Guys and beer go hand in hand, quite literally and Australians can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. But rather than simply import brews from abroad, Australia has a strong brewing culture, with more than 700 craft breweries nationwide. Sydney is home to its fair share of those, and many of the breweries supply the city’s pubs, clubs and restaurants, as well as some other venues further afield.
The best thing about breweries, however, is that you’re able to visit them to see how they make the good stuff, sample the many brews straight from the silos and usually score yourself some sweet merchandise at the same time. It’s fairly common for people to get on brewery bar crawls around the city, especially in areas such as Marrickville, which could easily cause a morning hangover from an afternoon of boozing.
Here are the very best breweries in Sydney for your drinking pleasure.
4 Pines Brewing Company
Address: 29./43-45 East Esplanade, Manly, 2095
4 Pines was founded in 2008 by a father and son team who just wanted to drink an “exceptional beer” but felt the selection at their local boozers was limited. The brewery was built and the team brought on family and friends to help run it. 4 Pines’ beers have become so popular that the original microbrewery soon proved to be far too small, although it’s now used to produce the smaller batch releases and to host brewery tours.
The brewery also offers food alongside the entire range of beers on tap. 4 Pines is also responsible for Brookvale Union Ginger Beer which is quite possibly one of the most delicious things ever made.
Hawkesbury Brewing Company
Address: 50 Beaumont Road, Mount Kuring-Gai, 2080
This independent brewing company uses 100 per cent natural ingredients to make its beers and has a separate taproom and kitchen in Manly where you can enjoy them with a bite to eat. The main brewery, however, can be found in Mount Kuring-Gai, and it’s here where you’ll be able to see what goes into making the range. No beer in the range is over 5% ABV, so your vision should stay clear for some time!
Quakers Hat Brewing
Address: Unit B14, 1 Campbell Parade, Manly Vale, 2093
Quakers Hat is a relatively small brewery based in Manly Vale, but is one that supplies a fair few drinking joints in the city. The company was set up by a father and son team and was initially brewed in Quakers Hat Bay near Mosman, hence the name. That name was soon spread around Sydney, causing the company to need a bigger brewing venue.
Dad & Daves Brewing
Address: 2/1 Chard Road, Brookvale, 2100
Dad and Daves Brewing is run by, perhaps unsurprisingly, a guy called Dave and his dad, John. The rest of the family has been brought on board too to help run the business, which uses the bare bones ingredients for any beer, before adding “innovative ingredients”. As well as producing staples such as a pale ale, pilsner and a Belgian IPA, Dad & Daves also have such delicacies as a Yuzu sour, a Mango Hazy and an oak & whiskey porter.
Nomad Brewing Co.
Address: 5 Sydenham Road, Brookvale, 2100
There’s a good chance you would have already tried some of Nomad’s brews since they’re a little different to the norm, and they’re available in some funky looking cans, which all rock original artwork. The company was founded by an Australian husband and wife team who persuaded their friend, a master Italian brewer, to allow his brewing protege to leave Italy and find a new life in Brookvale and head up the Nomad Brewing Co using natural ingredients native to Australia. The result has spawned beers such as a Finger Lime IPA and a Gose (a fermented German beer) that is infused with seawater and pepper.
James Squire The Squire’s Landing
Address: Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, 2000
James Squire is widely regarded as being the very first brewer of beer in Australia, having been sent here from his home of London, England, after becoming involved in a life of crime. He began making beer on the sly as soon as he set foot on Australian soil and eventually became certified as the country’s first brewer. The Squire’s Landing is the flagship brewhouse in Australia and has a microbrewery on site, alongside a stunning 270-degree view of Sydney harbour.
Endeavour Brewing Co.
Address: 39 Argyle Street, The Rocks, 2000
Endeavour is incredibly new to the Sydney brewing scene, having only been founded in 2017. The company isn’t phased about entering a highly competitive market though, and in fact has one up on every other brewery in the world, as it is the only dedicated harvest beer company. This means it uses only Australian-grown ingredients in all its beers and ones that are harvested the same year the brew is made. The brewery in The Rocks welcomes guests to sip on new and limited-run batches, before heading next door to the Tap Rooms to try the full range.
Address: 28 Albion Street, Surry Hills, 2010
An appropriately-named brewery in the heart of Sydney is Sydney Brewery. Having not long opened its doors, the brewery is a hub for all things entertainment…and beer. Not only can you see how its beer is made, but you can snack on pub-inspired food and listen to live music. If you’re ever stuck for drinking spots in town or you just fancy doing something different at the weekend, it’s the perfect spot to go.
Wayward Brewing Co.
Address: 3 Gehrig Lane, Campderdown, 2050
Wayward Brewing Co. is one that has become increasingly popular around Australia, not just for its core range of delicious ale varieties and its pilsner, but its limited release brews. The ‘Coffe & Donuts’ milk stout is a particular highlight, and one we hope to see produced again in the not-too-distant future. The brewery in the Inner West is more than happy to host tours, and considering it’s relatively small by brewery standards, will guarantee an intimate yet educational experience.
Address: 4-8 Grose Street, Glebe, 2037
Staves Brewery is a small, independently run brewery but one that has big intentions. The range of beers – some of which have won awards – available both on tap at the brewery and to buy from the online store is nothing short of extensive, and the brewery itself is open late most days, meaning it could easily become your new favourite watering hole.
Address: Units D & E, 76 Wilford Street, Newtown, 2042
Young Henry’s has become almost an institution in both Newtown and Australia. Its beers can be found in a large number of venues and for good reason. They’re easy to drink and they taste real good. The brewery has plenty of space for you and your mates to enjoy said beers, although it doesn’t offer tours. Still, that means more drinking time, and with some eight beers pouring seven days a week, you’re going to be needing plenty of time indeed.
