Akin to our coffee culture, Sydney is a beer connoisseur's paradise. The art of brewing crisp, golden lager is in fill bloom across our city and there is an ale to suit the most ardent of beer palates.
Here are Sydney's top craft beer bars, so you can enjoy a tasty ice cold one well into your summer's eve.
Black Penny | Surry Hills
At Black Penny it is all about the drinks menu, with craft beers, ciders and wines sourced from some of Australia's best local breweries and vineyards. The Balmain Brewing Company, Young Henry's, The Hills and Head Red Wines of the Barossa Valley will keep your beer thirst at bay.
The Local Taphouse | Darlinghurst
This classic, European-style tavern updates its 'tap list' daily and offers weekly live music, trivia and movie nights. Summer craft beer specials include the Illawarra Brewing and The Local's Hawaiian Cookie Golden Ale. Check our their Facebook page for the day's carefully brewed line-up. Today, it is Robot Ninja Sorachi Ace Lager and Riverside Brewing Company's 44 American Amber Ale.
The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel | The Rocks
This is an experience worth having—enjoying a delicious craft beer at Sydney's oldest licenced hotel. Situated in the historic Rocks precinct, beer has been consumed here for centuries. With a delicious modern-Australian menu, and 100% natural, award-winning ales, why not take a civilised step back in time.
4 Pines Brewing Company | Manly
Beer parties, live music and a Saturday night disco, all keep this award-winning watering hole alive and kicking. Just a stone's throw from Manly Wharf, this is the perfect spot to unwind after a long day at work or to while away the weekend. The multiple award-winning craft beers, including Kolsch, Pale Ale and Stout, have become famous throughout Sydney. After a splash in the surf, head upstairs to the 4 Pines Brewing Company.
The Hive Bar | Erskineville
This environmentally friendly Erskinville hub comprises a unique fusion of art, vinyl nights, recycled interiors, and the number one ingredient—beer. With a focus on Australian craft beers and ciders on tap you can enjoy anything from a St Peters Blonde, Illawarra Koelsch, 4 Pines Stout, to the Riverside 69 Summer Ale, Lord Nelson 3 Sheets or the Red Duck 'Golden Dragon' Celctic Ale. On the menu are organic and ethically sourced dishes, including burgers, pizza, share plates and seasonal specials, perfect complements to your schooner.
The Union Hotel | Newtown
This Newtown stalwart has received a makeover in recent times, yet still retains its old-school pub vibe. The front bar is great for groups featuring bench-style seating, there is also a cocktail bar and beer garden for afternoon lounging. With a focus on Sydney brewers you can enjoy a vast range of dark ales, stouts and porters. Not a bad place to start your evening, before heading off to the Enmore for a gig.
Lowenbrau Keller | The Rocks
This authentic, Munich-style restaurant and bar will have you transported straight to Oktoberfest. There is a wide range of delicious, unpronounceable German craft beers on offer that are the size of small buckets. Why not try a frothy glass of Hofbräu Original, or the Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Hell, then there is the darkly brewed Hofbräu Dunkel. The extensive craft beer menu can be paired with classic German dishes, including: schnitzels; sausages; schweinshaxe; and sauerkraut—a seriously good feed.
The SG | CBD
The little bar situated in the heart of the CBD is full of character. Fitted out with recycled furniture, glassware and even an Atari (cool), this is a lovely spot to unwind. All the beers are brewed in NSW, so it is an authentic local hangout and the tunes are provided by local musos. For your tasting pleasure, on hand are ales by The Little Brewing Company, Stone & Wood, EKIM Brewing Company and Wayward Brewing—to name a few.
The Duck Inn | Chippendale
Visiting this lovely old pub located in Chippendale, leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. With weekly Sunday roasts and refreshing Illawarra Summer Ale on tap, the quaint beer garden is a great spot to spend your weekend afternoons. Other favourite craft beers available to whet your appetite include, Rust Amber Ale and Apocalypso IPA.
Image credit: The Local Taphouse