They seem to have a thing for tucking microbreweries into the bowels of hotels in Sydney. You’ve got the Lord Nelson’s crazed rabbit warren affair in The Rocks and this, formerly the home of the Schwartz Brewery but renamed the Sydney Brewery since 2012, found underneath a hotel just to the north of Hyde Park. Opened in 2005, it’s a buzzing hive of activity responsible not just for keeping the taps in the hotel’s bars flowing, but also many others around Australia supplied by the underground microbrewery.
Operating on a Firkin wood clad 800 litre brewhouse imported from the UK, head brewer Michael Capaldo oversees the brewing of a wide range of beers, from a US style Pale Ale (their biggest seller) to a pilsner, all inspired by and named after nearby Sydney suburbs, such as Darlo and Surry Hills.
The brewery is just one part of the former Macquarie Hotel, which also houses a public bar and brewery bar on the ground floor and has accommodation on the upper floors. In between is Bill & Ton’s Italian restaurant, which holds events in conjunction with the brewery, and the Raval Cocktail Bar, a decadent room with impressive stained glass windows and vintage furniture that’s like an ornate relic from another era. Completing the package is the nightclub Mac Music.
The people behind the brewery are also responsible for a couple of Aussie beer festivals. Their first venture was the National Capital Craft Beer Festival at the Mercure Hotel in Canberra that’s been running since 2008. It was joined in 2011 by the Brew Mountains Festival at the Fairmont Resort in Leura in the Blue Mountains, with the inaugural event attracting several hundred beer lovers through the doors.
Sydney Brewery Beers
There are no specials
Sydney Brewery Surry Hills Pils
Brewer’s notes: The big floral aromatic hop character doesn’t fight with the oh-so-rich malty mouth flavour, it dances with it. Then there’s the fruity spicy bitterness that brings it all together, and finishes it off beautifully.
Sydney Brewery Paddo Pale
Brewer’s note: Like the suburb it was named after, this ale arguably has it all. Somehow though everything’s kept in just the right balance and proportions. Which of course only goes to make it more desirable and appealing. So, on first tasting, look for a true citrus and floral ale aroma, but then stand back for a full malt experience in the mouth, followed by a big bitter finish Hey, that’s great.
Our Paddo Pale is triple hopped with Cascade, Galaxy and Amarillo hop flavours. See, it’s got it all. And it’s all good.
Style: American Pale Ale
Sydney Brewery Darlo Dark
Brewer’s note: A bold lager with a dark side, a rich, deep, slightly chocolatey dark side. But it also has a soft side, balanced, surprisingly refreshing and smooth.
It’s the hottest beer for winter. The addition of noble hops makes it the coolest beer for summer.
Style: Dark Lager
Sydney Brewery Glamarama
Brewer’s notes: If it’s not the look that’s hot it’s the weather. Or being summer in Sydney’s east, it’s both. Sizzling sultrily hot. Boy, do you need a beer.
So here’s to another perfect Summer Ale! Crisp and clean, light and refreshing, like the way you like your waves. And as for that cheeky little touch of tropical fruit and pineapple you detect every time you take a sip?
That’s nature’s way of telling you it’s going to be a long hot summer. But just stay cool and reach for another.