Planning a holiday, or just want to know what’s good in your hood? Here are 9 must-visit craft breweries in New South Wales, stretching from city to coast and country.
When it comes to breweries, just like neighbouring Victoria, New South Wales is spoilt for choice and Sydney is a hotbed of brewing talent. To celebrate craft beer month, here’s a taste of the burgeoning craft beer scene in NSW, from urban breweries to Byron Bay and the Blue Mountains. Plus, keep the party going back home and sample some of the state’s finest with our picks of the best craft beer buys from your local First Choice Liquor Market.
Sours abound and dogs are most definitely allowed at Wayward Brewing, a must-visit member of Sydney’s inner-west ‘brewery cartel’. There are a dazzling 24 taps pouring, with core range including a tropical IPA and refreshing Raspberry Berliner Weisse as well as seasonal offerings such as oatmeal stout. Food duties are taken care of by their in-house food truck, which conveniently serves burgers, fries and other US-diner inspired drinking snacks seven days (until 9pm Mon-Sat, 7:30pm on Sundays).
Distance from Sydney CBD: 4.2km
Young Henry’s in Newtown brings the street graffiti and flight path noise to Sydney’s brewery scene. An ode to the eclectic taste of their inner-west neighbourhood, Newtowner Pale Ale was the #7 beer in the GABS Hottest 100 for 2022, with Natural Lager making its debut at #77. You’ll find both on tap at the brewery, which is dedicated to carbon-neutral brewing, with all energy needs taken care of via solar installations. Do-good frothies abound!
Distance from Sydney CBD: 5.7km
You may not meet all the namesakes of their range of brews, but chances are you might bump into a Colin, Amanda, Dolly or Norman on the taps at Yulli’s Brewing in Alexandria. You’ll find a wide range of drinks to enjoy while you’re there, from cider to kombucha.
Distance from Sydney CBD: 6.4km
Red brick anonymity belies the tasteful interior and memorable brews at The Grifter’s home in a Marrickville warehouse space. It’s an important part of any self-respecting inner-west brewery tour, such is its location smack-bang in the middle of the area’s brewing scene. On tap, there are fan favourites like the Serpent’s Kiss Pilsner, while limited release offerings like their Scaredy Cat Hazy IPA get a run too. ‘Rico’s Tacos’, one of Sydney’s best-loved and most authentic taquerias, offers Mexican flavours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Distance from Sydney CBD: 6.7km
Complete with a 1960’s breezeblock facade and all-new rooftop area, Philter Brewing is the surfie sister of the inner-west brewery scene. They’ve quickly developed a strong following thanks to their lovable brews and vibe, generous opening hours and excellent Palm Springs resort interior. Their tap selection includes limited releases as well as standard numbers such as the revered XPA.
Distance from Sydney CBD: 7.5km
Try this at home: Philter XPA
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Batch Brewing has undergone several evolutions since it first opened in a Marrickville warehouse back in 2013. They now have a second brewery in Petersham, opened in 2019, that acts as a test lab of sorts. You’ll see some funky experimental brews on their taps, while over in HQ, expect to find tried-and-true stars, such as the Elsie Milk Stout and their West Coast IPA.
Distance from Sydney CBD: 7.7km
Things are done a little differently over the bridge, and 4 Pines Brewing is the stalwart of the northern beaches brewing scene. There’s a big focus on sustainability and giving back to the environment – and they’ve set the bar high on both fronts, with ‘brew better’ initiatives including tree-planting partnerships and B Corp certification. They have two brewery venues in Sydney’s northern beaches – Manly and Brookvale – chock block full of core offerings such as their Pale Ale and Pacific Ale, plus limited-release brews and excellent gastropub food.
Distance from Sydney CBD: 15km
On a crisp day in Katoomba – the kind of day only the Blue Mountains throws at you – the best place for respite and warm hospitality also happens to serve some of the most delicious beers available in the country, including the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer Champion of 2022, Status Quo Pale Ale. You may catch founders DJ and Harriet McCready around Mountain Culture; there’s an instant ‘family-reunion’ vibe, with a welcoming front bar and the much-loved BBQ area and deck out the back.
Distance from Sydney CBD: 101km
The first craft brewery in the region, Stone & Wood has become synonymous with the People’s Republic of Byron Bay. While favourites such as the Pacific Ale – #4 beer in the GABS Hottest 100 for 2022 – Green Coast Lager are always on tap, the team at Stone & Wood also create one-off brews as part of their Counter Culture series. The food is a definite highlight, with the Canteen at Stone & Wood’s Byron Bay brewery run by 100 Mile Table, the local catering company co-founded by ex-Rockpool chef Sarah Swan.
Distance from Sydney CBD: 757km