I've been doing a bit of work around there and Ballina over the last few months and didn't really find anything in the local pubs. They have a dan's down at ballina though and a little bottle shop at the main shopping centre on the airport side of the road.
Apart from that, you could always visit the stone and wood brewery in byron for a sticky beak
Stone & Wood don't do brewery tours. It's a working brewery, and you'll find they're far too busy brewing actual beer to entertain the OHS issues of inviting random sticky-beaks in for a looky-see. No eye candy, either.
Go round the corner to the old Piggery, which is now the Byron Bay Brewing Company. Just look for signs pointing towards the Cinema. They _will_ do brewery tours, and have a decent range of beers on tap, but far inferior to S&W, imho. Their beer garden is nice, though, with a lovely 100 year old fig tree, and plenty of eye candy.
Get to the Rails (Railway Hotel) for good, fresh, S&W Pacific, or S&W Jasper ale. They've also got a decent range of other stuff, LCPA, etc. Also, eye candy.
As well as parking meters, gridlock and drunken yahoos vomiting and urinating at will. Use to be nice. If you fancy a pleasant relaxing side trip, pop up the road to Brunswick Heads to the lovely old 1940s Art Deco pub, usually has Coopers, might have expanded the range in the last couple of years. Food was awesome last time I was there.
Ballina has no craft beer on tap on the main island (Well, noone did on the easter weekend )
Neither did the west tower tavern in west Ballina
The Shawsy (east Ballina) may have something, but i haven't been there in about 10 years
Give the lennox hotel a go, i think they sometimes have stone and wood on tap
Other than that, like everyone else has said, Byron is your best bet
I was at the Shawsy last week (camping at the caravan pake on the lake). Iwas designated driver so wasn't really on the lookout for good beers but they had the standard selection of mega swill plus JS 150 lashes, cider, coopers (maybe), old. Nothing really caught my eye.
We stay at the block of apartments opposite the shawsy for when we get sent up there for work and they definitely have 150 lashes, coopers and old, but everything else is swill. Decent place to drop in on a Sunday afternoon though with a band playing out the back on the sand.
The moroccan lamb shanks there are preeeeetty delicious as well..
If the beers at the piggery arent infected, I would be really surprised, last time I was there they were woeful.
For those that dont know, the Great Northen in byron is starting to give craft beer a crack.
Last time I was there they had sierra nevada pale, IPA in bottles in the bar, SNW on tap, and I have it on good authority that they recently purchased a keg of Holgate Temptress....I think there is also feral hop hog and some other goodies as well in recent weeks.
Shawsy ...awesome venue for sunday session (my band playing there 21/4)..has coopers celebration and lashes. Stone and wood may give you a tour , ring them first though as it is not their usual business. Also give the hotel at bangalow a look.they are co-owners of stone and have them on tap. Eltham tavern also a superb little country pub close to Lennox.