Sip, Savour, Repeat: The Top 10 Craft Beers of the Northern Rivers

If you’re a craft beer aficionado with a thirst for unique flavours and a penchant for exploration, the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales should be your next beer pilgrimage. Nestled in this stunning coastal paradise are breweries that have perfected the art of brewing, creating exceptional craft beers that are nothing short of liquid gold. Join us on a virtual journey as we explore the top 10 craft beers in the Northern Rivers, each with its own distinctive history, flavour profile, and elements.

Whether you’re a local or planning a visit, you won’t want to miss these brews.


1. Stone & Wood Pacific Ale

Founded in 2008 in Byron Bay, Stone & Wood is a beloved name in the Australian craft beer scene. The Pacific Ale was their very first brew, inspired by the region’s laid-back lifestyle and stunning coastline.

Flavour Profile: This iconic beer boasts a hazy, golden appearance and a delightful tropical fruit aroma. On the palate, you’ll find a perfect balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness, with notes of passionfruit, citrus, and a crisp, refreshing finish.

Where to Find: Stone & Wood beers can be found in many bottle shops, bars, and restaurants across Australia, as well as through their website


2. Stone & Wood Green Coast Lager

A sibling of the Pacific Ale, the Green Coast Lager is another creation from the brewers at Stone & Wood. It’s a testament to their commitment to producing high-quality, easy-drinking beers.

Flavour Profile: This crisp and clean lager is light golden in colour with a subtle malt sweetness. It’s a thirst-quencher with a gentle hoppy bitterness, making it the perfect beer to enjoy on a sunny day.

Where to Find: Look for Stone & Wood’s Green Coast Lager in bottle shops and bars throughout Australia, as well as through their website

3. Balter XPA

Balter Brewery, founded by a group of Australian surfers and friends, has made waves in the craft beer world. The XPA, short for Extra Pale Ale, is one of their standout creations.

Flavour Profile: With a clear, golden appearance, Balter XPA offers a burst of tropical fruit aromas. The taste is balanced, featuring a mild malt sweetness and a satisfying hoppy finish. It’s a go-to beer for those who appreciate hop-forward flavours.

Where to Find: Balter XPA is available in various bottle shops and pubs, with growing popularity across the country.


Stone & Wood Cloud Catcher

Continuing Stone & Wood’s legacy of excellence, the Cloud Catcher is a limited-edition seasonal release that showcases their dedication to experimentation.

Flavor Profile: Cloud Catcher is a hazy IPA with a cloudy appearance and a fruity aroma. Expect a burst of citrus and stone fruit flavours, complemented by a subtle hoppy bitterness and a smooth finish.

Where to Find: Keep an eye out for this seasonal gem in select bottle shops and venues.


5. Byron Bay Brewery Hazy One

Located in the heart of Byron Bay, the Byron Bay Brewery has been crafting unique beers since 2008. The Hazy One is their venture into hazy IPAs.

Flavour Profile: This hazy IPA offers a juicy explosion of tropical fruit flavours like pineapple and passionfruit. It’s complemented by a smooth malt base and a mild bitterness, making it a juicy and refreshing choice.

Where to Find: Visit the Byron Bay Brewery or check local retailers for availability.


6. Seven Mile Brewery Cali Cream

Established in Ballina, Seven Mile Brewery is a family-owned business dedicated to producing high-quality beers.

Flavour Profile: Cali Creamin’ is a cream ale with a creamy mouthfeel and a sweet vanilla aroma. Its taste is reminiscent of a classic cream soda, offering a unique twist on traditional beer flavours.

Where to Find: Look for Seven Mile Brewery’s beers in select bottle shops and pubs.


7. Stone & Wood The Gatherer

The Gatherer is another innovative creation from Stone & Wood, highlighting their commitment to sustainability and using locally sourced ingredients.

Flavour Profile: This refreshing ale is infused with foraged rainforest fruits and Australian botanicals. It offers a unique blend of tartness, sweetness, and earthy notes, making it a truly distinctive beer.

Where to Find: Keep an eye out for this seasonal release in various locations.


8. Black Hops Brewery Eggnog Stout

Black Hops Brewery, founded by three mates with a passion for brewing, has rapidly gained recognition in the craft beer scene.

Flavour Profile: Eggnog Stout is a rich and creamy stout with flavours of vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It’s like a dessert in a glass, perfect for sipping by the fireplace.

Where to Find: Check for Black Hops Brewery beers at local bottle shops and venues.


9. Lord Byron Distillery Hop Gin

While Lord Byron Distillery is primarily known for its exceptional spirits, their Hop Gin deserves a spot on this list for its innovative approach to gin-making.

Flavor Profile: Hop Gin combines the botanicals of gin with the hoppy bitterness of beer. It’s a unique and complex spirit with floral and herbal notes, making it a must-try for adventurous drinkers.

Where to Find: Look for Lord Byron Distillery products in liquor stores and bars.


10. Stone & Wood Jasper Ale

Jasper Ale, part of Stone & Wood’s “Tribute Range,” pays homage to the natural beauty and culture of the Northern Rivers region.

Flavour Profile: This amber ale features a rich maltiness with caramel and toffee notes, balanced by a subtle hop bitterness. It’s a hearty and flavorful beer for those who enjoy a more robust brew.

Where to Find: Keep an eye out for Jasper Ale in select bottle shops and venues.


Now that you’re armed with this list of the top 10 craft beers in the Northern Rivers, it’s time to embark on your own beer-tasting adventure. These unique brews are not just beverages; they’re a taste of the passion and creativity that defines the Northern Rivers craft beer scene. So, gather your friends, seek out these exceptional brews, and savour the flavours that make this region a haven for craft beer enthusiasts. Cheers to the Northern Rivers’ liquid treasures!

Please note that the availability of these beers may vary, so it’s a good idea to check with local bottle shops, breweries, and pubs for the most up-to-date information on where to find them