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Rocks Brewing

If you're from New South Wales and drink craft beer, the chances are you know of Rocks Brewing. Over the past few years, it has become one of the more widely recognised breweries in the state despite not actually having a brewery until early 2014.

For the first five years of its life, Rocks' spiritual home was Harts Pub, with its beers brewed under contract at eight or nine other breweries while its owners searched high and low for somewhere to build their own. Initially, they hoped they would find a site in The Rocks before finally they found their home in an industrial estate in Alexandria.

And what a home it is. The glass-walled space houses a brewery setup unique to Australia as well as a gorgeous, exposed wood brewery bar and kitchen. It means visitors can work their way through the ten Rocks beers and ciders on tap, tuck into some quality beer-friendly food – or both – while sat as little as five metres away from where the brewers are at work or in the large, 800 square metre, family-friendly outdoor courtyard dotted with intriguingly landscaped planted plots.

The brewery is a 2,000 litre HEBS brewing system from IDD in California that The Rocks crew reckon is capable of handling a dozen or more brews a day should there be demand. This is thanks to a concertina-like mash filter system that significantly slashes the time it takes to push through a brew and also allows them to attempt beers such as one they created with almost 100 percent wheat for GABS 2014 - something that would be nigh on impossible on a standard brewery setup.

Having built the brand with more straightforward beers, such as a golden, pale, IPA and red ale, the move to their own brewery saw more experimental beers make regular appearances, while 2017 saw the brewery collect a trophy at the Craft Beer Awards for one of the beers in its Conviction series of limited releases.

At the brewery bar, they offer five-beer tasting paddles, while visitors can also load up on PET growlers designed by the Rocks team to take home. Should you call in on a weekend, you can work your way through a tasting paddle while enjoying the sounds of live acoustic music.

The brewery owners have also added another pub to their collection, with Rocks beers, as well as a range of other local and international craft offerings, pouring through the 16 taps at the reinvented Lord Raglan in Redfern.

Name
Rocks Brewing
Address

160 Bourke Road
Alexandria
NSW 2015

Phone
(02) 9669 3600
Website
Hours

Sun to Thurs: 7:30am to 10pm
Fri and Sat: 7:30am til late

KITCHEN:
Breakfast: 7.30am to midday
Lunch / dinner: midday to 9pm

Tours

By appointment

Rocks Brewing Regulars

Rocks Brewing Convict Lager

While many Aussie micros will only countenance releasing a lager if it's of the pilsner ilk, some highly hopped IPA like affair, dark in colour or high in ABV, Rocks decided to stick pretty close to the most commonly accepted image of a "lager". They just turned all the elements up a little bit. Munich and Vienna malts lend a bit of colour, body and richer caramel flavour while a combo of Aussie Ella and Czech Saaz hops used late in the brewing process for aroma and flavour add some grassy… Read more
Style
Lager
ABV
5.1%
Bitterness
30 IBU

Rocks Brewing The Butcher Porter

The used of flaked oats give Rocks' take on the traditional British robust porter a little twist, adding some extra body and smoothness to the nigh on black beer. Chocolate malt lends the beer some dark chocolate and cocoa aromas that sit atop layers of toffee and coffee in the darkest offering from the brewery's core range.… Read more
Style
Robust Porter
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
26 IBU

Rocks Brewing Hangman Pale Ale

The second of Rocks' beers to appear in packaged form (alongside the Governor) was their take on the American pale ale style popularised by Little Creatures. It does exactly what you'd expect, balancing caramel malt characteristics with citrus and stone fruit hop aromas and flavours. The hops used are American varieties, Cascade and Liberty, mostly added late in the day for maximum aroma and flavour impact without lending the beer anything more than a cleansing bitterness.… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
4.9%
Bitterness
35 IBU

Rocks Brewing Boxer Red Ale

The beer where it all started back in 2008 – and not the most typical beer you'd expect a new brewing company to kick off with. The Boxer is based on the Irish red ale style that uses a blend of British chocolate and crystal malts to gain its deep red hue and layers of caramel and chocolate. As with most of head brewer Scotty Morgan's beers, it's a tight and lean affair with a touch of toffee and coffee on the nose too.… Read more
Style
Irish Red
ABV
4.2%
Bitterness
24 IBU

Rocks Brewing Governor Golden Ale

Golden ales are all the range for craft brewers in Australia these days, with many seeing them as a way to try to lure drinkers of more commercial beers into the fold. The Governor is pretty much the archetypal take on the modern Aussie golden ale: a little bit of sweet malt character, a touch of fruity hop aroma and a dry, lightly bitter finish; in other words, enough to differentiate from macro lagers but not too much to scare people away. Rocks create theirs with Australian ale, Munich and Crystal… Read more
Style
Golden Ale
ABV
4.5%
Bitterness
25 IBU

