From bustling breweries to pumping pubs, Sydney is the perfect place to make all of your craft beer dreams come true.
Sydney’s craft beer scene has more than taken hold over the last few years. No longer does ‘craft beer’ conjure up the image of small-batch home-grown ales, shrouded in mystery and with no guarantee on taste. Nowadays, the thriving craft beer landscape in Sydney boasts a whole host of artisans and craftsmanship who can magic up some really tasty tap brews to tempt any palate. And the city’s not shy on great places to drink craft beers either.
From swanky bars in the CBD to real-deal breweries across town, there’s almost too many places to choose from where you can pour a delicious artisan cold one. To help you navigate it all, here’s our pick of the top 10 places to drink craft beer in Sydney.
Royal Albert Hotel
Royal Albert Hotel is an old-style pub, laden with everything you’d expect to see in one. But their lovely craft beer range brings them into the 21st century, sourced from breweries throughout the rough Australian landscape. In fact, their impressive beer list includes offerings from across Australia, New Zealand, USA and beyond. While you’re here, we recommend that you match your tasty pick with their royal burger range.
If you’re not such a fan of keeping it old school, then bring all your mates to The Taphouse instead. Their buzzing outdoor area and calm sophisticated interior exudes rustic charm and will suit all those more decadent tastes. They have a vast selection of craft beers on tap, but, if you’re having difficulty making your choice, why not go for a Taphouse beer paddle? Nothing beats a tempting selection of sweet, sour and bitter, matched with some yummy nibbles.
Rag and Famish
Take a trip over the Harbour Bridge and make your way to North Sydney for an authentic Irish pub feel at Rag and Famish. And with 22 taps to choose from, you’ll be sure to find what you want. Sweet, sour, strong, light, pale – they’ve got it all. And, if you want to mix things up, Rag and Famish also have espresso martinis on tap – now that’s a real pick-me-up.
Dove and Olive Hotel
Sometimes a simple pub facade hides all sorts of tastes and eccentricities, and the Dove and Olive Hotel proves exactly that. They specialise in a neat selection of craft beers – from tap to tin and bottle – all ready to be matched with whatever pub classic meal that you fancy. Or, to make your decision easier, why not try a $15 beer paddle? Even better, look out for Sydney’s original Craft Beer Fight Club hosted here, where you’ll be able to sample contenders and vote for your favourite.
Darling Harbour plays host to Beer Deluxe, boasting lovely harbourside views and some tasty golden liquids. With 20 taps to choose from, Beer Deluxe matches popular favourites with lesser known and underground offerings. Their tap selection is constantly revolving, so you’re bound to discover something new every time, or sample a few with their $20 paddles, complete with snacks.
The Union Hotel
The safest place to open a craft beer bar is sure to be in the Inner West, simply because there are so many great breweries within a three-kilometre radius (you can learn more about it here). The Union Hotel knew this well and took full use of the opportunity. But don’t worry fellow aficionados; they also like to search outside the state, so don’t worry about limited selection here!
The Bitter Phew
Escape the bustle of Oxford Street and head upstairs to this little slice of craft beer paradise. With 12 rotating taps and a passion for making craft beer more accessible for Sydneysiders, this little bar is the perfect place to unwind with a cold one in hand. Or, head out to their keg garden with some mates and be sure to get sampling.
Image by Jonas Jacobsson via Unsplash.
The Quarrymans Hotel prides itself on being the “funnest go-to bar”, which is not hard to understand once you get through the doors – especially for one of their quirky game nights. But, don’t get distracted from their impressive beer selection, featuring 30 of the most eclectic craft beers you could find around Australia. The menu’s not to be missed here either, so stop in for a drink, and stay for dinner.
They may serve 12 craft beers on 24 taps split between each of their two floors, but the Harts Pub’s selection is specially curated. You won’t find any of the big brands, only the best brews according the Harts’ team of beer specialists. There’s plenty of fresh-on-the-Aussie-market brews here, along with a lovely mix of locals and tourists alike.
This might not be a bar as such, but Bucket Boys offer a range of tastings in store, as well as a beautiful beer selection to take home. You won’t find Tooheys or Coronas lining the shelves, but instead some of the world’s most sought after craft beer, from California to Belgium and even here at home in Australia. They’re currently offering virtual tastings on Saturday nights, so that you can join in the beer chat with brewers and enthusiasts, all from the comfort of your own home.
After something else frothy to sate your thirst? Check out the best Australian craft beers to sip this winter, or if you’re after a solid pub feed after all that sampling, make sure to discover the best schnitzel in Sydney. If you think you know your stuff when it comes to beer, tackle this ultimate beer quiz to be known as the ultimate aficionado.