Swell Brewing Co, McLaren Vale
Sometimes wineries are not for every one, and with a quality craft offering like Swell Brewing Co in the region, why wouldn’t you mix it up a bit? I’d like to say it kept my husband happy, and it did, but actually I’d call myself a bit of a beer diva, so it ticked my boxes too. Hang on…..but a brewery and kids? Fear not…….this place is perfect.
First impression arriving at Swell is like opening the back gate at a mates house to join in on an family Sunday gathering, in a huge, immaculately maintained back yard. It’s a safe place (fully fenced), it’s so on trend that it could be the coolest hang in the region. It’s comfy as hell and you’ll be pretty damn envious of the country block size if you hail from the city.
The first thing I did? Breathed a huge sigh of relief as I panned the massive lawn. My energetic kids were going to be just fine here, and I put down the umbrellas, soccer-ball and bag of games (that I need not have packed), as we cosied under the massive veranda. To say it was a wet day on our visit is an understatement, and you know what, I’m still giving it a 10/10. Plus there was no mud. I can’t even deal with how rad this would be on a Spring arvo.
Walking inside you’ll notice this place is chic. It’s fancy, but casual. It’s new and crisp and there are glass windows and natural light for days……providing me further relief, because I can see my silly offspring from the table, who were opting to stay put out side in the cold. They had blocks, ring toss, boxes and games that were placed about the veranda, and energy to burn after the 45 minute car trip from ‘the city’.
The kids were catered for with a simple tasty menu, no chicken nuggets here, but my lot enjoyed some crumbed chicken tenderloins and battered garfish. They also stole a LOT of our food and a promise of ice cream and ice magic for groms, bought us an additional twenty minuets of reasonable table behaviour.
Lets talk about food, before we get on to beer. We were pretty chuffed to have pulled up stumps somewhere that offered more than just platters and pizzas. Don’t get me wrong we love both, but variety, spice of life, and all that. This food was really impressive. We ate arancini, paprika sweet potato fries with fetta, SA squid, of course a burger, because it just felt right and the most amazing pork belly and balanced Asian salad you will ever eat in your life. Yeah, we over ate.
We took it pretty easy on the beers, because #familyday, but enjoyed a tasting paddle and some adult time while our kids played uno (supplied) and drew pictures (supplied) with some other kids. There were around 14 beers on tap the day we visited and these change around a bit. Plus cider and a non alcoholic Mojo Kombucha (in case you thought you were at Womad I guess?)
The bathrooms include a lovely clean change facility for bubs and this place can handle a pram or ten no worries.
On a sunny day I can just imagine grazing and chilling out on that lawn under a nice umbrella. Beverage in hand.
Indoors does feature a pretty big stair case, so if your kids are ‘that age’ maybe request to be away from it when you book. The upstairs level over looks the down stairs dining and is spacious, has a huge big outdoor balcony overlooking the lawns but perhaps wouldn’t suit those baby mamas and papas with a prams (so ask for down stairs or out doors at the time of making your reservation).
The kids tossed rings, sat in boxes, stacked milk crates, ran and ran and as mentioned enjoyed uno and drawing. We packed our own soccer ball and suggest packing jackets and beanies for winter if they are active kids and a picnic rug if you haven’t booked a table in the finer months.
Finally, we didn’t get to meet the infamous Mikey Wright (yes, named after the pro surfer), but he sounds like a dead set legend and we think we would have loved him just as much as the beers, food and venu.
So to close off – Swell Brewing Co gets a MASSIVE ‘highly recommend’ from us, for families or other wise. Find it at
168 Olivers Road McLaren Vale, South Australia 5171
Ph: 0439 209389
Mon-Wed by appointment only
Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm