If your go-to beer isn't cutting it anymore, maybe it's time to move over to the craft-beer world. We've seen an influx of ever-changing originality and new brews on tap every time we visit the pub. Why not make a weekend of it by visiting some of Sydney’s best craft breweries?
4 Pines Brewing Company
Start your beer adventures on the northern beaches at 4 Pines Brewing Company at its Manly brewpub. Operating since 2008, this beer-centric bar concentrates on one thing – the handcrafted process used to make the beer. It’s located on the Esplanade, so 4 Pines is the perfect place to sit back, enjoy a few brews and watch the waves roll in.
Rocks Brewing Company
Made by proud descendants of convicts, beer from Rocks Brewing Company has a strong connection with its forefathers. Favourites include the fresh, hoppy Conviction Lager and the American-inspired, aromatic Hangman Pale Ale. The microbrewery is on show, so visitors can see the magic unfold while enjoying the finished product at the bar. A beer-tailored menu caters to lovers of American food – there’s burgers, brisket and waffle fries.
Willie the Boatman
The newest kid in town is Willie the Boatman. It celebrates community through fine craft beer. Located in the flourishing suburb of St Peters, the bar is spacious, unassuming and beautifully bright. You can find the usual suspects, including a pale ale, golden ale and IPA, but the experimental brewers at Willie’s also produce other, more adventurous beers, including the Gose, which is a German-style beer with a salty note.
Batch Brewing Company
American craft brewers Andrew Fineran and Chris Sidwa have taken brewing secrets from home and brought them to Australia to Batch Brewing Company. With more than 10 years of home-brewing experience respectively, Andrew and Chris know how to brew a quality beer. Their industrial space, painted black, has a stout to match. Other regular brews include an American pale ale and an IPA. Batch Brewing produces a new, limited-edition range every two weeks, so pop in and grab a growler on the regular.
Now considered a beer mecca, Young Henrys started only four years ago with a very basic brewing setup. Demand quickly outgrew supply, fast tracking a huge expansion. You can now find Young Henrys beer on tap at just about every pub in the inner west, but why not visit its home in Newtown and drink straight from the source.
After years of slogging it out in the gypsy-brewing world (borrowing and leasing space in other breweries), Wayward Brewing has finally found a home. Sporting a vintage-industrial beer hall, the new space in Camperdown is a fitting place to sample some of Sydney’s most exciting beer. The bar has 12 taps, most of which offer its core and seasonal ranges. The remainder are offered to budding gypsy brewers.
Born through experience in the American craft-beer industry, Modus Operandi is so serious about its beer, it never leaves the cool room so it remains at a constant temperature. Busting onto the scene by taking out four awards at the Australian Craft Beer Industry Association Craft Beer Awards, it’s worth your while travelling to Mona Vale to visit the brewery. If the northern beaches is too much of a hike, Modus Operandi has installed its second CANimal (a one-litre canning machine) at the Royal Albert in Surry Hills, where you can grab a couple of roadies straight off tap for your journey home.
The Grifter Brewing Co.
The Grifter Brewing Company in Marrickville is the home of the previously nomadic brewing trio and is now three-day-per-week bar. They have been creating and bottling beers out the warehouse for pubs and restaurants, but now its beers are available on tap, on-site. The bar is comfortably reminiscent of Sydney’s old-school pubs; and serves the brewery’s entire range on tap and/or in takeaway 946-millilitre squealers. The Grifter Brewing Co.’s staples – the Bright Eye Pilsner and the Pale Ale – will run indefinitely next to six other taps pouring the company’s various one-off batches and experiments.