On the outskirts of Cessnock is Potters Hotel, Brewery, Resort. It’s a big venue, which, as the name suggests, is home to a hotel, function centre, and a pub, which is always teeming with patrons on weekends when the tourist crowds drift into town in search of some new wine to add to the cellar.
But the reason I was there was to visit the “brewery” part of the equation, which houses Hunter Beer Co (I have a feeling it used to be home to the now-defunct Bluetongue Brewery). Its a small operation, with brewery and tasting bar all in a space which could only be 30-40m long at best, and 10m wide. The bar has 10 taps, all of which pour Hunter Beer Co drinks, either the core range or seasonals. Beers come as samplers (for the bargain price of $1.50 for 200mL!), or as schooners. There’s also tasting paddles and they do growler fills (a growler of their Bock went down very well that evening).
The beers themselves are all quite good. The core range features a witbier, pale ale, kolsch, ginger beer, and lager. I quite enjoyed the witbier even though the dreary weather didn’t seem to match, while the better half preferred the kolsch. They had a handful of seasonals pumping, of which Cranky Pants is a big strong IPA, and there was a sour (who’s name escapes me), which was nice without being face-puckeringly so. I grabbed a bottle of their 2016 Big Stout, and have stashed it in the cellar for a later date.
Overall this is a really good, relaxed venue. The staff
were all very friendly, and while there’s limited food options at the brewery itself, the pub is right next door and does good, honest pub-fare. There beers do pop-up at pubs around the Hunter Valley, so if you’re unable to make it to the brewery itself then there’s a chance you’ll stumble into something somewhere along the way.
Go there…for cheap samplers, $1.50 is a steal!
Don’t go there…if you’re after a pub lunch, as the brewery has no food (though the pub is right next door and does great pub fare)
Potters Hotel Brewery Resort, Wine Country Drive, Nulkaba
A hat tip to the area I now call home, Hunter Valley Good Beer Venues features pubs/bars which have a focus on craftier beer offerings. It also provides me with an excellent excuse to go to the pub, all in the name of “research”.