Sydney’s social scene has fully embraced the craft beer movement, and its popularity has never been higher. But you don’t need to be a local to enjoy this ever-evolving industry. If you are in the Harbour City for business, after a hoppy beverage to end a long day of business meetings, and keen to explore some local flavour, here are some of the best micro breweries in Sydney.
A note on COVID: if you’re planning to visit these breweries, please review the current COVID restrictions to ensure you’re not breaking any rules. If a lockdown is in place, the venues will be closed anyway, so you’ll need to make a note of the brewery for another time.
Wildflower Brewing & Blending – Marrickville
Image from Wildflower Brewing & Blending
This micro brewery produces ever-changing brews with a truly localised flavour, collating a mix of brewer’s yeast, wild yeast and foraged bacteria from New South Wales. This produces a “wild” ale via what’s known as mixed fermentation. They also use old-world processes, particularly the blending of young and old barrel-aged beer.
Yulli’s Brews – Alexandria
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Located in Alexandria, this brewery holds a four-vessel 2000 litre brewhouse designed for quick brew days to fill the seven 4000L fermentation tanks. Their mantra is to produce brewed beer that could stand alone in both pubs and fine dining settings. What’s on tap also changes weekly — from Yulli’s Brews beers and ciders on tap to seasonal batches and their latest releases.
Batch Brewing Company – Petersham
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BBC is staunchly traditional but in a somewhat trendy way. They handcraft their beer, batch by batch, refine processes, produce experimental flavours and work to create collaborative brews. Here you’ll find their original brewery, a tasting room, book one of their weekly tours, or treat yourself to a takeaway 1.9 litre “growler”!
Basement Brewhouse – Bankstown
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Located inside Bankstown Sports, this brewhouse produces more than thirteen of its own beers on-site with four 1000 litre microbrewery tanks. They also turn out multiple small-batch offerings as well, which are all exclusive. Book a tour to amp up your social brewing experience, where you can chat to the brewers and sample their staples and limited release beers.
Modus Operandi Brewing Co – Mona Vale
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Beers here are brewed with live, fresh yeast flow in from the USA and specialty hops and malts sourced from all over the world. Offerings include a range of IPA beers (which are all about aroma, hop flavour and bitterness), a Wippa Snippa Session Pale (a light-bodied pale ale), and the Silent Knight Porter (which contains nine malts and blends of caramel and chocolate).
Sauce Brewing Co – Marrickville
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This independent craft brewery is all about creating flavoursome beers. They offer a range of lagers and ales from darks, sours and an ever-changing lineup of IPAs to their Hop sauce – the flagship pale ale, which has hints of tropical and stone fruits. The venue also has a taproom and sun-drenched beer garden to up the experience.
The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel – The Rocks
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Housed in a beautiful 19th-century building, this is one of the longest-running pub breweries in Sydney. Lord Nelson was a crafty fellow who bought old-school English style pub brewing to old of the oldest hotels in The Rocks. In fact, he was producing craft beer before it was even a thing! Here you’ll find bitters, summer ales and caramel-infused English ales, which can all be enjoyed with the backdrop of some fine harbour views.
Nomad Brewing Co – Brookvale
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This independent brewery opened in 2014 and produces lots of summery beers to suit its Northern Beaches surroundings. They marry styles and techniques from around the world and combine them with the best Australian native ingredients. The result? IPAs, spiced beer, sour ales, decadent dark beers and pacific-style pale ales that are constantly rotated on their 16 taps.
The Grifter Brewing Co – Marrickville
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Named after the larger style of bottle that you can use to take home beer, staples abound here, from IPAs to pale ales. But where this brewery really shines is with their experimental brews. Worth trying are a cucumber Kolsch, their Serpent’s Kiss watermelon pilsner and a Pink Galah Pink Lemonade Sour. All boast the best quality malts and hops for sheer drinkability.
Young Henrys – Newtown
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Specialising in ales and craft beers brewed on-site, Young Henrys has a rock ’n’ roll vibe and boasts a multitude of award-winning brews. The core range is easy-to-drink and well balanced, plus they are renowned for their collaborations — including a larger one they made for the Foo Fighters! They have also undertaken an “Algae Project”, a sustainable beer they’ve created in partnership with climate change scientists at the University of Technology in Sydney.
Willie the Boatman – St Peters
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A nautically themed bar, Willie the Boatman is all about beer with a ton of character. Just like its name (derived from a convict boatman legend), all of their brews have a story of their own. You can sample beers at their tasting bar, including XPAs, IPAs, briny pale ales, dark ales and more!
Tap Rooms – The Rocks
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The brewers at the Tap Rooms at the Endeavour Brewing Co use nothing but Australian ingredients, and the beers are perfected by embracing flavour variations provided by Mother Nature. Here you’ll find fresh lagers, pale ales, plus a seasonal range from IPAs to red ales.
Wayward Brewing Co – Camperdown
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Ironically enough, this craft beer brewery is set up in an old winery. Featuring ingredients sourced from all over the world, many of their renowned brews have a classic Euro-style twist. Its core lineup includes lager, a red ale, India pale ale, sour ale, Keller bier and its renowned Raspberry Berliner Weisse.
Stockade Brew Co Barrel room – Marrickville
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Founded in 2015, this brewery has already won over 60 awards, including the world’s best imperial stout at the World Beer Awards. Core beers include well-known IPAs, lagers and pale ales, but their seasonal ales are a standout. These include a Roly smoked Jalapeño porter and a maple syrup beer.
Riverside Brewing Company – North Parramatta
Image from Riverside Brewing Company
Dedicated to brewing natural, pure handcrafted beers, Riverside Brewing Company is focused on quality, not quantity. Their Sixty Nine Summer ale is brewed with 100 per cent Australian hops and barley, and their lineup also includes an India pale ale, robust porter and an American Amber.
- Lucy Stones, 2021, 21 best craft beer breweries in Sydney, Manofmany
- Brad Nash, 2021, 21 of the best craft beer breweries to visit in Sydney, GQ
- Jessica Best, 2020, Sink a few cold ones at 13 of the best breweries in Sydney, Urban List