You’re likely familiar with Swan Valley, the wine region. Now raise a (beer) glass to Swan Valley the brewing hotspot and home to nine breweries and cideries. To help visitors better plan their day in the Valley, the City of Swan has launched the Cider and Ale Trail, a dedicated route around the Swan Valley perfect for those who’d rather visit a pub than cellar door.

Feral Brewing Co.’s original Swan Valley “brewpub” is where its beers are developed. Owner and head brewer Brendan Varis says today’s interest in smaller, regional breweries is a return to ways of the past.

“The local brewery used to be central to the village and the community,” he says. “We’ve gone back to that mentality now, where people are often choosing beer from a local brewery that’s involved in community pursuits.”

Varis says the pairing of beer with the Swan Valley is a natural one.

“A region where wine and food is well accepted is a natural place for beer to end up,” he says. “Beer and food is just as good a match, there’s a lot in relation to craft beer that goes well at the table. It’s about making people realise there’s more to beer flavour than they thought.”

Those following the trail can expect to find a variety of crafted ales and speciality ciders. The breweries featured are Funk Cider, Ironbark Brewery, Homestead Brewery, Elmar’s Brewery, Duckstein Brewery, Mash Brewery, Feral Brewing Co., Fig Tree Estate and Oakover Grounds.

Varis says out of 400 breweries nationwide, 150 were opened in the last year and the Swan Valley may not have seen its last new venue.

“There’s certainly room for more, I don’t think that we’re full,” he says. “The patronage at all the breweries is growing on a week-by-week basis. I think that more people are understanding what craft beer is about and how it fits into their world.”

Visit swanvalleyciderandale.com.au for more information and the chance to win a year’s worth of Swan Valley cider and beer.