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The Makers : Yarra Valley

Description

Public tours: We are running. You can book by using the calendar widget on this page or if you have flexible dates you can sign up to our waitlist.

Private tours: Are all bespoke, but we can build you a private tour based on a Melbourne itinerary. If you are after a private tour, head over to our build your own tour page to find out more.

Only an hour from Melbourne, in the stunning Yarra Valley, a tasting extravaganza awaits! Sniff, swirl, sip and skol an incredible range of ales and lagers along with dry & sweet ciders, blueberry wines, ports, sparkling and artisan spirits from vodka and gin, through to limoncello, whisky and moonshine in a range of venues as diverse as the products they create. This is a brewery tour that likes to get loose and raid the Valley’s liquor cabinet! (we are helped that a lot of the makers in the Valley are brewers and cider makers or wine makers who also make beer and spirits).

A famous Czech proverb states, “you can tell the quality of a drink with just one sip, but it is better to be thoroughly sure”, which is why we drink everything we see. Single-batch beers, specialities we find in the back fridge and collaborations are included as is all your food, nibbles and extra drinks. Group sizes are small, between 8 and 13 people. Bucks parties, hens and bigger groups don’t come on our public tours, as we put them on their own private tour. This is about us having as much fun as we can. with people from all over the world as we laugh, eat and drink our way through the day.

Our tours start off a 3 stop tour, with some becoming 4 stops as we go. This isn’t an old-school, splash and dash, winery tour, it is civilised and a bit top-shelf so we like to take our time and get into some mischief. A round of cocktails after lunch or a trip out the back to drink out of some barrels is more important than squeezing in an extra stop 20 minutes before they close for the day!

Price

$190pp. This includes everything, please leave your wallet at home. You can book by using the calendar widget on this page or if you have flexible dates you can sign up to our waitlist.

(All outstanding gift cards that expired after January 2020 have had 2 years added to them).

If you have somehow made it to here but want a private tour we can create one for you.

What is included?

  • Everything.
  • Visit 3-4 makers in the Yarra Valley with a focus on breweries but with lots of cider, spirits and wine as well!
  • Public tours run with groups between 8-13 guests.
  • Hearty, tasty main meal from Coldstream Brewpub or Matilda Bay Brewery.
  • Nibbles and cheese boards provided at other stops.
  • Very generous tastings and complimentary drinks are all included.
  • There is always lots of cider, wine, spirits, etc. for those that don’t drink beer.
  • Professional tour guide.
  • We provide sunscreen and water on every tour.
  • We use only accredited, air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Private tour options available for groups between 2 and 100+ people.
  • GST (10%), banking fees and merchant fees (3%) plus booking system fees (6-25%) are all included in the price.

What isn't included?

  • There is no need for tips and gratuities as we pay our guides well and it is not an Australian custom – your guide will appreciate a thank you or tip when they do a marvelous job.
  • Merchandise can be purchased on tour. If you are keen to top-up your home bar, bring some cash as you will drink some fantastic booze along the way.

What do I need to bring?

  • An extraordinary, devil-may-care attitude!
  • Your dancing shoes and your singing voice.
  • We request that all participants bring a face mask.
  • We provide hand-sanitiser.
  • We provide bottled water, however it’s also cool to bring your own drink bottle.

Waitlist

Our public tours of mixed random groups run with between 8-13 guests. These are a great option if you are travelling solo or in a small group and want to have a ton of laughs with some new friends. They are our favourite tours as we meet people from all over the world, keen to have a good time.

If you are flexible with dates we have a waitlist, which has been a great way for us to fill tours whilst tourism numbers are down. You can book directly by using the calendar on this page, or you join our waitlist.

Private tours

For private tour options please head over to our private tours page and you can request for us to build you some example itineraries. Private tours are completely bespoke and designed differently from our public tours as each one takes into account the specific requirements of that group – pick-up, venues, occasion, number of people, etc. We have over 90 different venue and activity partners and can tour all over Victoria for groups of 2 to 100+.

Private tours start from $185pp on weekdays and $225pp on Saturdays.

Times & pickups

Tours start at 10am in central Melbourne, 12 Russell Street, one block from Flinders Street station and 2 doors up from the Duke of Wellington. We drop back here after the tour ~6pm. We also pickup from::

If you are after a hotel pick-up, please contact us and we will organise this for you.

Daily itineraries

Aussie Brewery Tours love flexible touring, free from time constraints and overbearing guides. Our tours are about generous tastings followed by soaking up the atmosphere of each venue with a glass of your new favourite drink in hand.

We have always run small group tours, so we can cruise around at our own pace. It’s time to leave for our next destination when there are more empty glasses than full glasses. We start with three stop tours and add a fourth as required!

