There are plenty of breweries in Sydney. But there’s only one Sydney Brewery.
In some ways, the folks at Sydney Brewery have flown under the radar for a while: perhaps because they were comfortably servicing their own venues and a number of Rydges hotels; perhaps because their beers were previously named after Sydney suburbs, building a tight connection with locals but possibly giving outsiders the impression they had a parochial approach to making and selling beer.
But there’s never been anything small town about this big city brewery. Their beers have always been of a high quality, which is proven every time they brush past a beer competition and come away with a swathe of awards. Take the 2021 Royal Queensland Beer Awards as an example, where they went up against 70 breweries submitting almost 500 beers and took home the Grand Champion Beer trophy with a Czech-style Pilsner, as well as a fistful of medals.
When this standard of brewing meets with the Sydney Brewery’s ethos to “make the kind of brews you can enjoy more than one of, with a range that has everyone’s tastes covered,” it’s no surprise that this is an independent brewery on the move. Because despite the name, Sydney Brewery isn’t really about the place so much as it’s about the people.
Sydney is home to all kinds of different characters, and the brewery’s home suburb of Surry Hills is a particularly eclectic area that acts as a microcosm of the diverse city. This has seeped into Sydney Brewery’s DNA, to the point where they look well beyond their backyard and borders to all the weird and wonderful personalities out there and say, “Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whatever you look like - you’re our kind of people.”
This diversity is obviously reflected in their broad range of core beers and seasonals - light and clean lagers through pale ales and punchy IPAs to the deep flavours at the darker end of the spectrum - but is also captured nicely in the design of their beers. Since the brewery’s brand refresh in 2021, each beer is represented by a memorable character that gives a nod to the stories and spirit of the area that inspired it. You can drink a Pilsner with Kate Leigh, the underworld queen of Surry Hills, or a dark lager with the Irish Seven of Darlinghurst, or a pale ale with the florally-adorned gent of Paddington… or you can simply pick a beer based on which quirky illustration catches your eye and enjoy the easy-drinking flavours.
If you’re after something different again, you’re in luck - the Sydney Brewery team also specialises in ciders, from the champagne-like Sydney Cider to their spicy Agave Ginger Cider, as well as limited releases and collabs that have included pears, cherries, and vermouth in the mix.
It’s up to you how you want to experience Sydney Brewery. You can snag daily specials and tap along to live music at their home brewery in Surry Hills. You can sip nectar after work at The Cidery in Sydney’s CBD. You can spend a whole weekend discovering their production brewery and venue in Lovedale, the beating heart of the Hunter Valley.
Or you can enter a bottle shop in another part of the country, pick one of the colourful cans from the fridge, and befriend the character making eyes at you from the label.
Wherever you’re from, you’ll quickly realise that this is not ‘a’ Sydney brewery. This is Sydney Brewery.