Six String Brewing

If you want an example of the passion that drives the craft beer industry in Australia, look no further than Erina's Six String Brewery. This brewery, set up by longtime friends Chris Benson and Adam Klasterka on the New South Wales Central Coast, is a lesson in following your dream no matter what gets in your way.

When they first attempted to bring better beer to the Central Coast in 2010 by opening their own brewery, little did they know that what followed would be three years of struggle spanning four different sites, battles with planning permission, bureaucracy, council by-laws and even public opposition from figures in the community. But where many would have crumbled at such obstacles, Chris and Adam dug in, kept up the good fight and listened not to the knockers, but to their growing number of supporters who signed petitions for, and not against, the presence of a brewery in their community. Their persistence eventually, finally, wonderfully, paid off in early 2013 as they were able to roll up the brewery doors to the public for the first time. And since then they've been going gangbusters.

When you walk in, you won't see any evidence of the difficult times. If you know the story, all you'll think is: "Why would people try to stop this?" Set up inside a large warehouse on an industrial estate, the space is open but split neatly in two. Along one side is the domain of the brewers: a big row of shiny tanks and brewing equipment. The other side is for the punter: tables and couches lined up all the way along the wall until you reach the bar.

The bar takes centre stage because, well, it pretty much is a stage - the name Six String comes from Chris' penchant for playing the six string bass guitar and the brewery rocks and rolls to a music theme. However, the spotlights above the bar aren't pouring light on musicians, instead illuminating a row of taps delivering beer that's brewed only a few steps from where it reaches your glass. Conversely, when live music does strike up in the brewery - which it typically does from Friday through Sunday - it takes place in the shadow of the tanks. Here then, you have two of the essential pillars of life, beer and music, served up in whatever order you prefer (both at the same time recommended).

As for the beer, taking a trip through the Six String range is a natural progression for the palate via the Coastie Lager, Golden Ale, Pale Ale and the flagship (very) Dark Red IPA. This core range is supplemented by a vastly more adventurous set of limited releases ranging from ESB to marzen, saison to chai porter and the ever-changing but always strong Anniversary Ale. As a fairly early Aussie adopter of canned beer, all their mainstays are available for takeaway – as are a cider and non-alcoholic lemonade – plus they usually do a small canning run of their limited releases too, the brewery being the only place in the country where you can get them.

If your reason for travelling here is to try what's on tap, it's well worth grabbing a tasting paddle (or two, depending on how many beers they have pouring) to get started, as well as a bite to eat: they've got a permanent pop-up kitchen which features a different set of chefs each week, meaning there's generally always something new on the menu. If you've got the time and are interested in finding out how the magic happens, you can sign up for a brewery tour or just park up at the bar opposite the tanks and have a chat to the brewers while they do their thing. There's a suitably relaxed vibe to the whole place that's a far cry from the drunken raucousness objectors had originally feared. In fact, it's a place so laid back that families can, and do, spend the afternoon.

Since opening, Adam has moved on to pastures greener while another of Chris' school friends, Ryan Harris - an avid home brewer and local fire fighter - has stepped in to take his place, ensuring it's still a brewery run by locals, for locals. Despite their canned beers now being available in plenty of good beer venues across the country, the Central Coast population is the main focus and the obvious place to go for the freshest and most variety.

In a region blessed with boundless surf, sun and beaches, the boys and girls at Six String have generated a nice little wave of interest in local beer and they're getting plenty of people along for the ride. They've even gone so far as to open a second venue, Sounds On West at Umina Beach which serves up smokehouse food alongside Six String beer, all Aussie wines and all Aussie spirits.

Nick Oscilowski

Name
Six String Brewing
Address

4/330 The Entrance Road
Erina
NSW 2250

Phone
(02) 4365 4536
Website
Regular events

Live music every Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoons
Brewery tours

Hours

Wed to Sat: midday to 8pm
Sunday: 11am to 5pm

Tours

By appointment (max 15 people)

Six String Brewing Regulars

Six String Brewing Tropical Pale Ale

When they first opened the doors to their brewery, Six String had a bit of a tough time selling the virtues of craft beer to their local market. There was simply no precedent to the kinds of flavours they were planning on making in and for their community; the Central Coast was certifiable lager land and here they were starting out with a relatively strong, dark red IPA as their flagship. Yet things have changed. Yes, they’ve managed to help a lot of people become interesting and accepting of the… Read more
Style
Australian Pale Ale
ABV
4.2%

