Cairns' Best

Cairns best breweries

A GUIDE TO THE BEST BEER ~ Cairns' Best Breweries

Cairns' best breweries are scattered across this tropical port city, from the waterfront to hidden laneways, cane tracks and rainforest mountains that rise up from the lowlands to the Tablelands. We’re talking everything from microbreweries to large established breweries, with fully stacked menus of craft beers, locally distilled spirits, cocktails, banging burgers, bar snacks and more. Cairns' best breweries are run by passionate people, perfecting pale ales, pleasing pilsners, refreshing lagers and more flavors of India Pale Ale (IPA) than you can imagine. So, who and where exactly are Cairns' best breweries, and how best to visit them? It’s on our legendary Cairns Brewery and Distillery Tours and Cairns Walking Brewery Tours. We’ve done the research and taste testing for you – I know, hard job, but we did it – and we’ve assembled Cairns' best breweries into touring itineraries to suit any holiday. For those seeking a Cairns craft beer extravaganza, the 5.5 hour Cairns Brewery and Distillery Tour is for you. We do the driving, you sit back and enjoy a beer adventure, sampling your way across 5 unique venues and some of the many brilliant brews, Cairns' best breweries have prepared for you. If you have less time, but still want to hit up some of Cairns' best breweries, then the shorter 3.5 hour Cairns Walking Brewery Tour is the one for you. On both of these fully guided tours, you’ll learn more about the process of making craft beers and taste test the end result for yourself. With so many award-winning breweries in town, it’s hard to pick any one favourite, but here’s a list of our top five Cairns' best breweries (in no particular order).

Barrier Reef Brewing ~ The Beer That’s Actually From Up Here

Barrier Reef Brewing has a mission to create the purest, tastiest and freshest selection of Cairns craft ales available – and it’s their success in achieving this, that secures them a place on our list of Cairns' best breweries. Cam and Caz are the master crafters at work here and they’re passionate, not just about the beer (of course!), but perfecting the process, celebrating the creation and sharing the fruits of their labors with others. All of their beers are unfiltered and made with 100% natural ingredients, hand bottled and poured with pride. Two Turtles Pale Ale is their best seller, but they also have amber ales, dark ales, lagers, pilsner style beers and IPAs. Their taproom is in Stratford, their beers are from up here and they’re in our top five for Cairns' best breweries. We visit them on our Cairns Brewery and Distillery Tour.


Keeping in the marine theme is Coral Sea Brewing, who are most definitely on our Cairns best breweries list. These guys are all about the tropics and making craft beers that are best drunk in the tropics. Founded in 2016, their four signature beers are as follows: Tropic Ale, Tropic Lager, Tropic IGA and Tropic Wheat. What’s the best? It all depends on your preferences, but we can say their Tropic Ale was given a ‘10’ when taste tested at the 2022 Taste Port Douglas Food & Drink Festival, by none other than French-Australian chef, restauranter and television presenter, Manu Feildel. Their taproom is in Bank Lane, one of the few hidden laneways of Cairns, and is rocking the beach shack island vibes. An awesome Cairns' best breweries venue and insta snap-worthy destination (if you’re into that kind of thing).

Macalister Brewing Company: Fresh Beer, Cane Field Views, Food Truck Feeds

No Cairns best breweries list would be complete without Macalister Brewing Company, which has become a much loved local brewpub in recent years. Named for the rainforest covered Macalister Range it sits at the bottom of, this microbrewery was born of a passion for making home brew, that grew and grew. Founder and brewer Rob has a degree in Chemistry and a serious passion for brewing, which saw him undertake a 4 year Graduate Diploma in Brewing Science at Federation. So - you know, he knows, what he’s brewing – and it’s all about the quality of ingredients, the process and freshness of unpasteurised, unfiltered, preservative free beers. Macalister Brewing Company is always mixing it up and making new brews, which you can enjoy with cane field views, on our Cairns Brewery and Distillery Tours and our Cairns Tablelands Food and Drink Tour. Come with us, as we hit up and drink down at some of Cairns' best breweries.

Hemingway’s Brewery ~ Waterfront Brewpub - Go Big Or Go Home

Hemingway’s Brewery is the largest of establishments on our Cairns best brewery list, with brewpubs in Cairns and Port Douglas. Like everyone on our Cairns best brewery list, Hemingway’s Brewery is proudly independent, producing a first class range of craft beers that is as diverse, as it is beautiful. We’re talking lagers, pilsners, ales, IPAs and more. They have a permanent flagship range but are always trialing new brews in limited release batches. Their back story is about two blokes who wanted to end a perfect day in paradise – aka up here – with the perfect local brew. To create it, they use only the finest hops, locally sourced base malts and the crystal clear waters from Mossman Gorge. Their beautiful brewpubs are in great locations; beers paired with creative cocktails and impressive culinary creations that celebrate all that’s good about life up here. They tick our boxes and are on Cairns’ best breweries list and part of our Cairns Walking Brewery Tours.

Cairns best breweries, Cairns brewery tours

Sauce Brewing Co: Beers, Burgers & More

Sauce Brewing Co definitely secures a place on our top five list of Cairns' best breweries - crafting ales, lagers, stouts and IPAs which are fully packed with fruity flavour. Their brewpub is on Lake Street in Cairns city centre; it has 24 beer taps which flow with an ever changing array of craft beers. Their focus is firmly on creating flavoursome beers which can be enjoyed by everyone. They love it big and bold and are always pushing the envelope of creativity, mixing up their blends to create new and exciting craft beers, complemented with a carefully curated spirits and cocktail list. Did we mention their burgers, bar snacks and more?! While the Sauce story started in Sydney in 2017, their brewpub in Cairns is beloved by locals and visitors alike. We stop in for burgers and beers on our Cairns Brewery and Distillery Tour.

That’s Our Guide To Cairns’ Best Breweries – Come See Them With Us

Beer paddles all round, that’s one of the many highlights of our beer safari tours, which take you to some of Cairns’ best breweries. Regardless of your beer preferences, we guarantee there’s something for everyone and let me tell you, there’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot day to bring the good times. As well as getting to taste a wide range of beers – all included in your tour price – you also get to meet some of the brew makers and learn some of their secret tips and techniques on making classy craft beer. When you tour Cairns’ best breweries with us, you are supporting local business and local people, have a guaranteed driver and join like-minded beer lovers on an epic beer adventure in the tropics. Cheers to that.