Rocks Brewing Specials

Rocks Brewing Ten Year Red IIPA

Tapped July 16th, 2018
Ten years represents a pretty decent journey in the brewing industry, a period of time that allows for plenty of ups and downs. As they sit back and reflect on a decade gone, it’s easy to imagine the team behind Rocks Brewing having felt every mile and undulation. The company launched in 2008 as a gypsy brewer, with Harts Pub in The Rocks acting as their spiritual home. To make their beer, foundation brewer Scotty Morgan would traipse across Sydney and beyond, brewing anywhere and everywhere that… Read more
Style
IIPA
ABV
7.4%
Stockists

Rocks Brewing

And other Sydney venues

Rocks Brewing Coffee Ale

Tapped July 13th, 2018
Not a great many things look like a pale lager, smell like coffee and taste a bit like chocolate. That would make this one of the few. Channeling their inner Wonka, the crew at Rocks Brewing has turned out a Coffee Ale sub-categorised as a white stout. The basic premise of the “style” is to gamble on a consumer having being conditioned to relate to stout as a delicious black noun rather than an adjective representing strength, thus leaving the brewer free to present a strong pale beer with similar… Read more
Style
White Stout
ABV
5.0%

Rocks Brewing Conviction IPA

Tapped May 30th, 2018
The third of three recent releases to make its way to us from Rocks Brewing is one that's been around, on and off, tweaked here and there, for a number of years. This time around, it comes in black and purple tins as part of the Conviction Series of releases, like stablemate Conviction Pale Ale. While the Pale looks to squeeze plenty of flavour into a mid-strength body, here the Rocks brewers have a full 7.2 percent ABV to play with. Like the Pale, it allows hops to take centre stage but, whereas… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
7.2%

Rocks Brewing Conviction Pale Ale

Tapped May 28th, 2018
In these frontierless days, when you hear a beer has taken out a trophy in the Specialty Beer category, you could be forgiven for wondering just what hybrid Frankenstein's monster had charmed the judges. Just what unusual ingredients were in there; what barrels did it spend time ageing in; was it the sort of beer the brewer could ever (or would even want to) make again? But, at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards (which, from 2018, are to be known as The Indies), that title went to the Conviction Pale Ale… Read more
Style
Mid-Strength Pale Ale
ABV
3.5%

Rocks Brewing Sauv Blanc Berliner Weisse

Tapped May 25th, 2018
Given the speed with which new releases hit the market these days – we know we're not close to writing about all of them yet still tend to post between ten and 20 each week – it shouldn't be that surprising when uncommon ingredients crop up more than once. Yet it still amuses us when you spy a two or more brewers opting to add something to their beer that you wouldn't normally find in beer at pretty much the same time. Case in point here: Hunter Valley wine juice making it into three beers within… Read more
Style
Berliner Weisse with Grape Juice
ABV
3.8%

Rocks Brewing Russian Imperial Stout 2017

Tapped August 1st, 2017
In what's proving to be a turbulent year for the local beer industry, few have been riding the roller coaster with quite the same gusto as Rocks Brewing. In recent weeks, it was announced their brewery is up for sale while last week their Conviction collected the trophy for Champion Specialty Beer at the Craft Beer Awards, where flagship Hangman pale ale grabbed a gold too. At the other end of the flavour spectrum is a beer for which they won a gold at last year’s competition: a Russian Imperial… Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
ABV
10.5%

Rocks Brewing Nectarine Witbier

Tapped February 22nd, 2017
It seems they’ve gone at little bit fruity at Rocks. For their second new release of 2017 the Alexandria brewery has decided make use of the abundance of summer’s gorgeous stone fruit by bastardising a witbier with nectarines. The wit, or wheat, style of beer is something their brewhouse happens to be well suited to. Without getting into technical details of efficiency, extractions, conversions and all sorts of other things that get brewers particularly excited, the Rocks brewhouse has something… Read more
Style
Fruit Witbier
ABV
4.4%
Bitterness
20 IBU

Rocks Brewing Zoigl Bier

Tapped January 17th, 2017
For their first release of 2017 the team at Rocks has dived about 500 years into the history books and emerged with Zoigl. So the (slightly truncated) story goes, when the citizens of medieval Franconia – now southern Germany – wanted to let thirsty passers-by know that they had beer ready for drinking, they’d hang a six pointed star outside their home. This symbol, similar in appearance to the Star of David, with two interlocking triangles representing the elements (water, fire and air) and… Read more
Style
Zoigl
ABV
4.8%
Stockists

Rocks Brewery Bar

Rocks Brewing Conviction Series Pale Ale

Tapped November 21st, 2016
It may just be selective memory but, based on snippets of conversations with the Rocks brewing team over the past couple of years, it seemed like they’ve long been looking to add some sort of a highly hopped but low ABV session beer to their range. For example, going back a couple of years, they packaged an India Session Ale but even that, at 4.7 percent ABV, still felt like it was at the relatively high end of the spectrum and didn't quite nail the idea in full. But, just a couple of months ago,… Read more
Style
Mid Strength Pale Ale
ABV
3.5%

