Craft beer & breweries

Craft beer & breweries

Beer may well be Australia’s national drink. We love a ‘cold one’ at barbecues, clink bottles at festive celebrations, and take home a six-pack to enjoy over the weekend. But there’s something about tasting beer from the source – just hours after it has been brewed – that makes the beverage all the more special. Thankfully, Sydney is home to a raft of craft breweries and pubs that deliver flavourful, and often experimental, brews.

Couple enjoying beers at Wayward Brewing Co., Camperdown,

Wayward Brewing Co., Camperdown

Tours & trails

Don’t know your IPA from your pilsner? Take a tour and learn from the experts. Dave’s Brewery Tours runs fun-filled, half- and full-day expeditions to discover Sydney’s hipster haunts and independent breweries in the western suburbs.

Or join a Rocks Walking Tour to learn about the history of Sydney over a beer at some of the country’s oldest pubs. If you have a few days in the city, plot you own course on a self-guided gourmet trail that takes in eight microbreweries across the town. Cheers to that!

Urban Legendsalso offers a tour around the oh-so-cool breweries of Sydney’s Inner West. Some of the highlights are listed below.

Inner West

The Inner West is Sydney’s craft beer heartland, with more than a dozen breweries in the area, many within walking distance of each other. Check out the Inner West Ale Trail for a nifty map guiding you to sipping locations around the streets.

Of course, it’s a breeze to go at your own pace. Grab a tasting paddle at the Willie the Boatman, where you can sample a Marrickville Lager and Albo Corn Ale. Or linger in artsy Young Henrys, dog-friendly Sauce Brewing Co, American-style Batch Brewing Co, hop-forward Akasha Brewing Company and the laneway Wayward Brewing. Try their pineapple sour ale. Then there’s The Grifter, with its sassily-named cans – the Pink Galah and Serpents Kiss among them.

Northern Beaches

Over the bridge on Sydney’s North shore, 4 Pines in Manly offers a glimpse into the intricacies of brewing when you visit. Otherwise, sample the full range at the brewpub upstairs. The establishment also manages a ‘truckbar’ in Brookvale, where you’ll find a great selection of brews on tap from some of Australia’s top makers, including Nomad Brewing Co, 7th Day Brewery, Bucketty’s Brewing Co and Dad & Dave’s Brewing.

Couple enjoying beers at the 4 Pines Brewing Co. Truck Bar, Brookvale

4 Pines Truck Bar, Brookvale

The Rocks

Head to the city’s oldest neighbourhood, The Rocks, for Sydney’s oldest pub, the Lord Nelson Brewery, which concocts 100 per cent natural beer with no added sugars, preservatives or additives. And it has kept up that tradition for a quarter of a century. Nearby, the Endeavour Tap Rooms has a petite but powerful brewery on-site, and roster of rotating beers on tap.

Beer tasting paddles available at the Endeavour Tap Rooms, The Rocks

Endeavour Tap Rooms, The Rocks

Southern calling

North or south, Sydneysiders need a thirst quenched. In the later part of the city you’ll find Sunday Road Brewing in Kirrawee, a place dedicated to its community and thoughtful beverages, like Cryotherapy Hazy IPA and Over the Bridge Pale Ale. Nearby is Shark Island Brewing Company, which has food trucks from Friday through Sunday to sate cravings while you sip an Apple Cider Howler or Shark Island Ale.

And on the shores of Botany Bay is Hairyman Brewery, a small family-run craft brewery with cans that are almost as cool as the beverages: Ginger Pop Ale or Salt Dog, anyone? Dave’s Brewery Tours also offers tastings around Sydney’s southern reaches.

Patrons outside enjoying the beer at Young Henrys bar and brewery, Newtown

Young Henrys, Newtown
 

Pubs with character

If you’d prefer to just drop in for a drink, many of Sydney’s pubs and bars have a good selection of craft beer on tap or in bottles. Try the Keg & Brew in Surry Hills, with more than 30 beers on tap; Harts Pub in The Rocks, championing Indie beer for decades; Bitter Phew and The Taphouse in Darlinghurst; or The Noble Hops in Redfern.