The Best Craft Breweries In Sydney’s Inner City And Inner West

June 21st, 2019 - by Brad Gillespie

The inner city and inner west have become Sydney’s craft brewing capital.

From hoppy IPA's to malt-driven stouts and from light summer lagers to heavy winter Porters, you’ll find the best beers of every kind right on our doorstep.

So if you’re a local beer drinker but you don’t know where to start when it comes to sampling the amber liquid, we explore six brewpubs you should be sure to visit.

Rocks Brewing Co
160 Bourke Street, Alexandria

The centre of an Alexandria industrial estate may not seem like the most inspiring location, but the brewers at Rocks certainly don’t lack for inspiration. They pride themselves on brewing new and exciting beers that push the boundaries of “normal”.

But if that sounds a little out there for your tastes there are still plenty of traditional beers to sample, including their well known Hangman Pale Ale.

What’s more, you’ll be enjoying your drop in one of the best looking, largest and most comfortable breweries going around. Sit inside among the vast stainless steel tanks which the owners' promise will let you “feel, smell and touch the amazing world of craft beer”. Alternatively, if you prefer to drink al fresco there’s an 800 square metre sun-drenched courtyard.

Perhaps best of all the food here is simple, focusing on burgers, steak and share plates. But it’s good. Seriously good. And the kids’ menu is a testament to the easy-going, everybody welcome nature of the place.

Batch Brewing Co
44 Sydenham Road, Marrickville

If it’s variety you crave in your beers, there’s no chance of getting bored at Batch Brewing Co. The owners here - two Americans who met playing lacrosse in Sydney - have a brewing philosophy that sees them constantly turning out new beers. That means there’s 10 available on tap (including just four regulars) and another 10 or so available in bottles or growlers.

Drinking here is something of an immersive experience with bar and brewery melding into one. Go at the right time of day and you’ll find the brewers hard at work just metres from where you’re drinking. And, if you’re hungry, a food truck visits every day between Wednesday and Sunday.

Frenchies Bistro and Brewery
The Cannery, 61-71 Mentmore Avenue, Rosebery

Frenchies is, without doubt, the most sophisticated brewpub on our list. But then you’d probably expect that from a brewpub started by two Frenchmen - one a chef trained at Michelin-starred restaurants and the other an experienced brewer. Here, beer shares centre stage with the food as the owners aim to bring Parisian “bistronomy” culture to Sydney.

An elegant bistro features fresh a la carte options, as well as a daily degustation menu with matching beers. At the bar, it’s all about the cheese and charcuterie. Then there are the beers. Brewed in a more European-style, Frenchies favour malt-based favours more than typically hops-driven Australian beers.

If you want to impress your date but also want to focus on the quality of your beer, this is the ideal place. Then again, if you’re not into beer at all, the wine list is pretty special too.

Young Henrys
76 Wilford Street, Newtown

Young Henry’s is one of Sydney’s best-known craft breweries. It’s also one of our best. Drawing an eclectic, buzzing crowd who crowd into a drinking an area best described as minimalist, this is one brewpub that’s all about the beer… and the music.

This brewpub has a cool but laidback vibe that’s as Rock and Roll as it gets. Little wonder that there’s often serious rock tunes playing on the brewpub’s impressive stereo system. With a penchant for producing experimental brews, Young Henry’s also often collaborates with bands to come up with new and exciting ales. Together, they have produced some of the most memorably named limited edition ales including Brew Am I, Four More Beers, and Stupid Sexy Flanders.

Grifter Brewing Co
391 Enmore Road, Marrickville

This light, bright brewery may be just down the road a bit from Batch, but it actually has its origins at Young Henry’s. The three owners once brewed their beer under licence at the more established Newtown brewery. Now they produce their outstanding craft beers for an appreciative crowd of locals in their permanent home near Enmore Park.

The warehouse that the brewery occupies was once home to a dry cleaning business and it’s huge. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get packed out. With eight tap beers, six of which alternate, this is a brewpub for the beer enthusiast. After all, there’s slim pickings when it comes to food during the week. On Friday nights and the weekends, a food truck appears. Happily, however, the owners encourage you to bring your own snacks to enjoy with their brews. They also encourage you to bring the kids.

Yulli’s Brews
75a Burrows Road, Alexandria

The last brewpub on our list may well also be the most interesting. It’s an offshoot of Yulli’s restaurant and bar in Surry Hills, which means the food is almost as important as the beer. It also means the menu is entirely vegetarian.

If you’re a dedicated meat eater, don’t despair. The food is so good we guarantee you won’t be disappointed - or even notice. And, besides, with 11 tap beers and one tap cider available, including the cult Betoota Bitter (yep, they brew it for Australia’s favourite satirists) you’ll be so engrossed in your beer experience you’ll be thinking of little else.

The guys at Yulli’s say their space is designed to make a “large demographic feel super comfortable”. To this end, they’re kid and animal-friendly (they actually tell you to bring your dog) and, if beer’s not your thing, they have an extensive wine list too.

Want more?

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