The Best Brewery Bars in Sydney
Sip on Sydney craft beers while watching the master brewers work their magic.
September 08, 2023
THE BEST BREWERY BARS IN SYDNEY
Sip on Sydney craft beers while watching the master brewers work their magic.
There's something special about hitting up the best Sydney brewery bars where you can sip on beers right next to the very tanks they were made in. You feel a part of the process, even if you're just sitting there with a bunch of mates, watching on as the master brewers do all the hard work.
And we Sydneysiders are blessed to have so many to choose from. While many of them lay in the Inner West, Sydney has brewery bars everywhere. You won't have to travel far to find long lists of creative craft beers (that you can also buy to take home) served alongside gastropub eats. But these spots tend to be hidden behind roller shutters in industrial areas. So, read on to discover where the best Sydney brewery bars can be found — and what beers you'll likely be sampling.
Batch has three Sydney breweries but the original is found on Sydenham Road. Marked only with a giant painting of a lumberjack-like brewer in overalls, you’ll find Batch Brewing Co inside one of Marrickville’s roller-doored spaces.
The bar sits on one side of the warehouse with a smattering of stools set for beer enthusiasts as they chat away with the team behind the bar. If you’re new to its brews, order the tasting paddle that covers the main range of its Sydney craft beers. And if you love any in particular, they’re all available for takeaway.
Sydney’s 4 Pines Brewpub is not just about beers — it’s in the food game, too, with excellent burgers, steaks and other classics available in its original Manly brewery. But while the food is ace, you really are here for the huge selection of beers brewed on site.
You can stick to the most popular frothies — now found at pubs all over Australia — but we come to 4 Pines to try its limited edition, more creative beers. The brand is so successful that there is plenty of room for experimentation and it pumps out 80+ beers a year. Take some of these brews up to the sun-soaked balcony and tuck into a great big parmi. It’s hard to beat that.
White Bay Beer Co is relatively new to the Sydney beer scene — especially if you don’t count the two years squandered in lockdowns. Renovation work on the venue, located in an old steelworks in Rozelle, first began back in 2019, and the brewery officially opened at its waterfront location the following year.
White Bay Beer Co is proudly independent and serves up excellent brews to the peninsula neighbourhood from Thursday to Sunday. The dog-friendly brewery also holds community events, including talks with the likes of Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis, slow fashion markets and more. The rotating selection of food trucks is also a big drawcard at this Sydney brewery bar.
Since opening back in 2015, Willie the Boatman’s St Peters brewpub has become a staple for summer catch-ups. It’s a bright, airy space with hanging greenery, tasteful bric-a-brac adorning the walls, and a mix of timber and steel finishes.
Like the brewery, the beers have big personalities — from the easy-drinking Tempe Tim pale ale to the bolder Crazy Ivan IPA. Willie’s beer is in a league of its own and could easily keep you at the brewery all arvo.
Images: Esteban La Tessa
Sauce Brewing Co had been around for quite a few years before opening the doors to its on-site taproom in 2017 — and it was well worth the wait. Half of the sprawling industrial space is left for brewing, while the other was transformed into a comfy, laidback watering hole overlooking the shiny collection of brewing equipment.
The bar area is crafted from recycled bricks and timber, with seating options aplenty. From the Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels to the flat-white coffee milkshake IPA, the beers here are creative, fun and downright delicious. Challenge your perceptions of what a beer can be at Sauce, one of the best Sydney brewery bars.
Chances are you’ve encountered Akasha’s beers in several high-profile craft beer establishments in Sydney. The generally hop-forward, light-bodied styles are easily accessible to drinkers despite the label’s breweries’ crafty ways and its beer’s high ABVs.
But you can also get these Sydney craft beers directly from the source at its taproom in Five Dock. Grab one of its banging beers and have a game of pool before hitting up some of the food trucks slinging burgers, hotdogs and kebabs outside. Come summer, this is one of the top places to be.
Camperdown’s catacombs got a major dose of cool when the Wayward Brewing Company opened its public brewery way back in 2015. Walk into the warehouse down the hidden Gehrig Lane, and you’ll find yourself in a mysterious cave with serious mood lighting and rooms that seem to stretch on indefinitely.