Six String Brewing Coastie Lager

For Australia Day 2015, the team at Six String Brewing decided to launch a version of that oh-so-Aussie beer style: lager. They originally planned it as a proper local lager, keeping its availability strictly confined to the Central Coast but, such is the nature of these things, it proved popular so they relaxed the beer’s boundaries a little, then a lot. And who can blame them; the style was chosen because it’s something that will go down well with those pursuing a coastal way of life, and Australia… Read more
Style
Pale Lager
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
12 IBU

Six String Pale Ale

As you might expect from a beer that's a hybrid between American and Australian Pale Ales, this beer does its stock and trade on fruity and floral hop characters. But, really, in this day and age it seems you can't go and release a Pale Ale without having it loaded with hops - you'll be laughed out of the brewery. No chance here though; hops from the two countries give a heap of passionfruit, mango and citrus aromas. But it's not all in the head. While the beer has been designed to have a clean and… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
4.8%

Six String Dark Red IPA

It's not red. Or is it? What at first seems like another easy classification as a black IPA gets mighty confused when you hold it up to the light because, yes, there's definitely redness there. And as there would be because the recipe is based very loosely on the West Coast USA style red ale, tweaked and nudged until it's become Six String's signature beer. The red colour here comes from rich caramel and chocolate malts, which also give off a contrasting creamy white head. Once you've stopped looking… Read more
Style
Red IPA
ABV
6.6%

Six String Brewing Specials

Six String Brewing Five

Tapped October 5th, 2018
It’s almost impossible to identify with any real degree of accuracy, but at some point during the life of a business there comes a time where you can’t imagine it not being there. You’re so used to it that you probably take it for granted. By that point, you’ve almost certainly forgotten what it was like before it existed. That’s what’s so good about an anniversary, the chance to reflect. When the Six String Brewing Company opened its doors in Erina in 2013 there was nothing else like… Read more
Style
Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
ABV
9.4%

Six String Brewing Chai Porter

Tapped June 21st, 2018
The passage of time easily confuses a busy mind, but trudging through the mental archives brings a faint recollection that this beer has been around before. Five years ago, perhaps – it can’t be more because the brewery that made it is barely older than that. And such distinct blends of ingredients tend to linger in the memory for one reason or another. So, whether you treat it as the return of a long lost friend or view it as something new, Six String has released a Chai Porter. This is the… Read more
Style
Chai Porter
ABV
4.7%

Six String Brewing Black & Gothic

Tapped May 10th, 2018
Things have clearly taken a turn at the Six String Brewing Company. Where the warmer months on the Central Coast were once characterised in the main by new and fruity IPAs and lagers, these early parts of the cooler seasons have seen the brewers turn towards the darker side of beer styles – very dark, as it turns out. Indeed, they've gone so dark the first large scale release is an oatmeal stout that’s been called, simply, Black. Yet if it’s a beer that’s meant to appear menacing – and… Read more
Style
Stouts
ABV
5.1% & 9.4%

Six String Up Jumped The Devil

Tapped March 9th, 2018
The Six Stringers have gone all Aussie for their late summer/early autumn release, combining Australian pale malt, Astra hops, Nick Cave and Tasmanian devils to form a limited edition lager. Up Jumped The Devil takes its title from a Cave song while the artwork comes from the hand of Central Coast artist Kelly-Anne Love. Driven by a passion for conservation, she created a series of works called Endangered, the proceeds of which went to the Devil Ark project aimed at saving the Tassie devil. Six… Read more
Style
Hoppy Lager
ABV
5.8%
Stockists

Six String Brewery

Plonk

And select good beer stockists in ACT & NSW

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Six String Garage Born IPA

Tapped January 31st, 2018
The first seasonal to come from Six String in 2018 is a literal mashup of amateur and professional brewing. Last year, they held a homebrew competition where the winner would receive the coveted prize of heading to the brewery, scaling up their successful recipe to a commercial size and having it released in cans and kegs to good beer venues far and wide. The champion beer was a Citra dominated IPA brewed by Dan Koorey and now it's getting its time in the spotlight under the name Garage Born IPA.… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
6.0%

Six String Brewing Aloha NEIPA

Tapped December 1st, 2017
Brewers across Australia just can't help themselves from fruitifying their fruity IPAs and juicying up their juicy ones. And that includes Central Coast's Six String, who hooked up with near neighbours Eastcoast Beverages and “threw all the brewing rules out the window” on their Aloha New England IPA. To this very hazy beer has been added the juicer’s POG blend which is short for passionfruit, orange and guava, and those are flavours you get in high doses within this tropical riot of a beer.… Read more
Style
Juicy NEIPA
ABV
7.5%
Bitterness
30 IBU