The Grifter Brewing Co.
Address: 1/391-397 Enmore Road, Marrickville, 2204
The Grifter has been brewing in, and serving the people of Australia since 2012. It remains completely independent and continues to use only the finest hops and malts to make the beers you throw down your face. The brewery in Marrickville is where you will find the entire selection of beers on tap to guzzle down with friends while munching on some equally delicious food.
Sauce Brewing Co.
Address: 1a Mitchell Street, Marrickville, 2204
Sauce is a microbrewery that can be found in what can only be described as Sydney’s craft beer mecca, Marrickville (seriously, a brewery crawl around the suburb will result in an incredibly sore head the next day). Founded by self-confessed beer nerds, Sauce creates beers for all tastes and always has 12 brews on tap at its brewery, which can be enjoyed in the huge beer garden.
Stockade Brew Co.
Address: 25 Cadogan Street, Marrickville, 2204
Stockade Brew Co. was set up by members of the Szpitalak family, who own BrewPack, a contract brewer that produces craft beer for many independent breweries around the country. Stockade is the family’s own attempt at a range of beers and several awards later, it’s proven to be successful. There are no tours on offer at the Marrickville Barrel Room, but there is a shed load of beer and even some cocktails to enjoy.
Batch Brewing Co.
Address: 44 Sydenham Road, Marrickville, 2202
Batch Brewing Co has two locations: Marrickville and Petersham, but it’s the Marrickville spot that’s the original. As the name implies, Batch was set up to have a couple of core brews, alongside an ever-changing range of single batches that took inspiration from the world around owners Chris Sidqwa and Andrew Fineran. It’s a small space, but one that works incredibly well, and because of the lack of size you can easily peer into what’s going on behind the scenes, causing you to become genuinely interested in the brewing process. If you want a private tour, all you have to do is ask, but until that time, just sit back, relax and enjoy some properly unique beers.
Willie the Boatman
Address: Suite 601, 75 Mary Street, St Peters, 2044
Willie the Boatman was founded in 2012 by two “fat dads” who didn’t have a whole lot of beer-brewing knowledge, nor did they really know how to put a brewery together. But with their savings accounts raided they upcycled some old dairy milk vats and the rest, as they say, is history. One of the company’s first brews, the Albo Corn Ale, named after Labor party leader Anthony Albanese, attracted a serious amount of attention and has since made Willie a household name in Sydney’s craft brewery scene.
Address: 75A Burrows Road, Alexandria, 2015
Yulli’s Brews is an offshoot of the Yulli’s restaurant in Surry Hills. James Harvey worked at the restaurant and decided to begin making beer for it to stock. Restaurant owner Karl Cooney loved the idea and helped set up the brewery in Alexandria. The brewery is big on promoting community feels, giving people a place to enjoy a variety of delicious beers with some good food and good tunes. It’s also a space that can cater to practically any function you can think of.
Rocks Brewing Co.
Address: Building 2, 160 Bourke Road, Alexandria, 2015
The Rocks Brewing Co did indeed start life in The Rocks area of Sydney, but it has since had to move to a larger site in Alexandria to help meet the demand for its product. And you’re going to want to try that product, or should we say, products, because Rocks has a decidedly large range of beers for you try and its incredibly modern taphouse.
Slow Lane Brewery
Address: 30 Byrnes Street, Botany, 2019
You can’t actually visit Slow Lane just yet, but the brewery is in the process of building a taproom at you read this. You can, however, head there to pick up takeaway brews, and you’re going to want to, because Slow Lane makes beer unlike most other breweries on this list. Owned by a husband and wife team, Slow Lane produces slow-fermented beer, which may take more time, usually months but sometimes longer.
One Drop Brewing Co.
Address: 5 Erith Street, Botany, 2019
Founded in 2019 in postcode 2019, One Drop was the first brewery to set up in Botany (and has since been joined by Slow Lane). It’s a fantastic space on offer to beer drinkers, with several beers on tap at any one time. Its flagship lager, Botany Bay Lager, took home the gold award at the Australian International Beer Awards, no mean feat. It’s also very Caribbean in its vibe, and you’ll likely hear reggae music playing all day long, making it the perfect chillout spot.
Sunday Road Brewing
Address: 147 Bath Road, Kirrawee, 2232
This independently-owned, award-winning brewery is the youngest of the brewery clan in the Sutherland Shire, having been founded in 2016. Not only does it have the beers you’d expect from any craft brewery, but Sunday Road also has some interesting choices, such as a Coffee Lager, made in collaboration with White Horse Coffee. You’ll do well to pay a visit to the brewery too, with six to eight beers on constant rotation, there’s always something to wet your whistle.
Shark Island Brewing Co.
Address: 8/29-33 Waratah Street, Kirrawee, 2232
Named after a surf break in neighbouring Cronulla, Shark Island is the brewing baby of home brewers Peebs and Driza. You’re treated to a welcoming vibe at the intimate brewery, where you can enjoy beers with a decent feed. The majority of the Shark Island range are sessions beers, but if you fancy trying something with a little more bite, Shark Island is more than happy to oblige.
Address: Unit 10, 12-14 Northumberland Road, Caringbah, 2229
Hairyman takes its name from the local rumour of a Hairy Wild Man who used to roamed Woolooware and Botany Bay. Brews, which include ales, lagers, stouts and ciders are all created to be “worthy of the fine beasts’ yearning”, which means they need to meet strict high-quality criteria. Hairyman always has some eight beers on tap to try and food trucks stationed at the brewery too on Fridays and Saturdays, giving you a perfect spot to hang with your mates.