Having cut their craft beer bar teeth at Harts Pub in The Rocks, and with their long-mooted brewery a reality, the Rocks Brewing team added a second pub to their roster in 2014 in the shape of the Lord Raglan Hotel.
As with many of the rapidly rising number of newly crafty pubs and bars in and around Sydney, its reinvention was a story of giving a badly faded old pub – in this case one that had been closed for three years – an injection of love and a serious facelift as well as tip top beers. Indeed, the Lord Raglan's rise from dilapidated home of mouldy carpets to welcoming home of 16 taps of craft beer and fresh food mirrors in many ways the transformation that has taken place in the surrounding suburb of Redfern.
"We ripped the guts out of it," says owner Mark Fethers. Up came the carpets, out went the pokies and in went a new kitchen and "some funky industrial shit", such as the reclaimed doors that line its central island bar, overhead caged lights and expanses of graffiti-style artwork. The bar is home to 16 taps, some home to Rocks Brewing's beers (pouring only 2km from the brewery itself) but most pouring beers from the brewery's peers from around New South Wales and further afield. The tap list is augmented by a few fridges of bottled product (that you can also take home) while you can get Rocks' custom-designed PET growlers filled at the bar too.
The kitchen offers up fare of an American bent, with the venue reopening with a chef from Upstate New York at the helm: think Philly cheesesteaks and fresh as tacos. And if beer and food isn't enough to entice you through the door, there's weekly trivia, live music and pinball machines twinkling away in the corner.