Best Breweries on the Northern Beaches

Updated 3 months ago


There are few things in life better than a cold one after a day in the surf. Thankfully, Sydney’s Northern Beaches are in no short supply of either. The stretch from Freshwater to Mona Vale is home to a thriving scene of local beer brands, concentrated mainly in Brookvale’s gritty industrial area.

Coupled with the fact that most of the spots on this list are within walking distance from the next, Brookvale in particular has become a destination for craft beer pilgrims, bucks parties and hop-seeking American expats looking for a taste of home. Join the fray at one of these outstanding taprooms.

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  • This glowing northern beaches brewery was originally meant to open in the rugged NSW bushland it’s named after. Though it ended up in the northern beaches, the owners have imbued some laid-back country energy to the place, plus a range of easy-drinking styles you won’t find in a Brookvale bottle shop. Come for those, and a pub-style menu of burgers and rice bowls.

  • Leonardo di Vincenzo, the founder of notable Italian brewery Birra del Borgo, is one half of this distinctive operation. He and fellow expat Brooks Caretta frequently make use of native ingredients in their beers. Their Freshie Salt N’ Pepper, for example, was one of Australia’s first examples of Gose, a slightly salty German style. It’s made with native pepperberries and water from Freshwater Beach.

  • Before husband and wife Grant and Jaz Wearin started brewing, they spent six months road tripping around the United States in the name of research. Their MO back home isn’t radical, but involves a level of quality control other breweries don’t always adhere to. Hence, the brewery’s session IPA, lager and Aussie pale ale are consistently excellent.

  • It's “relaxed backyard meets beachside bliss” vibes at this pastel-splashed taproom. Sip your way through easy-drinking brews, then dig into a fish finger sandwich or a ploughman’s board. For the non-beer-drinkers there’s an interesting wine list and spritzes on tap.

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  • This family-focused brewery in Brookvale’s industrial area is a shrine to lager, but you’ll also find plenty of hop-heavy brews and fun seasonal styles. If you’re chasing a feed, you’re well catered for here – Italian neighbour Sale Pepe supply a range of woodfired pizzas and house-made pastas.

  • Parts of the beer community were dismayed when the world’s largest brewing company, AB InBev, acquired 4 Pines at the end of 2017. But nothing much has changed since then. The team continues to produce a superb core range (we like the slightly malty pale ale) and genuinely interesting seasonals and one-offs. As the name implies, the brand’s wharfside HQ is better established than most, with a true pub feel.

  • A family-run brewery dedicated to easy-drinking local beer. Pop into the laid-back taproom in Brookvale’s industrial heart for sessionable lagers, inventive modern ales and native Aussie spirits distilled on-site. Also, a cult-favourite burger from Dad & Dave’s bustling little food truck out front.

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  • Set in an industrial park, this rustic little taproom is full of vintage touches and community spirit. Small-batch beers are a specialty here, and the kolsch and Red Rye IPA are both crowd favourites. If you’re settling in with a tasting flight, grab some pizza or a grazing board and make for the outdoor tables when it’s sunny.