After spending years contract brewing at sites including the Australian Brewery in Rouse Hill in western Sydney, Yulli's Brews has finally decided to put down its roots in Alexandria. “We found we couldn’t keep up with demand anymore and needed a space where we could control our own supply,” says owner Karl Cooney.
Yulli’s Brews is the creation of Cooney and head brewer James Harvey, who originally began crafting beers for much-loved vegetarian restaurant Yulli’s in Surry Hills. Harvey perfected his techniques and process with help from the guys at Marrickville’s Grifter Brewing Co and, after a first-prize win at Vic on the Park’s 2014 Home Brew Competition, the duo knew they were onto a good thing.
These days they supply their vegan pours to over 200 pubs and bottle shops across the country.
The brewery is located on a quiet industrial strip in Alexandria, and within the large warehouse space (designed by Snell Architects in Surry Hills) is a red ray light installation in a nod to Yulli’s. The bar is on the ground floor and has large tables and bar-style stools, while on the mezzanine there’s repurposed tables and chairs that work well for a sit-down meal overlooking the brewery. The vibe is calm rather than bustling, as is the case at the Crown Street restaurant.
Aside from pouring the Yulli’s Brews core range – including the flagship Norman Australian Ale – the taproom is releasing some special batch brews aged in old bourbon and pinot noir barrels. Newer creations are also there, such as the Eltham Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Pecan Brown Ale, Dolly Aldrin German-style, melon-spiked sour wheat ale and the hop-forward Amanda Out Mandarin IPA. There’s also the Black and Tan range brewed in collaboration with Surry Hills’s Royal Albert Hotel featuring the Charles Tan Hefeweizen and Chuck Black Bunya Nut Porter.
The team have debuted their first cider, Margot, which takes on dry, green apple characteristics. “Having this facility gives us the flexibility and freedom to do all sorts of things,” says Harvey. “We’ve been brewing for the past six months and we’ve released half a dozen beers.”
If neither beer nor cider is what you’re after, Yulli’s Brews has a fully stocked bar of vegan wines – all from NSW – plus local spirits, such as gin from nearby Archie Rose.
Food takes influences from the cultural backgrounds of the Yulli’s crew – Vietnamese, Korean and Greek – with sprinkles of native ingredients such as bunya nut and lemon myrtle. Expect to find handmade dumplings, gyros using house-made flatbread, as well as a generous selection of sides and desserts.
The kitchen, overseen by Kenny Kim, will become a production site for Yulli’s wholesale business down the track. The space will also lend itself to live music and comedy nights.
75a Burrows Road, Alexandria
Wed to Sat 12pm–12
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on 24 July, 2018. Menu items may have changed since publication.