Beers, Red and Black IPA’s, whilst Jeffrey Argent from Grassy Knoll tends to brew more East Coast and Hazy styles of beer.  

Moving on you will discover South Yeast Brewing in an industrial estate just North of Nowra. Run by local brothers Joey and Simon Panucci who are both accomplished musicians and now brewers, they can often been found jamming with other musos in the venue for a lazy Sunday Session.

The popular seaside town of Huskisson is the next stop where you will find Jervis Bay Brewing who have been around since 2019. The relaxed vibe of the venue reflects the laid back lifestyle of Husky, but they do take their beers seriously winning 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze medals at the 2021 Australian International Beer Awards.

A bit further South and you will come across Camelrock Brewery which is actually located in Wallaga Lake Holiday Park just North of Bermagui. Camel Rock Bar & Grill was the first Brewery on the Sapphire Coast and they claim to be the first Micro-Brewery built in a Holiday Park anywhere in the world.  The grill features American influenced burgers, ribs to complement their beers.

The last stop is Longstocking, in Pambula, just a few minutes south of Merimbula.  The brewery is part the Oaklands complex which includes a nursery, café, art gallery, petting zoo and event centre so there is something for everyone. From the green space inside, to the deck or in the beer garden, you can enjoy fresh local oysters, woodfired pizzas and Live music. Long Stocking brew classic styles like Pilsners, Irish Stout and Red Ales.

The Trail covers 370kms, 8 breweries and over 70 beers and with more breweries opening along the South Coast soon, this trail is sure you be one for Craft Beer lovers to travel. Remember the South Coast Ale Trail is not a destination, it’s a journey !

Page 2 of 2