There’s a lovely rhythm to Chrissy and Jim Flanagan’s banter. They’re partners but not married, coincidentally have the same surname but aren’t related (they checked), and they deftly finish each other’s sentences. “Our friends call us the Flanagan-Flanagans,” Jim says, laughing.
The duo runs the immensely popular Sausage Factory in Dulwich Hill, a bar, eatery and home to Chrissy’s Cuts, an outstanding brand of free-range, gourmet sausages. Their latest venture is Sausage Queen Brewing. “We’re beer geeks,” says Chrissy. “We only stock beer brewed in Sydney and, after doing a collaboration with the Bucket Boys, we decided we wanted to do it ourselves.”
Changes by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment have made that possible. Venues can now apply to do small-batch beer brewing, winemaking and spirit distilling on premises. As soon as the development application is approved, The Sausage Factory’s three taps will pour a range of beers that will be produced in a small closet at the back of the factory. Until then, they’re gypsy brewing at Yulli’s in Alexandria.
Like the sausages, the beers incorporate Australian indigenous ingredients. “It’s a crowded market and we didn’t want to just be another Sydney brewery,” says Jim. “We’re interested in lesser-known beer styles that use native ingredients,” he says.
The brews fall into three categories: “easy but awesome, “a bit more going on”, and “a bit nuts”. Boss Ale is the most approachable brew and best suited to pale-ale drinkers. The Maligator, a Belgian-Australian hybrid, is the next level up. “It’s a lemon myrtle saison [a highly carbonated, fruity, spicy pale ale] – a big, yeasty beer,” he says.
The third tap pours Virago, which is a word used to describe a problematic, strong-willed woman. “It’s a derogatory term and we wanted to hijack it,” Chrissy says of the gose (“gozah”), which is German beer flavoured with salt and made here with desert lime and red-gum-smoked salt.
Although the Flanagans are interested in unconventional beer, they don’t want to be snobby about it. “The most important thing is that the beer tastes good. It’s not beer for only beer geeks, it just delicious beer,” Chrissy says.
“Beer lists can be a pfft,” says Jim, chiming in. “It’s pleasant to have the focus with three taps. The problem with the micro-brewing scene is that people can be a bit uncompromising, so you lose the regular beer drinker. We want this place to be comfortable for everyone.”
Between the hearty sausages, tasty beers and regular sightings of Chrissy knitting sausage decorations for the venue at the big table in the window, “comfortable” is the perfect word to describe The Sausage Factory.
The Sausage Factory
380 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill
(02) 9560 4239
Wed to Thu 6pm–10pm
Fri & Sat 4pm–10pm