Sydney’s craft beer scene is blossoming into something quite beautiful and it seems like new breweries are popping up on the radar every few weeks. Craft brewers being a social bunch often like to set up within “coo-ee” of other breweries so they have a variety of fresh, local beers to drink themselves (or someone to borrow malt and hops from in times of desperation). This phenomenon has seen two distinct craft beer hot spots pop up in the Sydney region – the Inner West and the Northern Beaches (though breweries can be found throughout the entire Sydney region).
Sydney has become an exciting place for a craft beer pilgrimage, however it’s always hard to decide where to start. So to help you out I have written a list of 10 Craft Breweries you have to visit while you are in Sydney (in no particular order!) – Tick all these off and you have done pretty well!
A former ‘Gypsy’ brewer, Wayward’s success in the craft beer scene saw this great little brewery settle down only very recently in an unassuming little backstreet of Camperdown. Wayward’s new digs is everything that is inner-west craft beer – it’s quaint, cool, funky, fun, honest, friendly and produces the goods.
Location: 1 Gehrig Lane, Camperdown, NSW
Opening Times: Wed-Thurs: 4PM-8PM / Fri: 4PM-9PM / Sat: midday-9PM / Sun: midday-8PM
Beer Options: The entire Wayward range (incl. ‘Charmer’ IRA, ‘Keller Instinct’ Bavarian Lager, ‘Raconteur’ Biere de Garde, and ‘FUSAMI Victory’ IPL) including one-offs and seasonals.
Food: Alternating food trucks ship in a variety of quality street tucker.
Phone Number: 0438 744 538
Sitting at an old wooden beer barrel leaning against the worn sandstone wall with a pint of fresh Victory Bitter, it’s hard not to put on an ancient mariner’s accent in this place. This beautiful old pub (which is the oldest continually licensed pub in the city) is brimming with ye olde Sydney vibes, great pub food and delicious, award-winning fresh beer brewed right infront of you. This haunt is a favourite of mine!
Location: 19 Kent St, The Rocks 2000
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 11am-11pm | Sun: midday-10pm
Beer Options: The entire Lord Nelson Range including seasonals and specialty batches. ‘Quale’ Summer Ale, ‘Trafalgar’ English Bitter, ‘Three Sheets’ Australian Pale Ale, ‘Victory’ Bitter, ‘Old Admiral’ Old Ale, ‘Nelsons Blood’ Porter.
Food: Grass fed aged sirloin (or scotch fillet) with Café de Paris butter, french fries or mash / Oven roasted quail marinated in garlic and Thyme with blood orange and watercress.
Phone Number: (02) 9251 4044
The Modus Operandi Brewery is not much more than a year old, but it is already making waves in the industry and in my book, is a must-see for any beer-lover visiting Sydney. This brewery, even though barely out of diapers has been decorating it’s trophy cabinet with a vast array of awards since it’s inception. Their Red IPA (The Former Tennant) pinched the much coveted ‘Champion Australian Beer’ in 2014 and then this year the brewery took out ‘Champion Pale Ale’ with their ‘Simmy Minion Pale Ale’, ‘Champion IPA’ with their ‘Zofeeder IPA’ and ‘Champion Medium Brewery’ at the Australian Craft Beer Awards. Not bad for a beginner!
The brewery is open to the public and they have a great kitchen churning out some fine dishes. However my favourite perk of all would have to be their vintage canning machine (read all about it HERE ) which allows you to pick your beer of choice (after some serious research of course..), have it poured straight from the tank into a huge can and have it sealed for you to take home! All hail the ‘Canimal’!
Location: 14 Harkeith Street, Mona Vale NSW 2103
Opening Times: Wed-Sat: midday-10pm / Sun midday-late
Beer Options: All the M.O. Brews – cream ale, saison, rye saison, Zoofeeder IPA, ‘Cream Of The Hop’ Pale Ale, ‘Simmy Minion’ Pale Ale, Red IPA, Porter and seasonals. You have to try the Former Tennant Red IPA, it’s a true masterpiece!
Food: Piri piri chicken pizza with roast chicken, spanish onion, mango chutney, marinated fetta, piri piri aioli / beef ribs texan style with Former Tenant Red IPA bbq sauce, micro herbs, honey malt.
Phone Number: (02) 8407 9864
The cool kids of the Sydney Craft Beer scene, Young Henrys have developed quite a name for themselves as the local inner-west Sydney brewery. The brewery itself is adorned with funky artwork, graffiti and edgy beer paraphernalia, with a backdrop of huge metallic beer tanks being fussed over by a small army of bearded brewers.
It’s a great place for an arvo brewski, to listen to some tunes and talk beer with the friendly bar tenders and brewers who are always up for a yarn. Not just for hipsters (though there are plenty of those too), you will leave wanting a beard and more flannelette in your life.
Location: 76 Wilford Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 11am-7pm | Sun: midday-7pm
Beer Options: The entire Y.H range (Real Ale, Hop Ale, Natural Lager, Cloudy Cider, Newtowner Summer Ale) and some creative limited release brews fresh from the brewers craniums.
Food: Food trucks will roll in over the weekend dealing out all kinds of delicious street delicacies.
Phone Number: (02) 9519 0048
4 Pines have taken the Australian craft beer scene by storm in recent years, regularly ranking in the Top 5 in Australia’s ‘Hottest 100 Aussie Craft beers poll’ amongst a swag of other prestigious awards. Their Manly brewpub conveniently located across the water from the Manly ferry wharf is a great spot to watch the sunset with a frosty 4 Pines brew in hand (which was brewed just meters away from you). If you are as indecisive as me when it comes to beer, you will love their tasting paddle where you can try them all!
