Who said kids can’t enjoy a brewery tour. We check out the James Boag’s Brewery Tour in Launceston.
Beer. Some would say it’s an Australian institution. I do know that when you track back in time to when the first colony was established, beer followed. Being dedicated history buffs, the James Boag’s Brewery Tour was on our itinerary, strictly for research purposes of course 😉 .
The James Boag Brewery was founded in 1883 and has not stopped making beer since. It’s nestled in Launceston just near the Tamar river and spans a couple of blocks, having grown a little in recent years.
Usually when travelling with the kids, we avoid brewery’s as they usually don’t permit those under 18 into the factory. The James Boag’s Brewery tour is open to those 5 years and over (when accompanied by an adult) which surprised us, but also ensured our attendance.
We made our booking a few days prior to the date, requesting the earliest possible time. On the day of our tour, we arrived promptly in the general location but took some time weaving through the streets looking for parking before realizing that you can park behind the little pub (the Boag’s Centre for Beer Lovers) where the tour commences (note: most Launceston streets are metred and only accept coins – no notes or cards). Crisis averted!
On arrival, tour participants are shown upstairs where they are instructed to select a high-vis orange vest, earplugs and protective glasses. The factory is a working site so all Work and Health Safety requirement must be met. As such, a waiver is also completed at this time. Once all members of the tour are kitted our, the tour begins.
The tour we found ourselves on consisted of about 10 people – us and four others. Perfect, right? Our guide was very passionate about Boag beer and could answer virtually every question thrown at him. The first stop was under a huge acorn tree out the back of the Boag’s Centre for Beer Lovers where the ingredients of beer was discussed. The grains, at different stages of the beer process, were passed around for us to smell and taste. The kids were so surprised to discover that beer starts as a basic cereal grain!
After the ingredients and cooking process was discussed, our guide led us to the brewery so we could actually see each stage of the process as the stages moved across the factory floors. This is where the ear plugs and eye protection were used. Unfortunately, no cameras were permitted from inside, so no images. There was a lot of stair climbing and the rooms were very warm due to the roasting process happening inside many of the vats, so be prepared for that. The smell in the roasting room was amazing but in the fermenting room….not so much.
Working through each stage of the brewery process was incredible. The kids were able to see how raw products are turned into a product ready for the shelves as we even saw the bottling. Our guide was also happy to answer each question including some tricky ones about microbiology and whether there are scientists on the floor (there are). Once more, when we left and returned to the Boag’s Centre for Beer Lovers the kids were provided a sample of juices along with the cheese to taste test in lieu of beer which they quite liked. They also got to keep the ear plugs which the kids loved.
The James Boag’s Brewery Tour in Launceston operates 7 days a week from the Boag’s Centre for Beer Lovers which is situated on 39 William St, Launceston. The tour is open to those 5 years +. Fully enclosed shoes are a must as it is a fully operational factory.
Location: James Boag’s Brewery Tour, 39 William St, Launceston.
Opening Hours: 7 days a week. Tours operate at 11.00 am, 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm
Current Ticket Price: $33.00 per adult $15.00 per child.