Sauce Brewing Co

With the Australian beer industry’s rapid growth, its propensity for attracting interesting individuals and the fact that you get to spend a lot of time drinking beer, it’s easy to understand why so many people are ditching successful careers in other, often more lucrative, fields to pursue a dream of becoming part of the scene. Mike Clarke is one of them.

Having spent two decades working in IT and telecommunications he called time on that career and began sniffing around for a new challenge, something he could launch himself into with fresh energy and build from the ground up. The search led him as far as his garage where, having graduated from a simple stovetop setup, a growing obsession with home brewing had ballooned out to something incorporating multiple vessels, a four tap keg system and nine fridges. So sprawling would this setup become that he and his wife would soon be forced to move house to accommodate it – possibly not something envisioned when she introduced him to her own brewing hobby when they first began dating. With that kind of trajectory, opening a commercial brewery almost became a given and a plan was duly hatched.

There’s a school of thought that the best way to succeed as a brewer in the modern Australian beer market is either by opening a small brewpub and catering to locals, or by going down the path of a large scale production brewery that distributes nationally. Mike effectively chose both, and more.

Having launched the Sauce brand (the name being a slice of slang he took a liking to one night over a few beers) as a gypsy brewer at the end of 2016, he locked in a large warehouse site in Sydney’s busy beer hub of Marrickville and began an arduous process of converting the infrastructure into something capable of housing a full production brewery. It took a lot of tradies and the best part of a year, but in October 2017 the roller door opened to the public for the first time.

Visitors were greeted by a state of the art setup featuring all the mod cons a brewer could want, from a highly automated brewhouse to a pilot system for experimentation, a canning line to a roof covered in solar panels – even so far as a lighting system that automatically adjusts to the ambient conditions.

Opposite the mountain of high spec tech stuff is a bar pouring twelve taps of Sauce, serving tasting paddles and selling fresh takeaways. Beyond that, at the rear of the warehouse, is the piece de resistance in the form of an enormous urban beer garden. From the front you’d never guess such a space existed, but as soon as you set foot on the (fake) grass you’re glad it does; for the array of experiences on offer across the Inner West breweries, there’s something special about simply enjoying a beer with greenness beneath your feet and bright blue skies above. To sweeten the deal they've even been so kind as to pop a mobile bar out back so you don't have to trudge those pesky few metres to line up inside at the brewery bar.

As for the beer you’ll be drinking, the core range follows Mike’s personal preference for hop forward styles, ranging from a New World pilsner through the delightful (and delightfully crass) Piss-Weak mid strength through pale ale, IPA and the exclamation mark of a double IPA. But with plenty of taps to fill and experienced production brewer Brodie French at the helm as head brewer, they'll do anything their mood dictates, whether it be an English style mild ale in autumn, barleywines and barrel aged stouts in winter or the New England IPAs that have become something of a house specialty.

With a grand home of their own firmly established right in heart of one of the country's busiest beer trails, a tap room that bustles to the brim and the means to become one of the country’s larger independent beer producers, there are fewer excuses not to get on the Sauce.

Nick Oscilowski

Name
Sauce Brewing Co
Address

1A Mitchell St
Marrickville
NSW 2204

Phone
02 8580 3555
Website
Regular events

Food trucks every weekend

Hours

Taproom:

Thu: 4pm to 10pm
Fri & Sat: 12pm to 10pm
Sun: 12pm to 8pm

Takeaways
Mon-Fri: 10am to 5pm, plus any time the Taproom is open

Sauce Brewing Co Regulars

Sauce Brewing Peach Sauce

Tapped October 29th, 2018
There’s only so long you can keep brewing a one-off batch with such regularity that you have to accept that you might as well make it part of your core range. It took the folks at Sauce about ten months to get there but they did get there when they announced that Peach Sauce had officially joined the team. Now, it’s not exactly the same beer as the one they first launched in January 2018 under the name Son Of A Peach and which has gone through a few iterations in keg and can, but it is a completely… Read more
Style
Peach Berliner Weisse
ABV
4.0%

Sauce Brewing Saucy Pils

Tapped December 15th, 2017
For the many merits of urban and industrial breweries, one of the downsides is their locations often mean you don’t get the simple pleasure of enjoying a beer outside, whether in the sun or beneath the stars. When it opened towards the end of 2017, the Sauce brewery became one of the obvious exceptions as their Marrickville home has one of the more impressive outdoor beer gardens of any Sydney city brewery. So, one of the first things they did when it was opened to the public was add a year round… Read more
Style
NZ Pilsner
ABV
5.0%

