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.
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 your own course on a self-guided gourmet trail that takes in eight microbreweries across the town. Cheers to that!
Urban Legends also offers a tour around the oh-so-cool breweries of Sydney’s Inner West. Some of the highlights are listed below.
Small Batch by Batch Brewing Co., Petersham
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 Trailfor 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.
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.
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 a roster of rotating beers on tap.
North or south, Sydneysiders need a thirst quenched. In the later part of the city, you’ll find Sunday Road Brewingin 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.
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.
The best breweries in Sydney
The best breweries in Sydney
Discover Sydney's best breweries and brewery experiences. From craft ale in cool warehouses to quirky antique-filled bars, learn how it's made and samples some of the city's best beer.
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