Swell Brewing Co, McLaren Vale

Brewery, Family Friendly Eats, Fleurieu for Kids

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.

So many options for a tasting paddle

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.

Fully fenced backyard envy

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.

Plenty of room to run and kick balls AT your sister. Happy days.

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, hawaiin pizza and battered garfish. They also stole a LOT of our food and a promise of ice cream (3 flavours of toppings!) and churros for groms, bought us an additional twenty minuets of reasonable table behaviour.

More exiting than platters & pizzas

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.

I have been seeing the pork belly, chilli caramel, green pawpaw Thai herb, nim jam salad regularly in my day dreams.

We took it pretty easy on the beers, because #familyday, but enjoyed a tasting paddle and some adult time. There were around 14 beers on tap the day we visited and these change around a bit. Lets roll through what they offer;

16 tap beers including;

  • Cider
  • Sour beers
  • Hazy pale
  • Hazy IPAs
  • Gluten free beers
  • Non Alcoholic options including beer, soft drink and juices

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).

Seating options include upstairs, downstairs, outdoor undercover or outdoor on the lawn

The kids ran and ran and we packed our own soccer ball (you might find the occasional ball on the lawn) 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.

British Bulldog Mikey Wright. He’s kind of a big deal.

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
Opening hours: 
Friday/Saturday/Sunday – 11am til 6pm and Monday from 11am til 4pm.

They are open late on the 1st Friday of every month and from December 15 until January 22 they are open 7 DAYS A WEEK!

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  • A great spot to start your day/weekend/stay in McLaren Vale the Visitor Centre has all the information you need on where to visit, eat and of course sample some wine. It also has a fabulous playground in a beautiful big open grassy space overlooking the vineyards. There's a cafe onsite where you can grab a something to eat, a coffee or a wine and watch the kids play Find it at 796 Main Rd, McLaren Vale [wpgmza id="138" cat="1" marker="577" zoom="16"]

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  • /iːt/ verb: put (food) into the mouth and chew and swallow it.

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1 Comment

  1. Leah

    Awesome review! I will definitely be taking my FIFO husband plus miss 9 and miss 4 when he is home next 👌🏽


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