Here’s a little treat for our Sydney-based readers, or any of you paying a visit to the Emerald City with half a thirst in the near future. Doyen of drams Tim Charody from aptly named website The Beer Pilgrim has teamed up with Travelodge Hotels to take model, actress and beauty queen Claire Parker (who incidentally, surprise, surprise, hates beer) on a ‘Beercation’ to some of Sydney’s finest ale houses and convert her unsophisticated palate from a sweet-toothed Duvel-denier to an ever-thirsty stout-sipper along the way.
The web series is pretty entertaining, if not a little obvious in execution, but Tim’s list of the best breweries is well put-together and a great beginners guide to the top spots to knock back a few coldies and discover some interesting ales in the process.
Nomad Brewing Co.
Combining time-honoured Italian techniques with some of Australia’s best native produce – including everything from wattle seed to sea water – has resulted in some truly spectacular brewskies. Pop along to Brookvale for the afternoon and discover them in the cosy confines of their tasting room, cheekily named ‘The Transit Lounge’.
Modus Operandi Brewing
Boasting a huge double-storey space, seven-serve tasting paddles and a constantly refreshed seasonal range of brews, Modus Operandi has put Mona Vale well and truly on the beer map.
4 Pines Brewing Company
This Manly-based brewery has hit the big time and is proudly stocked in more than 2000 venues around the country. The ambience of the brewery itself is perfect for lazy afternoons and the pub grub on offer is also pretty darn good.
Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
Australia’s oldest pub brewery specialises in ales of the natural kind, proudly presenting beers with no added sugars or preservatives. Rumour has it this results in less severe hangovers. You’d best head down to the Rocks and test the theory.
Grifter Brewing Co.
Owned by three beer-loving blokes who spent years brewing the good stuff in their kitchens, Marrickville’s Grifter has been turning heads in the beer world for all the right reasons. Some of their more innovative concoctions include flavours like watermelon and oatmeal, which work surprisingly well.
Batch Brewing Co.
Batch is another Marrickville favourite, offering 10 rotating taps that pour everything from the clean and simple ‘Just Beer’ to the fruity ‘Pash the Magic Dragon’ brewed with passionfruit and dragon fruit and great on hot days.
Willie the Boatman
The beers at this St Peters local come complete with glorious background stories the staff will be only too happy to regale you with as you sip your way through tastings in the breezy warehouse space. Enjoy the origins and citrus notes of ‘Sorry Anne’ (brewed for nights in the dog house) and savour the malty goodness of ‘Todd’s Trailer Ale’, the reliable brew named after the reliable bloke.
It makes sense that one of Sydney’s most successful drops is housed is one of the city’s coolest venues. The converted warehouse in Newtown has it all, entertaining beer lovers with brewery tours, beer pumped straight from the barrel, one off collaborations and a constant collection of food trucks ready to serve up all sorts of goods to hungry patrons.
There’s a microbrewery inside Bankstown Sports Club and it’s a cracker! Featuring 30 taps, American-style burgers and an in-house deli, all of your food and drink needs are well and truly catered for.
For a brewery that’s only two years old, this Five Dock offering has sure won a lot of awards. See what all the fuss is about by enjoying the classic-style brews on their own or drinking them alongside a delicious plate from whichever food truck has set up camp that weekend.