Many things have been responsible for turning people and places on to craft beer. Usually, it’s a trip to Europe or the States, or a particularly amazing beer. For the New Sydney Hotel, it was the arrival of the two-foot tall glass cylinder they bolted to their bar in 2010; aka the Hopinator. The first of its breed to make it across the Bass Strait, it’s a device linked to one of the pub’s 18 taps that can be filled with any ingredient – hop flowers, grain, coffee beans, herbs and spices – to give the beer poured through it a unique twist. It’s something the bar staff have taken to their collective heart and has inspired them to turn more and more of their taps over to microbrewed beer.
As a result, the venue has been elevated to one of the must visit destinations for any beer lover heading to Tasmania, a venue where you’re always likely to find a handful of beers from the state’s growing band of craft breweries, such as Seven Sheds, Van Dieman and Moo, plus beers brought over from mainland micros who are gradually discovering there’s an eager market for new beers down south. Meanwhile, the grip the big boys used to exert on the tap lineup is steadily weakening.
Anyone who calls in gets to enjoy their beers in the comfort of a traditional pub close to the centre of Hobart in a building that’s been around since the 18th century and once housed a brothel. Its punters drink more Cooper’s Vintage than any other pub in Australia (it gets the entirety of Tasmania’s order) and go through beers on the rotating taps fast enough that there’s usually one changed every day.
For those keen to learn more, the pub holds regular HOPS beer appreciation sessions hosted by Australia’s most respected beer writer, Willie Simpson. These have now developed to the point where there are female-friendly sessions plus Gold and Platinum versions featuring exclusive and top end beers. Representatives from Hop Products Australia, whose main farm at Bushy Park is just up the road, are regular visitors, while the New Sydney also sells three and five litre growlers so that drinkers can take draught beer home.
Away from the beer, the kitchen specialises in hearty, beer-friendly food – they get through plenty of goat, ribs and venison – while there’s live music five nights a week too, including an Irish band session on Saturdays. What’s more, there’s a no pokies, no TV policy, ensuring it’s a place where enjoying a conversation over beer takes pride of place.
Regularly featured brewers
Old Coach HouseRead more →
Beechworth VIC 3747
Flying Horse Bar & Brewery
Mahoneys Road & Raglan ParadeRead more →
Little Creatures (WA)
40 Mews RoadRead more →
Moo Brew (TAS)
655 Main RoadRead more →
Berriedale TAS 7011
10-30 Hoveys RoadRead more →
Stone & Wood (NSW)
4 Boronia PlaceRead more →
316 Maroondah HighwayRead more →
298 Beach RoadRead more →