We went to five breweries while we were in Sydney, only missing out on visiting the Lord Nelson Brewery on the Rocks. Still, we think we got a really good picture of how clever and crafty you can get with beer.
This place was cool. Set in a colourful street art laneway in Newtown, this warehouse style tasting bar had high ceilings, grand fermenting tanks behind the bar, exposed brick walls, pop art hanging on the walls and an awesome soundtrack. A paddle of six beers was $15 and we were really impressed with the variety. The favourites were the Natural Lager with its crisp and refreshing taste with a warm yeasty finish, and the New Hop Ale with sweet hops and roasted malt bitterness. The creative beers were the Young Mussel Wit, which was made with mussels but you wouldn’t know it if they didn’t tell you, and the Pink Lightning, a cloudy peach coloured beer with a floral perfume of rose, hibiscus and elderflower.
Young Henry’s have been brewing for 3 years and they really take beer making to the next level. Stop in for a beer or grab yourself a growler to take away.
Batch Brewing Co.
Another brewery operating out of a warehouse, you can see the operations behind the bar and get a good look on your way to the bathroom. They’ve been brewing for two years and have a fridge full of takeaway bombers (longnecks) and big growlers.
The place is a little hipster, offering a tasting crate of jars for $20, but don’t underestimate the beer because it’s fabulous. We had a few favourites, like the Big Kahuna, which was made with coconut to give sweet coconut flavours to the smooth, rich brew, and the Elsie Milk Stout, a thick, dark beer made with lactose for a fine milky head.
We stumbled across this place during our $100 Day and discovered that it’s actually the sister cidery to the Lovedale Brewery in the Hunter Valley. We’d sampled their beers a few weeks earlier so we focused on the ciders. They had a new concoction of mulled cider with various peels and spices, which was a great idea to release during winter, and we also tried a fantastic seasonal cider with agave and ginger. What a great combination of sparkling cider and refreshing ginger! We really loved it and ended up taking a squealer home.
After a tasting session, we went for a backstage tour of the cidery and learnt a little about making cider – who would have thought that the process is more like wine making that brewing beer! Before heading off, we sat down in the stylish bar with our favourite Lovedale brews. Dave went with the Rye IPA while Juz stuck with the crisp Lovedale Lager.
4 Pines Brewing
The first brewery we visited in the Sydney metropolis, this location is more like a bar with timber tables and stools and an awesome view overlooking Manly Wharf. We assume the main brewing operations are done elsewhere and this venue is dedicated to customers and small batch brews that are made in the small room behind the glass.
We sat down and ordered a Harbour Bridge inspired paddle of beers. The cloudy Hefeweizen was full of banana sweetness while the Kolsch was more floral, crisp and dry with a hint of passionfruit. Dave loved the Pale Ale with its balance of hops and citrus sweetness. It was a pretty cool place with an awesome soundtrack – we can definitely imagine ourselves here for a Sunday session.
Rocks Brewing Co.
It was hard to find this brewery, and even harder to find a park, but we made it to the venue eventually. It was a lot bigger than what we were expecting, with a nice beer garden outside and two clear areas inside, the brewing area and the bar area.
We ordered a paddle and sat down, shivering because the doors to the beer garden were open letting all the frosty cold air in. We sipped the beers and found they weren’t that great. In our opinion, the flavours weren’t balanced at all and many were just too bitter to enjoy. At least they had an interesting convict theme with the names of their beers.