THE BEST CRAFT BEER BARS IN SYDNEY
Captivated by craft beer? Savour the brilliant brews found within 10 of the best craft beer bars in the harbour city.
Adventurous, creative, exciting and unique - craft beer is like a metaphor for the perfect life, and for those of us who love its multitude of fascinating flavours, Sydney is nothing less than a beer utopia. So, whether you are in the mood for pale ale in an attic hideaway or dark ale at sunset on a harbourside deck, the following excellent bars should be your first ports of call to satisfy a thirst for the finest craft beer.
Bitter Phew, Darlinghurst
1/137 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
This tiny attic bar, tucked high above the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, is escapism incarnate for the discerning craft beer drinker. No frills, just boutique beer served at a solid wooden bar under bare beams with big windows, which let in a cool breeze on hot summer nights. You can also retreat to their rooftop garden and sample their craft offerings, from dark ales to golden lagers, under the stars. Simply outstanding.
The Hive Bar, Erskineville
93 Erskineville Road, Erskineville, 2043
Offering 40 bottled craft beers, including the award-winning Little Creatures, this convivial, local watering hole is one of the best craft beer bars in Sydney, boasting four rotating taps which showcase varied delights from homegrown breweries. The walls are filled with gig posters, murals by Sydney artists, and local notices, providing a warm, community feel. Engage with their welcoming, well-informed bar staff about all things craft beer, indulge in movie nights on Mondays, comedy nights on Thursdays or release your inner DJ with open vinyl night on Wednesdays.
The Local Taphouse, Darlinghurst
122 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Australia’s most awarded craft beer bar, this much-loved and lauded multi-storey establishment is paradise for beer enthusiasts of the adventurous and experimental kind. Tapping over 400 beers a year, with dozens more in bottle form, they really leave no brewery unturned when it comes to pleasing palates. On top of this, they serve incredible food, offer an atmospheric open-air area, and on Thursdays serve $10 paddles, with 90ml each of any five beers on tap. It has unquestionably established itself as one of the best in Sydney’s craft beer bar landscape, and is a must-visit for those who have a passion for finely crafted beer.
Keg & Brew, Surry Hills
26 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Winner of the Pub Revival Award and nominee for Best Beer List in the Time Out Pub Awards, the Keg & Brew has been lovingly transformed into an unmissable destination for craft-beer lovers. According to the bar it boasts “probably the highest number of beers per square metre of floor space in the whole of Australia”, and it certainly does have a dazzling array that will ensure your decision-making process is all the more difficult. Whether you’re in the mood for an exciting new concoction from the latest craft beer start-up or desire an old favourite, this bar stands apart from most others.
Kirribilli Hotel, Kirribilli
35-37 Broughton St, Milsons Point, NSW 2061
If there is something this Kirribilli establishment can teach the uninitiated, it is that we should never judge a bar by its cover, because behind its unassuming, red-brick façade lies a treasure trove of beautiful brews. With a mouthwatering selection of bottled and tapped creations, from James Squire to Little Creatures, what this lacks in aesthetic oomph it more than makes up for in flavour-packed wow factor. Quietly wonderful, this bar is an essential for fans of craft beer, particularly those who like to combine beer savouring with sport-watching.
The Union Hotel, Newtown
576 King Street, NSW, 2042
Source: https://www.facebook.com/theunionnewtown/photos/ a.336463096405518.94679.128574123861084/ 809802265738263/?type=3&theater
Winner of Beer and Brewer Magazine’s Top 10 Metro Australian Beer Venues, Best Beer List and Publican of the Year (Luke Hiscox), the Union Hotel truly is a mecca for craft beer connoisseurs. And it’s not just their mind-blowing beer list (with 22 taps hosting 300 different brews last year and dozens of bottles). It’s also their culinary prowess, pool tables, live music and all-round life-affirming atmosphere, which draws people from near and far. It really is everything you could want in a craft beer bar.
Beer Deluxe, King Street Wharf
9 Lime Street, Sydney, 2000
If you venture down to King Street Wharf, try to ignore its stunning harbourside location and the other venues competing for your attention and proceed directly to the two-storey shrine to all things craft beer called Beer Deluxe. With 150 beers bottled or on tap, you will not regret your single-minded focus. Order a bottle of White Rabbit Dark Ale, James Squire 150 Lashes or Little Creatures Pale Ale in the late afternoon, find a seat out on the deck and take in the shimmering harbour as the sun disappears below the horizon.
Forest Lodge Hotel, Forest Lodge
117 Arundel Street, Forest Lodge, NSW 2037
Source: Forest Lodge
Another Sydney stalwart that saves its energy for your taste buds, rather than its outward charm, is the Forest Lodge Hotel, affectionately known as Flodge. Step beyond the plain brick exterior and you’ll find yourself enveloped by one big, warm, craft beer scented hug. The venue is spacious, comfortable and colourful, with lanterns and bunting adding extra character. Try award-winning home-grown brews and a tasty pub menu, indulge in a spot of pinball, table tennis or pool, and rub shoulders with the new generation of craft beer believers who make the pilgrimage from Sydney University across the road.
Dove & Olive, Surry Hills
156 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Tapping the biggest selection of craft beer in Surry Hills is Time Out’s Pub of the Year in 2015. With a solid reputation for finding exciting new beers from local breweries, as well as offering all the greatest hits, the team’s focus is on delivering sensational craft beer, a fantastic atmosphere and delicious food. In addition, it features the Dove & Olive Craft Beer Fight Club, where two brewers present their two best brews to a room full of beer lovers and battle it out for the Golden Growler award. And what could be more pleasurable than spending time with like-minded souls debating and quaffing beer? We think you know the answer.
The Lord Raglan, Redfern
12 Henderson Road, Redfern, NSW 2016
Source: https://www.facebook.com/LordRaglanRedfern /photos/a.232655893567720.1073741828.232634470236529 /674942316005740/?type=1&theater
This bar changes the craft beers on tap so frequently that they have dispensed with naming the kegs, and this is reflective of their entire ethos. Simple, serious, craft beer appreciation is what unfolds here. With a concrete floor, wooden chairs and stools, and a bar made out of old doors, the space is clean, functional and no frills. This allows the attention to remain on the fantastic beers, enjoyed to a soundtrack of soft indie music. The Lord Raglan is a bucket-list essential for any true craft beer fan.
As craft beer continues to build a committed following across the country, with such exciting diversity offered by passionate brewers, Sydneysiders are well and truly spoilt for choice. Keep this list close to hand, so you’ll always know where to go when it’s time to indulge in exceptional craftsmanship. Happy tasting!
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