Young Henrys is the household name of Sydney craft breweries, an impressive feat for the staunchly independent brew house that has only been operating four years. These guys went from being one of Sydney's first in craft to a nationally celebrated company — and they somehow managed this feat without selling out.
The YH brews aren't only well-represented across Sydney's craft brew pubs, but are a regular facet in the beer scene across the country — including heaps of unassuming pubs that otherwise only have the likes of Tooheys and Carlton on draught. "We're trying to get our beer into new and interesting places," says head of marketing Andy Miller. From launching their very own festival to their endless artistic collaborations to sponsoring events like NourishTalks, Young Henrys just seems to be everywhere these days.
The story has worked out well for the Newtowners, who almost set up shop in Surry Hills. Luckily, the space in Newtown saved YH from the lockout laws and also put them smack dab in the middle of an incredibly creative community. "It all stems from the community here, with so many like-minded individuals creating a collective experience," says purveyor of booze Ben Stockton.
Part brewery, part gallery space, the tasting bar is a super laidback (but always busy) hangout where music blares and beer's a-flowing. Young Henrys' artistic collaboration game remains strong with the recent DZ Deathrays collaborative brew, Pils 'n' Thrills. The brewery is constantly trying out new angles as well, like chef-inspired beers, restaurant collaborations, promoting band tours and community contests/events. "You never get a token relationship with us," says Stockton.
Having recently celebrated their birthday with the Four More Beers hoppy amber ale, the team at YH is full steam ahead. A lot has changed in four years — from going solar-powered to successfully trying their hand at distilling. They've now expanded to ten brewers and are launching a dedicated brewer's tank that will allow the team to try out their own recipes. Among these class brewers is Agnes Gajic, one of Australia's few professional female brewers and recipient of the Pink Boots Society award.
The Newtonian masterminds haven't just limited themselves to beer — their cider and spirits game is strong as well, with their Noble Cut Gin recently awarded the Gold Medal from the World Spirit Awards. Now both brewery and distillery, YH plans to continue to develop in the spirits direction. "Like anything handmade, we're always improving and changing," says Miller.
Young Henrys has been a driving force across the craft beer scene and opened the gates for many of the newer guys. They may be local craft, but YH is a big player in the Australian beer industry as a whole and we can't wait to see what's next.
Images: Marissa Ciampi.