If you’re from New South Wales and drink craft beer, the chances are you know of Rocks Brewing Co. 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 survived as a gypsy brewer, with its beers brewed under contract at eight or nine other breweries while its owners search high and low for somewhere to build their own. Initially, they hoped they would find a site in The Rocks before they finally found one 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.
Should you call in on a weekend, you can work your way through a five-beer tasting while sitting 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 itself is a 2,000-litre HEBS brewing system from IDD in California that the Rocks crew reckon can handle a dozen or more brews a day should be 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 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 set up.
Having built the brand with more straightforward beers, such as a pale, golden, 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.