But while the space is fun, the Sydney brewery doesn’t need any gimmicks to sell us on its beers. Across the board, the award-winning beer is full-flavoured, approachable, and consistently inventive. Our favourite of the whackier varieties? The Raspberry Berliner Weisse, of course.
Can’t trip all the way out to Katoomba’s Mountain Culture brewpub? Well, the brewery‘s Emu Plains location is here to save your beer-focused explorations. The Factory, as it’s called, is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from lunch till dinner — with takeaway or dine-in options, so you’re really covered on all bases.
Head to the Sydney brewery bar to see where the Mountain Culture crew brew the lush IPAs, crisp pales, wild ales and pillowy oat creams it’s famous for. There’s always a food truck on site, too, slinging everything from barbecued meats to woodfired pizza and Polish fare — all bona fide fantastic pairings for your frothy.
After snapping up the Redfern digs in 2019, the Perth brewery opened its very first taproom — and we’re lucky enough to have it right here in Sydney. Here, you’ll find Atomic Beer Project signatures — such as the pale ale, XPA and IPA — alongside seasonal and experimental releases at the bar.
Beer styles that haven’t been brewed previously under the Gage Roads banner are also up for grabs alongside spirits by local producers, including Brix Distillers, Poor Toms and Archie Rose. Pair it all with burgers, slow-cooked pork ribs, scotch eggs and spicy chicken wings to make a proper day of it.
Image: Steven Woodburn.
Not-so-typical French fare and funky craft brews come together in a delicious marriage at Frenchies. Here, you’ll be tucking into charcuterie boards, steak frites, beef casseroles and a damn good cheeseburger while downing a few beers from the upstairs brewery.
Beer-wise, expect the same French inspiration. Try some malty biere de gardes, funky saisons and ales that spotlight French ingredients and influences. It delicately traipses the fine line between traditional and left of field, helping it become one of the best breweries in Sydney.
What started as a humble hunt for the perfect pilsner took head brewer Mike Beresford Jones on a decade-long quest. This brought him from making a home brewing kit and going on a beer-making journey through The Netherlands to creating a brewery in his garage. Then word got out about how good his beers were, and he decided to finally open 7th Day Brewing — a brewery bar deep in the Northern Beaches.
The result of this journey is a venue that’s all about community, sustainability and damn fine beer. These days, it churns out beers like the Mango Hazy IPA, Pacific Ales, Raspberry Sour Cider, XPAs and the famous pilsner. Add in a pool table, trivia nights, a dance floor and cheap eats — and there you have one of the best breweries in Sydney.
Drink West is the brewpub backed by Sydney UFC legends Tai Tuivasa and Tyson Pedro, plus Penrith Panthers star Nathan Cleary. The range of crisp west-born frothies includes the flagship lager, which, according to the owners, “pairs perfectly with a fresh pair of TNs and tall stories about how your old man nearly played for Penrith”. Luckily, it also pairs with the brewery’s loaded hotdogs and burgers.
If lager doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s also a nitro stout, oat cream XPA, pale, pils and hibiscus lime gose — plus a zero-carb mid. Swing by to catch some live music, cheer on the big game or hang out on the lawns beneath the palms at this Sydney brewery.
The guys running The Grifter Brewing Co have been around the block. After starting off contract brewing out of Young Henrys back in 2012 and creating beers for the likes of Noma for their 2016 Australian residency, these gents have been busy over the past few years.
With all this experience, seeing their Marrickville brewery performing so well is no surprise. Grab a seat in the eight-tap bar located in a high-ceiling warehouse that maintains an industrial. If you’re lucky, there might be a stellar food pop-up happening here, with the brewery previously acting as a temporary home to the likes of Ricos Tacos and The Pizza Bros. The brewery’s exclusive taps allow for experimentation alongside their core range, so you can choose to keep it simple or try something new. Dealer’s choice.
Young Henrys is the household name of Sydney craft breweries, an impressive feat for the staunchly independent brew house that’s been operating for over a decade. These guys went from being one of Sydney’s first in craft to a nationally celebrated company — and they’ve somehow managed this feat without selling out.
