Ditch metro Adelaide and the big craft brewery crowds with their massive schmancy venues and on fleek Gen Y FOH staff, (who probably wouldn’t know a mash conversion from a ferment tank, let alone how to engage with your kids over lunch, lets be honest) for a genuine grass roots type small batch micro brewery, distillery and taphouse. Shifty are serving up some of the tastiest brews and beer nosh getting around. Enter family lunch at Willunga.
We made a family booking to join the Shifty crew last Saturday for lunch, and after perusing the famous Willunga Farmers Markets (Saturday mornings) and a mandatory stop at the local playground (impressed), we were ready to wet the whistle and taste some craft beer. With kids in tow we always appreciate the smaller servings of a tasting paddle so as we can try a few beers and make an informed choice for some takeaways for the fridge at home.
You guys know with kids it pays to check ahead that there will be something on the menu to keep them happy (pleased to report there was) and better still that there are some games and colouring and oh you know, a resident lizard to meet. Tick, tick, tick. These guys also have highchairs and baby change table in a very clean bathroom.
Not only was there a simple kids menu of nuggs and juice, the style of their ‘beer food’ would generally appeal to kids any way. Think extensive options for gourmet hot dogs, decedent loaded fries every way imaginable, wings, sides and more. Yum – come hungry the portion sizes are pretty epic and the prices are VERY fair. From a family friendly point of view, this place was comfortable and welcoming.
We settled in with a tasting paddle of four beers, loved our food, FIFO Dad was designated driver and so I managed to have my arm twisted and sampled a gin cocktail (be rude not to) before leaving too. Now I love a beer, like LOVE, but nice to have the option of a quality made gin cocktail for something a bit different and for the non beer drinkers. Soul Bird Distilling is the name of their goods and I think it will be a nice little brand to watch emerge. The cocktails were sure on point with a half a dozen or so to select from.(……totally returning sans kids with girlfriends first possible chance #mumtime.)
The venue it self is a smaller space and probable seats about 40 people indoors (book – it gets busy) and you can alternatively chose from alfresco tables, booths and umbrellas on the main street plus a laneway set up that feels a bit more ‘up cycled’ and arty, also under some shade. This is cool. I’m too old to have a funkier word for it. We loved it here.
It was a good move on our part arriving early (12pm) as the afternoon crowd rolled in thick and fast after 1pm. We enjoyed that first hour when it was a bit quieter for the extended opportunity to beer banter with the staff prior the busyness. I think the kids appreciated it too – with more space to colour and keep and eye on Arora’s (the non bearded dragon) movements.
Back to the beers of which there was a great little selection – my top three standouts as a beer swilling Mumma 1. always nice to see a middy in the line up for responsible consumption and this one was crisp, tasty and every thing a middy should be. 2. Bruce Lee-zard west Coast IPA with it’s summery aromatics just made me feel like I was at a beach party and had a nice complexity to it. 3. Packing every bit of the punch that I was expecting, the IIPA – it’s a big beer and I enjoyed every little drop. 4. Notable mention to the Hibiscus NEIPA – I’m sure they snuck a splash into my Gin cocktail and I want you all to know that I was MORE than ok with this. Fantastic. As for the rest or the line up, you will have to check it out for your self.
The drive took us about 45 minutes from Adelaide CBD and was a great family day out.
We grabbed a few takeaways for the fridge at home and made our way responsibly back down the hill with an ice cream stop thrown in for good measure.
To finish, at the time of writing I’m excited to see and hear that Shifty are going to make a transition to cans, starting with a limited release ‘Yehaaaa NEIPA’ in a sleek black can very very soon. We love this brand for it’s creative and easily identifiable labels.
Keep your eyes out for Shifty Lizard Beers in venues, book a meal at the tap house or jump on their web site and order a beer pack for your self or a gift! Locally brewed, locally owned – it doesn’t get much better and we are always massive fans of supporting the little guys.
Nice work Shifty crew, not too shifty at all!
Find Shifty Lizard at 33 High Street Willunga
Shifty Facebook HERE
Shifty Instagram HERE
Phone: (08) 7079 2471
Kitchen open 12-3pm and 5pm Fri/Sat and 12-3pm Sun