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Crafty Pint

Your Guide to Australian Craft Beer / Monday 21 April 2014

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As the craft beer revolution spreads across Australia, it can be fun watching it at the frontiers. With its opulent – and we mean opulent – decor (just check out the sofas if you don’t believe us) and CBD laneway location right next to the GPO building, Penny Blue could quite easily be mistaken for a classy cocktail bar. And, when its DJs are cranking out the tunes on a weekend night, the crowd it attracts isn’t always your stereotypical craft beer crew.

Yet, ever since opening in June 2007, the bar has pegged its flag firmly to the better beer mast, meaning drinkers are as likely to be seen with a stubby of Kooinda Pale Ale or a glass of something extraordinary from Beer Here as they are with a cocktail or flute of champers. You’d imagine many would never have come across such beers before walking through the door, but given the rate at which the beers lining the fridges are rotated – and the bar’s desperation to find space to expand its beer range – it seems no one’s complaining.

There’s even a couple of handpumps on the bar complementing a list of around 40 beer staples and a steady stream of specials that keep the bottle list between 80 and 90 at any one time. The wine list features ten reds and ten whites, although you can order from the longer menu at its sister venue downstairs, a restaurant called MOO after the Money Order Office in which they’re both located.

You can order grazing food from MOO, while the bar’s open all day for coffee and, following refurbishments in 2011/12, there’s more room to relax too.