Staves Brewery's year-end opening marked the newest wave of microbreweries popping up in the craft beer haven that is the inner west. Snugged next to Broadway Shopping Centre on Grose Street, this is possibly the most unconventional spot for a brewpub yet.
There is nothing to denote the speakeasy-style brewery apart from the words ‘bar’ and ‘brewery’ painted on the otherwise frosted windows. The building itself still has features from its steel fabrication workshop days, and the simple, barrel-focused interior is reminiscent of an English pub of old. It’s not such a surprising venture from British owner Steven Drissell, whose impressive rap sheet boasts competitive beer judge, long time craft beer enthusiast and, of course, brewer. Staves will continue to operate as a brewpub while Drissell ultimately transforms the space into a fully functioning brewery with his own batches of craft on tap.
For now, the eight taps will continue to rotate with a ton of local talent like Wayward and Modus Operandi, as well as killer out-of-towners like Little Brewing and Nail. Pints range from $11-15, and jugs from $19-26. Drissell only buys one keg at a time to keep his taps fresh, attracting patrons that return each week to see what's new. As Drissell puts it, he's "focused on creating a balanced beer menu that reaches every palate, whether it's that of a craft beer know-it-all or a new beer drinker".
The place will continue to grow organically; the beer garden is already expanding with more greenery and personality, and the live music will come to include jam session nights. While patrons are still anxiously awaiting the opening of the upstairs pizza kitchen, Staves offers a cheese and meat board in the meantime ($20), giving patrons something to nibble on while they get stuck in.
Cheese aside, our favourite addition to the brewpub is the introduction of two-for-one pints on Thursdays from 4-6pm. Yeah, that's a lot of beer. Bring a friend — or don't. We won't judge.