Atomic Beer Project
Atomic Beer Project – the slick east-coast debut from Western Australian brewery Gage Roads – sits halfway down Redfern’s Regent Street in a mid-century warehouse, its black-and-white facade tough to miss.
But it’s what you’ll find inside that truly stands out: a full-scale brewery and bar devoted to hop-heavy beers and wild one-off brews; a bookable co-working space; and a pan-Asian restaurant (with fiery wok drama) helmed by ex-Longrain Tokyo chef Jordan McLeod.
As far as brewpubs go, there’s nothing like it in Sydney. Head brewer Nick Ivey has created one hell of a situation with Atomic Beer Project. Last September he drove across the Nullabor to get here, picked the brewing kit and unloaded it from the shipping containers himself, then worked with a team of tradies to get it set up and brewing.
He single-handedly crafted every one of the eight beers on tap. There’s an XPA, pale ale and IPA in the core range, and he’s used a reverse-osmosis filter – the same technology Mountain Culture is using up in Katoomba – to ensure the base-water he’s brewing with here matches Gage Roads’ on the west coast. The five remaining taps go to limited releases, which include a crisp and fruity saison, a strong pale ale brewed with experimental hops, and the Paul’s Porter, named after a build-team legend. While most breweries keg their beers before tapping them in-house, six of Atomic’s beers are poured straight from the tanks.
And if building a world-class brewery wasn’t enough, he’s also spruiking local spirits and Australian wines. Then there’s the full-fledged restaurant with table service, where McLeod is serving up a pan-Asian menu influenced by his time cooking in Japan (Thai food at Longrain, yakitori in Kyoto) and cheffing around Sydney.
There’s a spicy isaan sausage roll with tamarind-chilli ketchup; lamb massaman curry with deep-fried julienne potatoes; banh-mi-style croissants with porter-braised beef; deep-fried cuttlefish and pork salad with nuoc cham; and a barbeque chook glazed with a tare sauce he learned to make while working in Japan.
The hawker-inspired dining area doubles as a co-working space during the day, where you can get a breakfast dishes including avocado on toast, granola and bacon-and-egg rolls, as well as Mecca coffee if you’re early enough. From here you’re in full view of the tasting bar’s eclectic design by YSG Studios. The atomic-green slab of a bar top is made from Pyrolave – a kind of hot-baked enamel, poured as a single tile. The fluorescent-yellow light fittings above it look like an art installation plucked from the MCA – a wild contrast to the steel tanks looming behind.