Location: 29/43-45 East Esplanade, Manly 2095
Opening Times: 11am-midnight Every day
Beer Options: The entire 4 Pines range (Kolsch, Hefeweizen, Pale Ale, Stout and Extra Special Bitter) as well as seasonal releases from their popular ‘Keller Door’ range.
Food: The Manly Mega Burger- double beef, double cheese, bacon, tomato, caramelised onion, tomato chutney & aioli / Pot Mussels w garlic, chilli, white wine and basil in a rustic tomato broth with house made STOUT bread.
Phone Number: (02) 9976 2300
A new addition to Sydney’s thriving inner-west craft beer scene, Batch Brewing is a friendly little craft brewery located on the busy Sydnenham road in Marrickville. Drop in to fill up your growler or to sip on a jam jar filled with a delicious Batch Brew (The Double IPA will knock your socks off!).
Location: 44 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville 2204
Opening Times: Thu: 2pm-8pm | Fri-Sun: midday-8pm
Beer Options: All of Batch’s fine brews and seasonals. American Amber Ale, American Pale Ale, Rye Pale Ale, Farmhouse Sour, Double IPA and Milk Stout.
Food: No kitchen to speak of, but food trucks will come in over the weekend to fill your bellies.
There is a lot happening in Alexandria at the moment and The Rocks Brewing Company is right in there amongst it all. The long list of fine beers produced here in the brewery don’t have to travel far to find your schooner glass (about 4 metres). Pair these with one of the delicious ‘Rocks’ burgers, wings or brisket sandwiches from the kitchen and you will reach a level of satisfaction you thought never existed.
Location: Zepplin Building II, 160 Bourke Road, Alexandria NSW 2015
Opening Times: 7:30am-10pm everyday
Beer Options: The entire Rocks Brewing lineup – ‘Boxer’ Red Ale, ‘Hangman’ Pale Ale, ‘Butcher’ Porter, ‘Govenor’ Golden Ale, ‘The Convict’ Lager.
Food: Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich- grilled onions, cheese, pickles, Rocks BBQ sauce, waffle fries / Crispy Skinned Barramundi fillet, roasted fennel, sweet red onion, olive tapenade.
Phone Number: (02) 9669 3600
Willie The Boatman is a good, honest, no-frills kinda place. Located in an industrial back street of St Peters you will find yourself standing outside a huge, bleak building that looks like it might be harbouring some sort of Soviet military secret saying “really… here? Check the map again honey”. But sure enough… it’s here, and it’s good! The bar area is quaint and effortlessly cool while the brewers are as friendly as they come and will happily sit and chat away with you about their craft over a few schooners. A great place and a great vibe… and did I mention there is an axe-throwing range just next door?
Location: Precinct 75 -202/75 Mary Street, St Peters 2044
Opening Times: Thu: 4pm-7pm / Fri: 3pm-7pm / Sat: midday-7pm
Beer Options: ‘Willie The Boatman’ range including the ‘Foo Brew’ Golden Ale, ‘Todd’s Trailer Ale’ Pale Ale, ‘Crazy Ivan’ IPA, ‘The Bulger’ Pacific English Special Bitter.
Food: Grab some food before you go (or afterwards since it shuts by 7pm)
Phone Number: 0413 514 026
A new member to the Northern Beaches craft beer community, Nomad Brewing Company have certainly made their mark and are here to stay! A great little tasting room sits just off to the side of their brewery in the middle of Brookvale’s industrial quarter where you can sip on a fresh Nomad brew and look in at this charming little brewery doing it’s thing. Don’t even try to decide which beer is best (they all rock) – I suggest you take a tasting paddle and sample the lot!
Location: 5 Sydenham Rd, Brookvale NSW 2100
Opening Times: Wed-Sat: midday-6PM
Beer Options: Regulars such as the ‘Sideways’ Pale Ale, ‘Jetlag’ IPA, ‘Long Trip’ Spiced Saison and ‘Cruisin Ale’ Aussie Ale. Seasonal releases can also be enjoyed here such as the ‘Couch Stout’ Oatmeal Stout and the ‘Mood Indigo’ Biere De Guarde.
Food: Being just a tasting room, no meals are sold here.
Phone Number: (02) 9907 4113
If you are staying (or living) near the inner city then this place is a bit of a hike for you, and if you do make the mission out to Riverside during it’s very limited opening hours, you will find a very small, simple bar tacked on to the edge of a working brewery in an industrial backstreet in Parramatta.. but is it worth it? Absolutely! And the reason why is because the beer is just so delicious! Beers like the ‘77’ IPA, the ‘777’ Imperial IPA and ‘Othello’s Curse’ Black IPA will rock your world (make sure you grab a growler or two while your there!), besides, if you live in the west then this brewery is the best!
Location: Unit 3, 2 North Rocks Road . Parramatta, NSW
Opening Times: Friday: 2PM – 6PM / Saturday: 10AM-2PM
Beer Options: The entire Riverside range fresh as it gets! ’69’ Summer Ale, ‘88’ Robust Porter, ‘77’ IPA, ‘777’ IPA, ‘Othellos Curse’ Black IPA, ‘55’ Pale Ale.
Food: Whatever you bring with you.
Phone Number: (02) 9890 7007
While Sydney is home to many more craft breweries than this, these are ones you can actually drop into for a schooner, a taster or a takeaway. To get your mitts on the others gems of Sydney (who don’t have a tasting room), you will have to drop in to one of these fine craft beer bars right here : Sydney’s Top 10 Craft Beer Bars (coming soon…).