Marrickville's newly opened Bucket Boys is not your average craft brew bottle shop, more closely resembling a sort of art gallery for beer — think minimalist, modern artwork, a four-tap tasting/refill bar and single bottles only on display, giving each beer its place to shine. Add BB's own brews into the mix, and you've got yourself one hell of a commitment to craft.
This valiant endeavour is no surprise from co-owner Johnathan Hepner, who, apart from being the biggest beer geek we know, is also quite possibly the only Cicerone bottle shop owner in Australia. Hepner is joined by co-owner Clint Elvin (Gasoline Pony) and local legends Jay Cook and Ben Miller, who head up the in-house brewing team.
The Bucket Boys concept is based on the history of growler-style takeaway, which originated in the early 1800s. Their own brews pay homage to ye olden days of beer as well — their Straw Dog, a 14th century-style Polish beer, is made from oak-smoked wheat.
With only single bottles on offer, the name of the game here is the mixed six-pack. The stocklist currently sits at 400 brews, with over 60 sours, including many international brewers that have hardly made it to the Aussie market — like Italian craft Lover Beer and Belgium's Brouwerij Alvinne. Of course, Aussie and Kiwi craft is extensively represented as well.
"I've ensured that at least one of every beer style is currently in stock," says Hepner. With his extensive beer knowledge, we're going to take this as gospel. But it's not all beer on the shelves. Apart from the impressive, ever changing beer stock, specialty wines and spirits are also well-represented — this includes Bucket Boys own house wines, made in collaboration with Alex Retief of Urban Winery Sydney, as well as a sheep whey vodka from Tasmania's Hartshorn Distillery.
Bucket Boys is a spot for true beer lovers and a place for even the biggest beer geeks to discover something new in craft. Locals around here are lucky, with BB the perfect cherry atop the craft beer mecca that is Marrickville.
Bucket Boys is located at 300 Illawarra Road, Marrickville. Opening hours are Sunday through Thursday, 10am to 8pm and Friday through Saturday, 10am to 9pm.