Sauce Brewing Co Saucy Red

Starting life as a one off release at the beginning of 2017, by the time the Sauce brewery opened towards the end of the year the Saucy Red had made its way into the core range. It's is an American style red ale that comes in packaging likely to reignite debate about sexism in marketing, but inside the tin chooses to strut its stuff by way of three US hop varieties: Calypso, Simcoe and Amarillo. Yet it’s not just hops, hops, hops. If someone told you he’d added Redback, Shepherd’s Delight and… Read more
Style
Red Ale
ABV
5.0%

Sauce Brewing Co Extra-Hop Sauce

Tapped February 1st, 2017
Beer number four from Sauce brewing, and number three in the core range, is one that neatly plugs the gap in founder Mike Clarke’s thus-far hop-forward repertoire; first there was the Mega-Hop Sauce double IPA, then he pulled things back somewhat with the Hop Sauce pale ale, now we have Extra-Hop Sauce, a West Coast IPA. It’s a punchbowl of a beer, filled with big tropical fruit characters, especially pineapple, and a resinous kick. While the fruitiness remains throughout and mingles well with… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
6.2%

Sauce Brewing Co Mega-Hop Sauce

As a brand new brewing company, if you want to try and cut through the noise of an increasingly crowded beer scene it generally pays to do something a bit out of the ordinary. Making your first beer an 8.3 percent ABV double IPA and launching it in cans would seem to fit that bill. That’s what Sauce did when they hit the market with Mega-Hop, a thoroughly enjoyable and deceptively drinkable DIPA. It’s a beer that leans a lot on deep and sweet malt characters to balance a trio of hops – Calypso,… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.3%
Bitterness
83 IBU

Sauce Brewing Co Hop Sauce

While Sauce owner Mike Clarke may have opted to launch the Sauce Brewing Co. with a double IPA, that’s unlikely to be the kind of beer to win over your average punter. Hop Sauce, on the other hand, very much is. This is effectively the brewery’s go-to beer and a recommended first port of call when testing out the range. It’s a clean and refreshing American style pale ale that’s resplendent, thanks to the American and Aussie hops, with tropical and stone fruit aromas and flavours. … Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
4.5%
Bitterness
35 IBU

Sauce Brewing Co Specials

Sauce Brewing 12 Hayz of Xmas

Tapped December 13th, 2018
Pursuing the mantra that too much of a good thing is folly, Sauce is ushering in Christmas with a mini celebration of a form of beer for which it’s becoming increasingly known, which is to say: hazy. Indeed, they began the week in which the celebration is launched with their Bubble & Squeak taking top spot in The Crafty Pint’s Blind Tasting of New England IPAs and, as if on cue, a couple of days later a third of their taps were pouring hazy beer. And how very, very hazy they are. It’s… Read more
Style
Hazy IPAs
ABV
7.0%
Stockists

And a very select number of other crafty venues

Sauce Brewing DIPApotamus

Tapped December 7th, 2018
It could be that the most notable thing about the new double IPA from Sauce Brewing is that there’s really nothing unusual about it. Indeed, it brings to mind a comparatively quaint time within the Aussie craft beer boom, before all the haze and the fruity sours, when the default way for a brewer to make an impact with drinkers was to concoct some sort of IPA recipe then throw as many hops as possible at it. And that’s pretty much what they’ve done here as DIPApotamus is the hoppiest beer… Read more
Style
West Coast Double IPA
ABV
8.2%

Sauce Brewing Pazy Hale

Tapped October 29th, 2018
Ever since Sauce decided to try wading into murky waters by brewing the Bubble & Squeak New England IPA, the brewers have been afflicted by the haze craze. They’ve taken the burgeoning trend to heart and fine tuned their recipe to the point where it’s become one of the brewery's most popular releases and, arguably, their signature beer. So it all seemed very reasonable when they chose to release a fruitier and boozier cousin to that beer in the form of the Trubble & Squeak imperial NEIPA.… Read more
Style
New England Pale Ale
ABV
5.8%

Sauce Brewing You Bruty! IPA

Tapped August 6th, 2018
Considering the appetite their customers have shown for the “haze craze”, which has prompted the brewery to unfurl an ever expanding range of New England IPAs, it perhaps ought not to be surprising to learn that Sauce is one of the first breweries in Sydney to jump onto the latest trend to afflict the beer world. Their Brut IPA, nicely channelling a catchy colloquialism, is called You Bruty! and it’s been launched in conjunction with their near neighbours at good beer bar Uncle Hops. That’s… Read more
Style
Brut IPA
ABV
7.0%