Rocks Brewing Dunkelweizen & Belgian Pale

Tapped August 19th, 2016
On the back of the winter release of their (now CBIA gold medal winning) Russian Imperial Stout, the brewing team at Rocks has wasted no time in launching into a new project: a trio of Euro-centric ales. And, despite not having a properly coherent set of label artwork, this is a properly linked artistic triptych as all three beers have been propagated from more or less the same Belgian strong golden ale yeast. The first in the set is a dunkelweizen, the dark wheat beer of German origins. Theirs… Read more
Style
Dunkelweizen & Belgian Pale
ABV
5.1% & 6.5%
Stockists

Rocks Brewery

Rocks Brewing Russian Imperial Stout 2016

Tapped July 15th, 2016
Mark Fethers, the CEO of Rocks Brewing, has been banging on at his brewers for a few years about doing an annual release of Russian imperial stout, with the grand ambition of having a back catalogue of vintages which can then be blended into some sort of master beer made from a portion of each of its younger siblings. With the release of Rocks’ second RIS, he might just be on his way. The first in the series, in 2015, was overseen by head brewer Scotty Morgan and Nick Downs from Reformation Brewing,… Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
ABV
10.8%
Stockists

Rocks Brewery

Oldfield Cellars

And select bottleshops across NSW

More stockists...

Rocks Brewing Brown Ale

Tapped May 15th, 2016
You often hear about how welcoming, inclusive and open to new opportunity the craft beer world is, and the latest release from the Rocks Brewing Company fits nicely within that narrative. It concerns Amanda Howkins, a British ex-pat who moved to Australia with bags full of impressive qualifications, certifications and around 20 years experience working with big overseas breweries and food manufacturers. After being alerted to her CV by a fellow Sydney brewer, Rocks invited her along to the brewery… Read more
Style
Brown Ale
ABV
5.2%
Stockists

Rocks Brewing

Rocks Brewing White IPA

Tapped February 9th, 2016
Rocks Brewing’s second release of 2016 is the result of a meeting of minds. Apparently inspired by one brewer’s trip to the hop lover’s paradise that is the West Coast of the USA and another brewer’s trip to the holy land of beer, Belgium, their ideas met in the middle and settled on a white IPA. The style (and some will argue it isn't one) is fairly uncommon in Australia and sits in the area where the hoppiness of an American IPA gets crossed with the wheat and spice characters of a Belgian… Read more
Style
White IPA
ABV
6.9%
Bitterness
60 IBU
Stockists

Rocks Brewing

Others TBC

Rocks Brewing Blueberry Wheat Beer

Tapped January 24th, 2016
It seems that 2015 was the year the team at Rocks Brewing really started stretching its brewing muscles in earnest. Its core range, from pale through porter, has been well and truly nailed down, so they started playing around with fruit beers, barrel-aged beers and sour beers (sometimes all three within the same vessel), releasing brews made with cherry, lychee, pomegranate, passionfruit and more. That’s something they’ve carried on to 2016, with the first limited release of the year being a… Read more
Style
Fruit Witbier
ABV
4.4%
Bitterness
20 IBU
Stockists

Rocks Brewing

Select venues around Sydney

Rocks Brewing Exiled Brews: Passionfruit Sour

Tapped July 18th, 2015
Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the rapidly growing Rocks brewery is a rack of wine barrels, full of beer, which had been sitting for 12 months in the middle of the brewery floor just quietly taking everything in. The contents of said barrels are now starting to appear in bottles under a limited edition Exiled Brews series with the first (and technically second) to be released being Carol and Beryl, a pair of passionfruit witbiers named for the barrels in which they were raised. But these twins,… Read more
Style
Barrel Aged Passionfruit Sour
ABV
4.5%
Stockists

Rocks Brewery

Brewski

Tipplers Tap

Bowen Hills Cellarbrations

Hawthorne Cellars

Acland Cellars

Wine Republic

Prince of Wales

More stockists...

Rocks Brewing Wet Hop Amber Rye Ale

Tapped April 20th, 2015
Unusually for a fresh hop beer, the story of Rocks’ Wet Hop Amber Rye Ale starts a year ago. Ben Landsberry, brewing BFF of Rocks head brewer Scotty Morgan for 10 years and current brewer at The Kernel in London (one of the driving forces in the British craft beer renaissance), had scored the promise of 50kg of fresh hops and pestered Scotty to get them for the just-opened Alexandria brewery. Scotty not only got the hops but went one better, giving them to Ben to create the brewery’s first specialty… Read more
Style
Fresh Hop Amber Rye Ale
ABV
5.5%
Stockists

Rocks Brewing

Other good beer venues along the East Coast

Keg only

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Rocks Brewing Conviction ESB

Tapped March 2nd, 2015
To mark the first year of having their own brewery (with splendid accompanying venue) in Alexandria, Rocks held a party. And they brewed a new beer too. That beer was the Conviction ESB, the abbreviation standing for the British beer style Extra Special Bitter. According to the brewers, it was very much with the UK tradition of knock off pints in mind that this beer was designed, to wit: "The knockoff bell chimes; it’s time to head down to your local watering hole for a pint of ale. The eclectic… Read more
Style
ESB
ABV
5.0%
Stockists

Rocks Brewing

Various Sydney venues

On handpump at Alehouse, Royston & Great Northern

More stockists...
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