MELBOURNE | Watts River Brewing is an independent brewery in Healesville run by two former White Rabbit brewers, Ben Hamilton and Aaron Malmborg, and their wives Hanna Hamilton and Emily Sheppard. Watts River is one of the waterways that runs through the Yarra Valley, and its located just north of the brewery, hence the name.
The space a large open warehouse, with the 500 litre brewing system and storage taking up a sizeable chunk of the space. Closer to the front is a small bar and some casual seating and tables, while the carpark out front also contains space to sit and chill. The aim at Watts River is to create high quality, simple and flavourful beers to suit a diverse range of palates. Inspiration is drawn from old world Belgian ales and new world craft beers, and what the owners like to drink. Needless to say, you’re unlikely to find a NEIPA on tap at Watts River or anything else that’s being done just because its “on trend”.
The full core range is on tap at the brewery, along with a couple of rotating taps featuring one-offs and seasonal brews. Watts River do have a barrel ageing program so expect to see even more interesting beers on tap in the future. Of the core range we really like the IPA, a juice 6.6% ABV brew with nice citrus and pine notes. The seasonal raspberry sour, a fruity and refreshing 3.5% ABV sour beer is another favourite. For non-beer drinkers there’s a small selection of Yarra Valley wines and Four Pillars Gin.
For us, popping in to Watts River when in the Yarra Valley is always a good idea. The beer is great, the owners and staff are really friendly and love talking about beer, and the atmosphere is fun and relaxed.
Watts River Brewing
7 Hunter Road
Telephone: (03) 5962 1409
Sun-Mon, Thu: 11:00am to 5:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00am to 9:00pm