Mrs Mac and I recently spent a weekend in the fine and picturesque township of McLaren Vale to attend the Day on the Green concert headlined by B-52s and Simple Minds at Leconfield Winery. Yes, that’s right. B-52s and Simple Minds. Not your typical Morbid Ales fare I know. But they were great. There, I said it. So there. Stop judging me.The McLaren Vale region is of course home to some of South Australia’s, and therefore the world’s, best vineyards and wines (including the extraordinarily good Bone Idle Shiraz from Five Lazy Acres – seriously, do not hesitate if you happen to see this wine at your local liquor emporium). The region is also home to several excellent breweries, including Swell Brewing Co, Vale Brewing (and their Foxhat Brewing Co subsidiary) and Goodieson Brewery, and it was to the latter that we paid a visit ahead of the afore-mentioned Day in the Green (stop judging me).
Situated a large shed on Jeff and Mary Goodieson’s family block on Sand Road, the brewhouse and bar overlook rolling vineyards making for a splendid and relaxing location at which to sample their expertly crafted range of beers.
Tending predominantly towards European and English styles, the Goodieson core range comprises a pale ale, traditional English brown ale, wheat beer, pilsener and a red ale. Deep amber in colour, the latter is the most hop-forward of the core range but still with a very strong malt backbone. Lots of burnt toffee and caramel flavour with a solid, bitter finish, and quite sessionable at 5.5% abv.
The pilsener (5% abv) meanwhile is an authentic and excellent interpretation of the style. Somewhat darker in colour than might be expected, there is just the right balance of malty sweetness and a clean, slightly tangy finish. The wheat beer (5.2% abv) likewise follows an authentic template and is full of banana and cloves while still being an excellent warm weather thirst quencher.
The core range is complemented by a series of seasonal beers, namely an autumn amber ale (6% abv, available March to April), a stout (6.5% abv, available April to October), a spiced Christmas ale (6.3% abv, available November to December) and currently a Maibock (available September to March). A paler version of the strong bock lager, Maibocks are traditionally brewed for German spring festivals. Another great warm weather beer and dangerously drinkable at 6.5% abv. Lots of spicy, stone fruit aromas and a clean, bitter finish.
Goodieson have also begun producing a small batch series of more experimental brews, the latest of which is a raspberry wheat beer; an intriguingly tart yet sweet and weighty beer made with lashings of fresh raspberries.
Open pretty much every day (with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday and the local Sea & Vines weekend in June), Goodieson Brewery is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Their beers are quite readily available throughout Adelaide and surrounds at quality liquor stores and bottle shops, and can also be ordered online at https://www.goodiesonbrewery.com.au