Stockade Brew Co. , Marrickville, New South Wales © Stockade Brew Co.
Sydney’s backstreet culture of craft beer
Sydney’s inner west allows beer lovers to dive into the backstreets and discover a delicious surprise, with inventive microbreweries turning out tasty, award-winning brews.
By Katrina Lobley & Ashlea Wheeler
Sydney's inner-west neighbourhoods are home to an ever-growing number of craft breweries. And these dedicated craftsmen and women have taken their passion to the next level with a slew of hip microbreweries opening up in this cool and quirky area. These venues have also become vibrant community hubs where everyone – from hipsters to hounds – is welcome.
Where: 76 Wilford St, Newtown
As you stroll closer to this brewery in Newtown, which is tucked away from the busy thoroughfares of Enmore Road and King Street in an obscure laneway covered in graffiti, you’ll detect a happy buzz in the air. Both locals and visitors seek out the Young Henrys tasting bar to sample their core range of easy-drinking beers or their limited release batches which have included experimental brews such as a Coral Sour, Tiramisu White Stout, Brut IPA, and Rumming with the Devil Rum & Raisin Brown Ale.
Stockade Brew Co.
Where: 25 Cadogan St, Marrickville
It's no secret that the guys at Stockade have a penchant for barrel-aged beers. You'll see the towers of them when you enter the tasting room and their contents reflected on the menu. With a classic range full of crowd-pleasers and an ever-evolving list of experimental and limited release brews, it doesn't take long to see why they've got such an exhaustive list of awards under their belt. They also offer masterclasses, beer cocktails and killer burgers from Baby Rey's food truck, making it the perfect spot to spend an afternoon.
Wayward Brewing Company
Where: 1 Gehrig Ln, Camperdown
Wayward Brewing Company draws in patrons with a welcoming, casual vibe. Their beer hall in Camperdown features a wall dedicated to photos of the dogs that regularly visit the brewery with their owners, and vintage furniture that makes the space feel like an extension of your lounge room. The taps might be pouring exotic creations such as a passionfruit and yuzu sour beer (Passion of the Puss), while patrons happily play games of giant Jenga and munch on the free popcorn handed out at the bar.
One Drop Brewing Co.
Where: 5 Erith St, Botany
Housed in an old paper factory in the south Sydney suburb of Botany, One Drop is the first brewery to pop up in this part of the city. It's a massive warehouse space filled with leafy palms and reggae vibes. There's a small outdoor area as well, where you'll find a rotating list of food trucks serving up the perfect complement to the brews. You'll find a handful of stalwarts on tap, including a lager, IPA and XPA as well as fruit-based sours.
Akasha Brewing Company
Where: 10-12 Spencer St, Five Dock
When you step into the tasting room at Akasha Brewing Company you'll know that this microbrewery is the real deal. Raw wood seating tones down the stark metal brewing machinery that lines the spacious room. Up to 12 beers and ciders are available on tap, and the selection always includes their Lager, Pale Ale, Amber Ale, and IPA along with special edition brews which are swapped out regularly. Sample some of the grub from the food trucks that appear on-site every weekend and take home a 1.9-litre ‘growler’ of your favourite beer straight from the brewery.
The Grifter Brewing Company
Where: 1/391-397 Enmore Rd, Marrickville
The Grifter have a set up that blends perfectly with the soul of Marrickville. Their open space, which was once used as an industrial laundromat, is huge enough to house their brewing tanks along with a spacious tasting bar. As you step inside, you'll notice that the walls and ceiling are lined with a seemingly appropriate combination of exposed brick and corrugated iron. Beer-lovers will be excited to know that the entire Grifter range is available on tap (including their signature Australian Pale Ale), and if you can’t choose which of their delicious brews to try, there’s the option of ordering four tasting ponies for $12. The best part is that you can collect them one at a time so that the beer in your hand is always fresh from the tap.
Slow Lane Brewing
Where: 30 Byrnes St, Botany
Using traditional brewing methods to produce slow-fermented beer, Slow Lane produces modern interpretations of old-world European beers. Part of this is in the barrell-aging of their brews, but also includes natural carbonation and open fermentation. There are currently 14 beers on tap in the tasting room, including a grisette, weisse and an English barley wine. You can bring your own food or order in from nearby restaurants if you plan to enjoy the beers at the recommended pace – slow.
Willie the Boatman
Where: Precinct 75 Suite 601, 75 Mary St, St Peters
Tucked away on Mary Street in St Peters is Willie the Boatman – a craft brewery with a tasting bar housed in an old paint factory. The owners, who began as homebrewers and slowly developed their love of craft beer into a recognisable local brand, have adorned their space with a tasteful nautical theme and their unique beer flavours such as their Old Salty Gose and Albo Corn Ale have proved to be popular among the locals.
Where: 1a Mitchell St, Marrickville
Sauce's taproom and beer garden welcomes patrons of all ages and those who want to bring along their furry friends. A diverse range of flavoursome beers are available for tasting, ranging from hoppy to sour. Cleverly named beers like the ‘Piss-weak Sauce’ Session IPA or the ‘Son of a Peach!’ Berliner Weisse compliment their flagship Pale Ale and extra-hoppy IPA varieties.
Batch Brewing Company
Where: 44 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville
Batch Brewing Company offers an interesting combination of American-Australian beers. As per their namesake, the range on offer at their tasting room changes frequently as new batches are brewed, but some of the regulars you might see on the menu include an American Pale and an IPA. Some of the brews are available to take home in handy 1.9-litre growlers or 640-millilitre bottles, and if you’d like a peak behind the scenes, you can book a brewery tour over the weekend before grabbing a bite at one of the food trucks that park outside a few nights a week.