The tasting bar is a super laidback (but always busy) hang-out where music blares and beers are a-flowing. Young Henrys’ collaboration game also remains strong at this haunt — think chef-inspired beers, link-ups with footy teams, restaurant collaborations, promoting band tours and community contests and events. It’s got the lot.
Image: Marissa Ciampi.
Northern Beaches residents rejoice. If you’ve already made your way through the area’s selection of top-notch beachside breweries, there’s another spot to add to your must-try list — Freshwater Brewing Co. It unveiled a 120-capacity taproom and restaurant in 2022, pouring its approachable craft beer creations to the public.
All beers in its core range are available across the 14 taps, accompanied by a bright, welcoming space and a memorable food menu. Behind the bar sits a range of wines, curated alongside a bright summery spritz to accompany frothy beers on warm Sydney days. It’s also a dog-friendly brewery bar, so you don’t need to leave the pooch at home.
Yulli’s, Surry Hills’ purveyor of standout vegan fare and great brews since 2008, expanded in 2018 when it created Yulli’s Brews — its taproom and restaurant in Alexandria. While the space itself wasn’t new — the team had been brewing award-winning ales there for a while — it was the first time the space opened to the public.
And like the original Yulli’s, it’s totally vegan. From the beer to the wine and a neat lineup of bush tucker-meets-Southeast Asian eats, not a fish scale, cheese crumb or bacon rind appears. Take a seat on the mezzanine floor, where you can look straight into the production area and watch the brewers at work.
Set in an old yoghurt factory opposite Wicks Park, Philter Brewing is very well placed — it’s just down the block from Batch and close walking distance to Sauce, Wildflower, Grifter and Willie The Boatman. Yeah, it has turned into one massive brewery crawl, indeed.
The brewpub pays homage to the building’s 1960s heritage and the 1980s Australiana vibe of Philter’s can design. The public bar overlooks the brewery and boasts a viewing deck with bar stools, so punters can watch the brewers in action while they sip fresh drops and share some burgers, pizzas and fried chicken wings. Plus, there’s a nostalgia-tinged rooftop for anyone looking to pair their Henson Park Draught with some Vitamin D.
Image: Liz Ham
When opening its 120-seat brewpub in Bondi, Curly Lewis Brewing Co sought to challenge the Inner West and Northern Beaches dominance in the Sydney brewery game. And it’s doing a mighty fine job of bringing excellent craft beers to the city’s eastern suburbs.
Because the team is brewing a stone’s throw from the beach, its core range of beers has a clean and easy-drinking approachability — made for those piping-hot beach days. This helps the brewery bar cater to both craft beer enthusiasts and everyday beer drinkers in and around Bondi.
Wildflower Brewing and Blending brings things back to basics, creating barrel-aged, blended wild beers that focus on balance, approachability and natural ingredients. Owner Topher Boehm also cultivates wild yeast found in New South Wales to create his Sydney craft beers — making them unlike anything else out there.
You’ll find the bar within a Marrickville warehouse, only decorated with French oak barrels that Boehm uses to blend his beers —mixing newly brewed beer with existing barrel-aged beer is what gives this balance between fresh and funky. If you can’t tell, we are completely enamoured by these beers. Wildflower is easily one of the best Sydney brewery bars.
Image: Cassandra Hannagan
Beloved inner west brewery Hawke’s Brewing Co‘s 2100-square-metre Marrickville brewery is home to its own pub paying homage to 1980s boozers and the beer’s namesake. The Bob Hawke Beer and Leisure Centre boasts a retro fit-out, a highly nostalgic Australian-Chinese bistro and the full range of Hawke’s beers.
Inside, you’ll find a pub or community centre-style restaurant and bar decked out with wood panelling inspired by Old Parliament House. Walking through the venue, you’ll find walls lined with steel brewing tanks, a patio area and a pool room filled with Bob Hawke memorabilia. The place is full of character and a must-visit for any Sydney beer lover.
Image: James Adams.
Top images: The Bob Hawke Beer and Leisure Centre by James Adams, Jessie Ann and Nikki To.
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