  • Weekdays – The Likely Suspects: Watts River Brewing; Coldstream Brewery (lunch); Matilda Bay Brewery; Four Pillars Gin; St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery. Possible: Helen and Joey Winery; Meletos / Punt Road.
  • Sundays – The Likely Suspects: Watts River Brewing; Coldstream Brewery (lunch); Matilda Bay Brewery; Meletos / Punt Road. Possible: Helen and Joey Winery; St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery.

Example menu

We can cater for vegetarians, vegans and most dietary and allergy needs. Drop us a line if your requirements are very specific. The following is an example of a lunch at Coldstream brewery, one of the possible food stops on this tour:

  • brewery burger: 150g ground beef burger with aioli, lettuce, tomato, pickles, bacon, cheese sauce, caramelized onion, fried egg served with fries (gf on request).
  • southern fried chicken burger: spiced chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese, jalapenos & spiced aioli served with fries.
  • veggie burger: house-made veggie pattie topped with cheese, lettuce, fresh tomato, egg, picked vegetables, caramelized onion & aioli served with fries (vegan and gf on request).
  • pulled pork burger: 13 hr slow cooked bbq pork burger, with cheese sauce, slaw, curry infused aioli served with fries (gf on request).
  • chicken parma: crumbed chicken breast with Napoli, shaved ham, 3 cheese blend with chips & salad.
  • pulled pork parma: crumbed chicken breast with bbq sauce, pulled pork & cheese with chips and salad.
  • crispy skin barramundi: crispy-skinned barramundi served with vegetable rosti, chorizo aioli, olive tapenade and a citrus sweet leaf salad (gf).
  • gnocchi: served with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, finished with parmesan, roquette and walnuts.
  • pizza – margherita: Napoli base, buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes finished with fresh basil & fresh cracked pepper (veg).
  • pizza – mushroom: garlic base, roasted mushroom, buffalo mozzarella finished with rocket & truffle oil (veg).
  • pizza – roasted pumpkin: garlic base with roasted pumpkin, buffalo mozzarella, finished with house marinated feta, basil pesto, sumac salt, balsamic glaze & rocket (veg).
  • pizza – bbq meatlovers: smokey bbq base with salami, chorizo, bacon, beef capsicum, red onion, buffalo mozzarella finished with sweet paprika salt, parsley & honey.
  • pizza – maple bourbon: Napoli base, red onion, pork, bacon, buffalo mozzarella finished with maple bourbon sauce and parsley.

Please we will have some cheese boards or nibbles or ice-creams or alcoholic sorbet or cocktails or maybe all of these things. The foods good! 😉

Terms and conditions

Aussie Brewery Tours will always act professionally and be fair and transparent with all of our business dealings. We have the correct insurances and licences to operate. On tour, we want you to drink as much as you want, sing, laugh, dance and be merry, but please, please don’t be a d!ckhead! Below is some extra information regarding fees, taxes, bank charges, legal conditions, cancellation policies, how much our lawyer charges us, insurances, licences, charity donations and how not to be a d!ckhead please continue…

Our full terms and conditions, FAQ and support team, via email or phone, are a valuable source of information.

Payments

Private tours: To lock in a tour we require a 30% deposit with the balance and final numbers due a week before the tour.

Public tours: You will have the choice during checkout to pay 30%, with the balance due on the day (cash) or 100% of the tour.

  • Our secure payment facility accepts Mastercard, Visa and American Express (Paypal coming soon).
  • All prices include a 6% booking fee, 3% merchant fee and 10% goods and services tax (GST).
  • Online agents (Red Ballon, Adrenaline, Viator, Tripadvisor, Expedia, etc) take between 25-35% commission to take your booking. That money is better off as value-added into your tour. Booking direct with us will allow us to always give you the best customer service, the best refund policies and add more value to each tour including more inclusions and free pickups.

Cancellation policy

Public event cancellation or rebooking (changing date) policy is:

  1. Between 0 and 48 hours from the event, 45% refund.
  2. Between 48 hours and 4 days from the event, 80% refund.
  3. Greater than 4 days – full refund minus any accrued bank/booking/merchant fees and charges.
  4. All public events require a minimum number to run. If we do not meet the minimum number of participants, we reserve the right to cancel your booking. In the event we cancel a booking, we will issue you a full refund or reissue and extension of gift cards.

Private event cancellation or changes:

  1. Pricing for private events can be both per person and include one-off charges and fees for some services.
  2. A minimum number of people is required for a private event to run, which will be the lowest number quoted. The minimum payment for a private event is the total of this minimum number of attendees.
  3. The following cancellation policy applies:
    1. Between 0-7 days before the event, the deposit is non-refundable.
    2. Between 7-14 days, 50% refund.
    3. Beyond 14 days it will be refunded in full minus and fees, deposits or other monies paid to third parties for this tour that cannot be recovered.
  4. The total payment is required no later than 7 days before the event. If the balance is not supplied within this time frame we have the right to cancel the event without issuing a refund.

