Best known for its punchy American IPAs, Kicks Brewing has opened its first taproom in a revamped Marrickville warehouse to showcase its diverse range of beers. A flagship venue has been part of the vision for head brewer Brendan Ibbett and wife Jess Ibbett since founding the business in 2020. “Initially we were contract brewing at local breweries and getting our canned beers out into the world,” the pair tell Broadsheet. “But the plan was always to find a permanent home.”
Jess, who is a designer, worked to transform the blank canvas into a breezy 40-seat venue with art deco lighting, blonde timber tables and plenty of plants. Brendan pulls the beers from a minimalist bar decked in black and white tiles. “We wanted to create a welcoming, bright and airy space that can be enjoyed equally during the daytime and as the sun sets,” says Jess. “It’s relaxed and casual, but also a little polished.”
Expect 10 limited release beers on tap, with options varying from month to month. Brendan is big on hops and the bold American IPAs that got him into brewing in the first place. But he's just as passionate about experimenting with new ingredients, methods and flavours. “First and foremost, we think beer has to be fun,” he says. “Our taproom line-up will always try to provide an option for everyone. We like to keep things interesting, and keep people guessing.”
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Punters can sample four beers on a tasting paddle or order by the glass. Current pours include Full Nelson, a “reinvention” of the West Coast IPA made with minimal malt and maximum tropical fruit notes, thanks to the Nelson Sauvin hops. There’s also Damnation, a winter-friendly American stout, and coffee fans should try Polarity, a sour brew spiked with coffee and notes of berries. Coffee beans are added whole after fermentation to create a strong aroma without overwhelming the palate. “It was never going to be for everyone, but sometimes it’s fun to step outside the box a bit and see what happens,” Brendan says.
There’s no food on offer beyond bags of Proper Crisps, but guests can BYO or order in from nearby takeaway joints including Lox in a Box. There are plans for food trucks down the track, as well as expanded outdoor seating with benches, umbrellas and potentially a secret beer garden in a concealed space out the back.
All beers are available to take away in Kicks’ sharply designed tinnies. Each can features original artwork by Jess. One of her favourites is Of Ill Repute, a West Coast IPA that features their “beloved” dog Buddy – who “rules the roost” at home – dressed as a bandanna-wearing Wild West sheriff. “We love working on the concept for each can together,” says Jess. “Brendan often comes up with an offbeat name, then I get to bring that name to life. There are no hard rules; the more variety the better in our books. We believe every can is an opportunity for a fun, new artwork and, occasionally, our quirky beer names might make you smile.”
Kicks Brewing Tasting House
31 Shepherd Street, Marrickville
Sat & Sun midday–6pm