Six String Ram Stein Märzen

Tapped September 15th, 2017
In the lead-up to Oktoberfest, it’s fair to say a lot of places will preparing to encourage their guests to raise a glass of pale lager into the air while whumping and thumping on tables to the merry sound of an oompah band. Not Six String. As is their style, the Central Coast rockers will instead be revelling in something darker, harder and louder – namely metal music and a healthy serving of Ram Stein. Their annual Oktoberfest / Märzen beer has been released in its 2017 incarnation, in both… Read more
Style
Märzen
ABV
5.4%

Six String Double Dark Red IPA

Tapped August 17th, 2017
When Six String launched back in 2013, the beer that won them the most beer geek cred was their punchy Dark Red IPA, a style few made at the time with any regularity and one the Central Coasters effectively made their own. Fast forward to IPA Day 2017 and the Six String brewers decided to take their beloved red IPA, run it through the amplifier and crank the dial all the way up to ten. The Double Dark Red IPA has double the malt and triple the hops of the original, making this ten percent ABV and… Read more
Style
Imperial Dark Red IPA
ABV
10.0%
Bitterness
100 IBU

Six String Hella Good IPA

Tapped January 18th, 2017
While their lagers, pale ales and otherwise generally approachable beers have made them legends with loads of friends in their local community, the brewers at Six String are never afraid to give the flavour dial a decent twist to the right to cater for those who enjoy giving their palates a bit more punishment. That’s seemingly the target audience with their Hella Good IPA, a beer that first came out as a keg only release at the beginning of 2017 but which they felt warranted a re-release a year… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
7.0%
Bitterness
50 IBU

Six String Mor Lam IPA & Celtic Stout

Tapped August 2nd, 2015
It's adjunct time at Six String on the Central Coast, with the two most recent limited release beers to leave the brewery packing more than water, hops, malt and yeast. One was their entry into this year's GABS festival, the other is a hook up with a local coffee roaster. The GABS beer is the Mor Lam IPA, a beer that brings some of the flavours and aromas of Thailand to bear upon an IPA, namely kaffir lime, coriander and lemongrass. The result is an IPA that will fit snugly in the love-it-or-hate-it… Read more
Style
Spiced IPA & Coffee Stout
ABV
7.0% & 4.7%
Stockists

Kincumber Hotel

The Landing Bar & Kitchen

The Prince of Wales Hotel - Merewether

The Edwards

The Mill on Constance

Archive Beer Boutique

Brisbane Brewing Co

Long Jetty Hotel

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Six String Brewing Bobby Brown

Tapped February 18th, 2014
The name 'Bobby Brown' means different things to different people. If your formative years included the late 1970s, it might conjure up memories of Frank Zappa's confused sexual deviant. A decade later, the infamy of the name passed to another Bobby Brown whose prerogative was apparently excessive use of drugs and drop crotch pants. With those sorts of associations, you might expect a beer called Bobby Brown to be similarly twisted. But what's in a name, right? The Bobby Brown Ale from Six String… Read more
Style
American Brown Ale
ABV
5.1%
Stockists

Six String Brewing

Union Hotel Newtown

Spooning Goats

Quarrymans Hotel

Forest Lodge Hotel

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Six String Brewing Saison

Tapped November 2nd, 2013
It took them three years of jumping through hoops to get their brewery in Erina up and running. By in just six months since the doors were opened, they've wasted no time getting the word out that something different is brewing on NSW's Central Coast, via weekly gigs on a stage in front of their brewery tanks, the hairiest collection of staff at any Australian brewery (if their appearance at the Aus Hotel Beer Fest is anything to go by) and some fine beers too. The latest to appear is their take on… Read more
Style
Saison
ABV
4.6%
Bitterness
26 IBU
Stockists

Six String Brewing

Six String Hefeweizen

If you're heading to the Central Coast, chances are you'll spend some time in the sun on one of the many beaches in the region. And at the end a hard day's leisure, you'll no doubt want something flavoursome and refreshing to reward yourself. Look no further than the Six String Hefeweizen, a beer built for drinking on a warm summer's day. Made with a 50/50 blend of wheat to barley malts and at 5.2 per cent abv, it's light enough to have a few but packs enough of a flavour punch to stop you from having… Read more
Style
Hefeweizen
ABV
5.2%
Bitterness
11 IBU

Six String ESB

Tapped March 22nd, 2013
A homage to the Extra Special Bitters of England, the Six String ESB uses only UK malt and hops from the U.K. This has pretty much everything you'd seek from a classic ESB; copper colour, biscuity, malty aromas with floral notes and - despite the name - not overly bitter (at least not when compared to something like, say, the Dark Red IPA). A beer like this changes greatly depending on the system used to dispense it. Served at cellar temperature from a traditional beer engine - the way UK expats… Read more
Style
Extra Special Bitter
ABV
5.4%
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