We always reserve the right to pass on any fees, deposits or other monies paid to third parties for this tour that cannot be recovered because of tour cancellations.

COVID19

COVID-19 didn’t really change how we operate. We always work hard to ensure every tour and event we run is exceptional, safe, hygienic, and we work with the best venues in the country, each one operating to a very high standard. We will always refund you if government restrictions limit our ability to operate legally and safely and we will always be sensible, well-trained and well-informed of our obligations as your hosts.

Public Tours:

  1. If you contact us greater than 24 hours of the tour starting with symptoms, we will refund you in full – nobody likes sick people and I don’t care how cool you are, yuck!
  2. If you cancel within 24 hours we will issue a 65% refund.

Private tours:

  1. We would refund you in full if we receive evidence that your group or the larger portion of the group has been placed in quarantine – and also send you and your friends a few cases of beer for quarantine!
  2. For individuals within the tour, we would also refund them if they tested positive to COVID19 or showed symptoms with and contacted us within no later than 12 hours from the event (within 12 hours no refund will be applied).

Gift cards:

  1. All gift cards will be extended by a year (as if 2020 didn’t exist).
  2. We have increased our prices post-COVID due to a massive increase in the cost of operating. We will address this change in price on a case by case basis.

We are following the advice of:

More COVID info here.

Dress code

  • Take into consideration what you might get up to on-tour and post-tour when you get dressed in the morning. And don’t forget to…
  • Check above if there is a product specific dress code (this will usually be when there is an activity).
  • You can wear your dress thongs, but because it requires shoes to enter certain areas of some venues (eg the brewery floor), we highly recommend wearing shoes. This brings us to the next item…
  • To be honest, we don’t care what you wear, however, some venues we visit might. Singlets (on guys) or offensive clothing might mean you’re refused entry at some venues, so stick to sleeves and civility. Which brings us nicely too…
  • We operate rain, hail or shine. Most venues have indoor and outdoor areas and we use each appropriately, but please take the weather into consideration and dress like a local. Remember, Melbourne has 4 seasons most days!

Behaviour

Our job is exceptionally fun. We get to hang out with people whilst they on holidays, travelling the world, hanging out with mates or celebrating something special. It goes without saying that anti-social behaviour just won’t be tolerated. Be fun, be friendly, be exceptional and respect everyone around you.

We do not allow drinking on the bus in the morning. We believe this is a tactic used by inferior companies who need you drinking on the bus because they don’t supply drinks in the venues. We will keep you well hydrated and enjoying the best venues around by minimising your time sitting around a bus drinking tins. On the way home, well, that is technically illegal, but our guides are usually busy watching the road.

Antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will ensure that you are removed from society if you display any…

  • We enjoy a few shenanigans as much as the next person; we take people cruising around drinking for a living. We are yet to have any unacceptable behaviour on tour, however, on behalf of our brewery and venue partners, we ask that you behave in an appropriate and respectful manner throughout your event.
  • All our venues adhere to Responsible Serving of Alcohol (RSA) laws. If you are asked to leave a venue for inappropriate behaviour, the tour is over.

The stunning Yarra Valley

No matter how many times we visit, it will never get old and we will never lose sight of just how lucky we are to have it only an hour from the centre of Melbourne. It is diverse too and was one of the first regions in Victoria where you could visit a quality winery, brewery, cidery and distillery in an afternoon after an amazing lunch.

Whilst we started as a brewery tour company, we soon realised that we just loved people who were creating something new, interesting, fun and unconventional. If it tastes good, pairs well with family and friends and makes you dance and love better, Aussie Brewery Tours is all about it. It wasn’t long before we added in some cideries, distilleries, fruit wineries, fine dining restaurants and even made friends with a few wineries. 

We were proud to help drive a new direction in how a winery/foodie/brewery tour was run. Because it is no longer 1996, we promise this isn’t a tour of mini-tastings, followed by a sales pitch and pressure to join the wine club. We run small-group (2-13 people) drinking and eating tours where we hunt out the most innovative craft beer, cider, artisan spirits and other unique boozy products we can find. We believe in giant tastings and don’t skimp on the top shelf stuff. After we taste, we drink, and the drinks are on us! Main meal sized food is always included, we train our guides well, have great relationships with the venues and love flexible touring where we mix up your day, based on what you are enjoying. 

Oh, and we never ever rush, there is plenty of time for life later.

Our current venue partners include Coldstream Brewery; Watts River, St Ronan’s Cider @ Badger Creek Blueberry Winery, Alchemy Distillery, Four Pillars, Matilda Bay, Meletos, Punt Road Wines, Helen and Joey, The Public Brewery, Riders Brewing Co & Kellybrothers cider @ Kellybrook Winery & Chandon, The Grand. We regularly seek out and add new venue partners.