People talk of the craft beer “explosion” like it’s an abstract assumption. It’s not. To put it into perspective, know that more than 100 new “physical” breweries have sprung up around the country in the past two years. If you count ‘nomadic’ and contract breweries – businesses that make beer without actually owning a brewery – it is many, many more.

All of this interest in craft beer hasn’t escaped the notice of Australia’s largest brewers, who in recent years have purchased several of the largest independents and added to their networks. This is a good news story for the breweries involved. But if you’d like to investigate the breweries still banging out true independent beers, look this way.

Stockade 8 Bit IPA
6.5% ABV

Vinyl is back. So why shouldn’t 8-bit graphics? Granted they may not sell an iPhone but they will sell this punchy India Pale Ale. Or is it big hop notes over a caramel malt body with a nice bit of balance that sells this brew? IPAs are a go-to for hop heads, but this is one you may not have heard of from a smaller Sydney-based brewery doing big things.

Moon Dog Beer Can
4.2% ABV

This may well be classic “lager in a can” but don’t be fooled - Moon Dog is one of the more unconventional small breweries going around. Having produced Black Lung, a hugely smoky stout, and Curtly Ambrosia, made with chilli, and Bosco’s Grapefruit and Cucumber IPA, made with, well, grapefruit and cucumber, Beer Can is equally unique. Made with tropical fruit juice this is almost a beery sangria, with a refreshing bitter bite.

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Brewmanity The Social Beast Pale Ale
4.5% ABV

Beers that raise funds for a social good are growing in popularity of late. In this case ex-AFL player David Neitz, inspired by former Demons coach Neale Daniher who is battling motor neurone disease, founded Brewmanity to raise money to find a cure. Vic Secret hops give the beer a tangy hop note over a very enjoyable session beer to be shared with friends.

Mornington IPA
6.2% ABV

Ever had a great idea while having a beer with friends but then just let it go? Next time hold that thought and you may end up owning a top brewery. Mornington Peninsula Brewery was conceived by two mates over beers and euphoria following the 2008 AFL Grand Final. Rather than consign the moment to dreams, they made it a reality and it’s been kicking goals ever since. This IPA is bang on to the style, with a blend of Simcoe, Centennial and Amarillo hops giving it a generous stonefruit character and dry finish. Great with a steak and blue cheese.

Australian Brewery New World Pilsner
4.8% ABV

Pilsner is the most successful beer style in the world. Originating in the Bohemian town of Pilsen (Plzeň) in the mid-1800s, Bohemian Pilsners have been traditionally made with Saaz hops local to the area, that hero a spicy floral aroma. Hops grown in the US, Australia and New Zealand – traditionally referred to as 'New World' hops – tend to have a more fruity and citrus bouquet. This new world version highlights the traditional Pilsner malt base, but layers these new world hops for a satisfying modern craft version of the classic.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with First Choice Liquor.