The Dog Hotel

When rumours surfaced in the latter part of 2015 that someone had bought the Duke of Gloucester in Randwick and planned to turn it into a specialist beer pub with 50 taps, some of the reaction in the local beer scene went along the lines of: “50 taps? Randwick? Are you serious!?!”

Despite a few raised eyebrows, it turned out that the owners – who operate under the group name of The Good Beer Company – were very serious and they have prior form turning these sorts of bold ventures in their favour. Their first pub, the old Clarendon Hotel in Surry Hills, was solid if not spectacular when they first got the keys but after they’d changed its name to the Dove & Olive, started running local beer through the 20-plus beer lines and added well made and well priced food, it was awarded the title of Sydney’s best pub by TimeOut. By then the group had already purchased the nearby KB Hotel, renovated and renamed it the Keg & Brew. That pub now boasts 33 taps – a number some also suggested was too many for a venue of its size – and, like the Dove & Olive, bustles every day of the week. Still, if the two Surry Hills pubs have been The Good Beer Company’s equivalent of successful Apollo test flights, The Dog Hotel is their moon shot, taking them into territory few publicans in Australia have dared venture as far as beer is concerned.

Their approach for getting the new Dog flying isn't too dissimilar to the formula they used at the other venues, simply using the bones of the existing business to build something better and bring more people in. And it starts at the bar with all those taps.

There are 59 in all, the vast majority of which pour something made by an independent Australian brewer, from Feral to Frenchies, Little Brewing to La Siréne, Merchant to Mismatch. Reflecting the growth of the city’s brewery scene, Sydney brewers are particularly well represented. As you might expect, the styles on offer cover a broad range. To offer a general rule of thumb, the balance is dictated primarily by a combination of the pub’s largely-new-to-beer clientele and the weather, so expect plenty of approachable options in the warmer months while cooler weather is likely to usher in a darker change to the range. That said, with so many beers on offer you won’t be short a Belgian chocolate ale, raspberry Berliner weisse, spiced saison or hand pumped brown ale when you need one.

The Dog is undoubtedly a craft beer pub, though not exclusively. They still have a traditional public bar with TAB and a font of mainstream beers, but those have been reduced to a fraction of the size they once were. Because of that, the rest of the front bar now offers more appeal to the newcomer walking in off the street; less fluorescent lighting and TV screens, more charm and comfort.

The way food is offered has changed too. Bizarrely, in its former guise you weren’t allowed to eat downstairs. Now you can eat anywhere, upstairs or down, inside or out. The energy-sapping indoor grill-your-own BBQ has been switched off and the kitchen now serves up the kind of American pub grub that’s proven so popular at its sister Surry Hills venues. In keeping with the general theme, the dedicated first floor dining area is immense, with options from sunny terrace seating to comfy couches. Almost needless to say, the floor has its own ten tap beer system pouring a completely different set of beers to that which you’ll find in the main bar downstairs. Up here they’ve also commissioned a set of long tables which, once in place, will create a communal dining area big enough to cater for the most generously sized functions. Out in the courtyard they’ve put plenty of effort into creating a bright and colourful outdoor area that nicely channels the Eastern suburbs’ relaxed beachy vibe, with its own cocktail bar with five tap beer system.

If it seems like there’s a lot going on here, there is and there needs to be. The Dog Hotel is no pokey corner pub; it’s a massive, sprawling beast with capacity for around 800 people. In taking on this venue, the new owners have had to spruce up just about everything so have gone the extra mile to make sure every bit of available space has been filled with the kinds of things pub-goers want these days, whether it be a comfortable booth with free wifi, a shady spot on a sunny day, good quality and affordable food or a cheap tinnie of craft beer.

It’s hard for a venue to be all things to all people, but it’s hard to see why anyone wouldn’t like The Dog Hotel. Unless you’re the cellarman whose job it is to change all those kegs.

*Nick O*

The Dog Hotel

2 St Marks Road
NSW 2031

(02) 9398 2682
Regular events

Crafternoon ($4 schooners, 5pm-7pm, Mon to Sat)
Tinnie Tuesday ($5 canned beer)
Thirsty Thursday ($5 schooners, $10 jugs)
Craft Beer Fight Club Monthly

