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.