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Otway Estate Winery & Brewery
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Active Beers: 18
Beer Ratings: 113
Beer Avg: 3.28
Taps: 6 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Store ]
10-30 Hoveys Road
phone: (03) 5233 8400
Otway Estate's cafe / restaurant is open 7 days for lunch, evening meals on Saturday night and an all day breakfast available on weekends.
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1.5 | $$
Visited this place on my Victoria/South Australia road trip. Was it worth the 160km return sidetrack?
First off, it's important to remember that it's a winery first, then a brewery. So the whole thing is set up like a winery, large shed surrounded by grapevines, decorated by oak barrels filled with merchandise. There is a nice artificial lake beside the main building which is a pleasant setting, but apart from that it's a pretty stock standard winery interior.
Service didn't seem to exist at first, I was waiting at the bar/counter for a while, then went to the toilets out the back and when I returned the lady was there. Having said that, she made up for her earlier absence by apparently being the only employee on that day and still being able to be everywhere at once. There were three other groups apart from myself and my wife and I didn't notice her neglect anyone for very long. I was effectively able to mix and match my sampling paddle which I liked, as well.
I can't remember how many beers they offered - I got a tasting paddle of four, the Oktoberfest seasonal, Farmhouse Ale, Saison 2008 and Reserve de Otway (the Bière de Garde), and bought myself a mixed 6-pack and a bottle of the Organic Lager to take away. As far as taps go I think there may have been 8 different brews - unfortunately they didn't have the Belgian Strong Ale available at the time.
So a very good selection of beer. Unfortunately (and I knew this going in having tried some before) I've never been overly impressed with this brewery's beers as a whole. Had some pleasant surprises - the Saison 2008 was very good - but they seem very ordinary offerings considering the range of styles they offer. I was also dismayed on reviewing two farmhouse ale-types and a bière de garde that not one had a healthy unfiltered haze in the beer, and I'm not sure why.
The food was also a bit of a disappointment - we shared a tasting plate, the two of us, and nothing on it really leapt out as delicious in spite of the gourmet nature of it all. (Smoked salmon, marinated olives, etc.) The chicken was well overcooked and everything was a little bit messy, and in small portions. We did get filled up because there was a lot of choice, but nothing was particularly impressive.
It's great that there is a business that is so bipolar when it comes to wine and beer, but if I were to judge it purely on its beer I'd give it a C, tops, and likewise the overall vibe I get from the place is nothing special.
So was it worth the diversion from our route? Yes, if only for the experience of having been there.
12-02-2009 05:28:59 |
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