Open Hours

Mon to Sun: 11am til late

On tap at The Dog Hotel

This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

Regularly featured brewers

2 Brothers 2 Brothers

2 Brothers

4 Joyner St
VIC 3189

4 Pines (CUB) 4 Pines (CUB)

4 Pines (CUB)

29/43-45 East Esplanade
NSW 2095

Akasha Taproom & Brewery Akasha Taproom & Brewery

Akasha Taproom & Brewery

10-12 Spencer Street
Five Dock
NSW 2046

Australian Brewery Australian Brewery

Australian Brewery

350 Annangrove Road
Rouse Hill
NSW 2155

Big Shed Brewing Concern Big Shed Brewing Concern

Big Shed Brewing Concern

1154 Old Port Road
Royal Park
SA 5014

Black Dog Brewery Black Dog Brewery

Black Dog Brewery

339 Booth Road
VIC 3675

BrewCult BrewCult


10 Superior Drive
Dandenong South
VIC 3175

Bridge Road Brewers Bridge Road Brewers

Bridge Road Brewers

Old Coach House
Ford Street
Beechworth VIC 3747

Ekim Brewing Ekim Brewing

Ekim Brewing

11/1 Marina Close
Mount Kuring-gai
NSW 2080

Feral Brewing (CCA) Feral Brewing (CCA)

Feral Brewing (CCA)

152 Haddrill Road
WA 6056

Fortitude Brewing / Noisy Minor Fortitude Brewing / Noisy Minor

Fortitude Brewing / Noisy Minor

165-185 Long Road
North Tamborine
QLD 4272

Gage Roads Gage Roads

Gage Roads

14 Absolon St
WA 6157

Grifter Brewing Company Grifter Brewing Company

Grifter Brewing Company

1/391 Enmore Road
NSW 2204

Hawthorn Brewing Company (Aus Venue Co) Hawthorn Brewing Company (Aus Venue Co)

Hawthorn Brewing Company (Aus Venue Co)

111 Victoria Avenue
Albert Park
VIC 3206

Holgate Brewhouse Holgate Brewhouse

Holgate Brewhouse

79 High Street
VIC 3442

HopDog BeerWorks HopDog BeerWorks

HopDog BeerWorks

2/175 Princes Highway
South Nowra
NSW 2541

La Sirène Brewing La Sirène Brewing

La Sirène Brewing

2 Wingrove Street
VIC 3078

Little Brewing Company Little Brewing Company

Little Brewing Company

Unit 1, 58 Uralla Road
Port Macquarie
NSW 2444

Little Creatures (Lion) Little Creatures (Lion)

Little Creatures (Lion)

40 Mews Road
WA 6160

Lord Nelson Lord Nelson

Lord Nelson

19 Kent St
The Rocks
NSW 2000

Matilda Bay Matilda Bay

Matilda Bay

336 Maroondah Hwy
VIC 3777

Modus Operandi Modus Operandi

Modus Operandi

14 Harkeith Street
Mona Vale
NSW 2103

Moo Brew Moo Brew

Moo Brew

76a Cove Hill Road Bridgewater
TAS 7030

Moon Dog Moon Dog

Moon Dog

17 Duke Street
VIC 3067

Mornington Peninsula Brewery (Tribe) Mornington Peninsula Brewery (Tribe)

Mornington Peninsula Brewery (Tribe)

Mountain Goat (Asahi) Mountain Goat (Asahi)

Mountain Goat (Asahi)

80 North Street Richmond

Murray's Murray's


3443 Nelson Bay Rd
Bobs Farm
NSW 2316

Nail Brewing Nail Brewing

Nail Brewing

323 Collier Road
WA 6054

Nomad Brewing Nomad Brewing

Nomad Brewing

5 Sydenham Road
NSW 2100

Pirate Life (CUB) Pirate Life (CUB)

Pirate Life (CUB)

18 Baker Street
Port Adelaide
SA 5015

Riverside Brewing Company Riverside Brewing Company

Riverside Brewing Company

Unit 3, 2 North Rocks Road

Rocks Brewing Co Rocks Brewing Co

Rocks Brewing Co

Building 2
160 Bourke Road
NSW 2015

Shenanigans Brewing Shenanigans Brewing

Shenanigans Brewing

66 Marian St (OFFICE)
NSW 2042

Six String Brewing Six String Brewing

Six String Brewing

4/330 The Entrance Road
NSW 2250

Stone & Wood Stone & Wood

Stone & Wood

100 Centennial Circuit
Byron Bay
NSW 2481

Sydney Brewery Sydney Brewery

Sydney Brewery

28 Albion Street
Surry Hills
Sydney 2010

Two Birds Brewing Two Birds Brewing

Two Birds Brewing

136 Hall Street
VIC 3015

Vale Brewing Vale Brewing

Vale Brewing

252 Blewitt Springs Road
McLaren Flat
SA 5171

Wayward Brewing Co Wayward Brewing Co

Wayward Brewing Co

3 Gehrig Lane
NSW 2050

White Rabbit (Lion) White Rabbit (Lion)

White Rabbit (Lion)

221 Swanston Street
VIC 3220

Young Henrys Young Henrys

Young Henrys

Units D & E, 76 Wilford St
NSW 2042

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