Sydney’s inner west continues to solidify its place as Australia’s craft-beer capital with the opening of Batch Brewing Co’s nanobrewery, at the back of Public House Petersham. When Broadsheet visits, the final touches are being added to the new space opposite the pub’s courtyard, positioned to enhance its popular car-park parties.
“The whole idea is to create a precinct so the people who come can stay in Petersham the whole night,” says Public House’s general manager Gem Williamson. She expects patrons to bounce between the two venues, with Public House offering standard drinks and full meals, and the new Batch nanobrewery offering experimental brews in a tasting-room environment.
Batch co-founder Andrew Fineran says not only does it expose the beer to new people, the second location allows the Marrickville brewery to experiment and expand its repertoire. The additional brewing facilities mean they can scale up production of new brews that are well-received, and meet growing demand for old favourites.
Some of the more unusual brews expected are peach and plum sours, as well as a Finnish-style sahti. Batch’s coffee nitro IPA will be nitrogenated rather than simply carbonated, giving a creamier flavour, and its pickle sour will also be back on rotation. And to celebrate the birthday of Gizmo, Public House’s cat, a Black-Forest-cake-inspired beer is also being devised, using cherries and blackberries.
Batch and Public House have also collaborated on a snack menu that showcases ingredients that would otherwise be discarded during the beer-brewing process, including malt, hops and even the beer itself. Overseeing the food side of the partnership is Public House head chef James Elliot, formerly of Woollahra’s Chiswick. Spent grain is used to crumb the eggplant katsu and is also folded into the focaccia dough, which Elliot says adds a cereal quality to the flavour. The lamb ribs are glazed in a reduction of pineapple sour and two kinds of miso. There’s a bitter mayo made from hops, and a milk-stout beef-and-mushroom pie. These dishes and more will be cooked in Public House’s kitchen and brought across the carpark. The two venues have plans to host outdoor car-park parties with live music. Fineran, originally from the US, is even mulling a Baltimore-style crab feast sometime in the future.
Williamson says she hopes the new collaboration will continue to enliven Petersham’s nightlife, adding to its Portuguese food scene and the recently refurbished Oxford Tavern. “The whole area will benefit from having this collaboration. The waterfall-effect will be positive for everyone.”