Sauce brewing Breakfast Smoothie & Super Saison

Tapped July 17th, 2018
Fruity, fruitier and fruitiest. That seems to be the natural order of things at Sauce as they gradually crank the tropical dial on their New England IPA releases to the right. The latest – following the "straight" Bubble & Squeak NEIPA and the mango-infused iteration Trubble & Squeak – is Breakfast Smoothie, a beer they’ve termed a Tropical Milkshake IPA. These three beers are, to be fair, all quite different but they’re just so easily lumped together by virtue of them… Read more
Style
New England IPA & Saison
ABV
7.0% & 7.2%

Sauce Brewing Trubble & Squeak

Tapped June 21st, 2018
Want to know what it tastes like when a New England IPA gets raised on a diet of mango and steroids? For their 2018 GABS entry, Sauce took the recipe for their almost permanent NEIPA, Bubble & Squeak, to the operating table and turned it into a murky monster: Trubble & Squeak. NEIPAs are fruity. This is like standing in a cricket net, open mouthed and without a bat, being pummelled by a bowling machine loaded with mangoes. NEIPAs are juicy. This is dense, a sweet and viscous syrup. Bitterness?… Read more
Style
Imperial Mango NEIPA
ABV
9.0%

Sauce Brewing O Cascadia

Tapped June 21st, 2018
While it's not for everybody, and is still dismissed in some quarters as a fad, there's no doubting the New England IPA is very much a thing. And it's a thing that shares much in common with another hoppy beer style that originated in the US a few years before NEIPAs arrived in all their turbid glory. Back then, it was brewers on the opposite side of the country, the home of the West Coast IPA, that had done something wicked: sticking heaps of hops into dark beers and giving them the oxymoronic title… Read more
Style
Cascadian Dark Ale
ABV
5.5%

Sauce Brewing Fresh-Hop Sauce WXXPA

Tapped April 27th, 2018
As fate would have it, on the day of an unscheduled visit to the Sauce brewery the brewers were midway through making their second fresh hop beer of the 2018 hop harvest season. The first had been and gone a few weeks prior, just a tiny test batch made from the scrawny hops that’d grown out in their beer garden. This next beer was on a different level. Peering into the steaming stainless steel cauldron and seeing it stuffed with hop bags brought to mind laundry day after an extended camping holiday… Read more
Style
Hop Harvest Ale
ABV
6.5%

Sauce Brewing Son Of A Peach

Tapped April 13th, 2018
At many breweries these days, usually somewhere towards the end of a bank of taps, you’ll find something that fits under a loose umbrella description of: “For people who say they don’t like beer”. In the past, that’s generally been a cider but, increasingly, what’s been offered is a kettle soured ale, often boosted with some sort of fruit addition. Summer seems a particularly popular time for these beers to emerge due to their light and refreshing nature, the warm weather and an abundance… Read more
Style
Berliner Weisse
ABV
5.0%

Sauce Brewing Piss-Weak Sauce

Tapped March 31st, 2018
Having been a keg only release since the day the brewery opened, Sauce’s Piss-Weak session IPA made a move into cans to test itself out in the wider but sometimes watery world of the mid strength market. The name itself sits somewhere between irreverent, self deprecating, crass and amusing. So it kind of naturally lends itself to a certain market appeal, one that – if we’re honest – is a bit blokey and characterised by a liberal use of colloquialisms. There’s actually a precedent in this… Read more
Style
Session IPA
ABV
3.5%

Sauce Brewing Bubble & Squeak NEIPA

Tapped January 2nd, 2018
When Sauce first opened to the public, the brewery wasn’t actually 100 percent ready to welcome the public in. Sure, the team had been working towards it but, as they stood there late one Friday afternoon, they were still sweating on some critical council paperwork. So, when it arrived at more or less the eleventh hour, the place still had more than a few edges in need of smoothing; the beer garden was still mostly a gravel pit, the bar wasn't decorated and the canning machine wasn't commissioned… Read more
Style
New England Style IPA
ABV
6.5%

Sauce Brewing Co Saucy Saison

Tapped December 10th, 2016
Sauce’s third beer release and first ever seasonal was decided by democracy, which is to say they put a vote out on social media asking their followers to choose what style of beer they should brew next. That there was a resounding winner isn't necessarily a surprise. That it was a saison perhaps is. Anyway, they’ll be glad it won't because the ensuing beer, Saucy Saison, is rather lovely. It’s a bit of a blend of a beer, doffing its cap to yeast-driven French-Belgian saisons and using some… Read more
Style
Saison
ABV
6.0%
Bitterness
30 IBU
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