White Bay Beer Co

White Bay is an area that holds both industrial behemoths and a Hollywood film location, so it stands to reason White Bay Beer Co would capture that blend of character - down to earth, but not without sophistication.

The brewery’s logo shows the twin smokestacks of the abandoned White Bay Power Station, a nearby heritage listed landmark that’s been watching over its surrounds for a century. The history of this rusty chaperone ranges from grimy labour to glitzy glamour, as it was used to film scenes from The Great Gatsby and one of the Matrix movies, putting the Balmain peninsula on the silver screen.

Born in such an area, White Bay Beer Co could hardly help but take on the tagline, "Working Classy".

Housed in an industrial precinct that backs onto White Bay itself, the brewery is inside a 150-year-old steel mill that’s criss-crossed with steel beams like the bones of a giant, and wrapped in corrugated iron walls that show rusty streaks to remind you this building has stood the test of time. But it’s the massive size of the building that caught the attention of the WBBC team, who wanted plenty of space for a lager program.

Right from the beginning, the team - beer industry veterans the lot of them - agreed that a great lager was to be the focal point of their core range. And since lager typically stays in fermenting tanks longer than other beer styles, a brewery planning to pump out excellent lager needs room to store the beer. Thus a 1400m2 warehouse and a hefty amount of stainless (an amount that doubled in the first couple of months) made perfect sense.

“Go big or go home, right?” says head brewer Dennis de Boer.

Like many brewers, Dennis sees a well-made lager as the holy grail of brewing. He pours his mass of brewing experience into Union, an approachable Euro lager of his own creation that’d sate the thirst of steelworkers of old. Its easy-drinking nature and mesmerising white head of foam belie the amount of effort that goes into creating its stunning simplicity.

The other core range beer, Sunny Pale, is equally sessionable but floods White Bay with flavour. It’s closest in style to a hoppy American blonde, but stuffed with Aussie hops to give it those familiar passionfruity and citrus vibes.

While Union and Sunny are the cornerstone of White Bay, there’ll always be an IPA in market as well - a kind of adopted core range beer. Each IPA in the series is made as a one-off designed to capture a moment in time, and the can designs are accordingly unique to showcase the different recipes. In addition to these, a regular rotation of special release beers keeps the brewers and punters alike on their toes. After all, even steelworkers need to change things up every now and then, right?

Right from when they planned their core range beers to suit Balmain, the White Bay team has shown a special love for their locals, and the locals have responded in kind. The brewery isn’t isolated from the pocket of breweries in Sydney’s Inner West, but nor is it pressed up against them, meaning there’s enough home turf for the brewery to have a dedicated following in the area. But, while White Bay belongs to the Balmain peninsula, it isn’t constrained by it. An online store and a string of supportive bars and bottleshops get White Bay’s beers out to drinkers in greater Sydney and beyond.

You may not be able to see the smokestacks of the White Bay Power Station from where you are. But you can sit down after a hard day of work, re-watch the Matrix movies and drink a lager with a damn impressive head of foam.

Mick Wust

White Bay Beer Co

26C Mansfield Street
NSW 2039

Open Hours

Currently restricted
Friday: 4pm to 5.30pm
Saturday: 10am to 2pm
Sample tastings and Cellar Door takeaway only

This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

White Bay Beer Co Regulars

White Bay Beer Co Union Lager

Imagine a cartoon of a beer in a glass mug with a perfect white head. (Or if you have no imagination, just Google it - I’ll never know.) White Bay’s Union Lager may match this image better than any other beer I’ve seen in real life. Whether on tap or from the can, this beer pours with foam that sits high and tight and purest white. All at once, it looks like Santa’s beard, soft meringue, and fluffy snow freshly fallen. When complimented on his craft, head brewer Dennis de Boer simply shrugs… Read more

White Bay Beer Co Sunny Pale Ale

Just as sunshine sparkling off the water in White Bay is at once serene and delightful, this light golden blonde at once calms and excites. Like its sibling Union Lager, Sunny carries a fluffy white head and lacing that lingers in the glass til the very end. But, unlike Union, the aptly named Sunny Pale Ale overflows with hop aroma. While this naturally hazy beer is closest in style to a hoppy American blonde, the smell of Sunny is distinctly Australian - the Galaxy hops fill it with passionfruit,… Read more
Pale Ale

White Bay Beer Co Specials

White Bay Beer Co Wherever I Rove

Tapped Yesterday
The plan at young Sydney brewery White Bay is to always have an IPA as part of their lineup. Just not the same one all the time. And with head brewer Dennis de Boer having spent a few years knocking out IPAs a little to the north at Modus Operandi before becoming part of the founding team at the Balmain operation, it's a style he knows inside out. In the case of Wherever I Rove, the statement on the cans that it's brewed with "bushels of oats" might have minds picturing a hefty, hazy affair,… Read more

White Bay Beer Co Higher Now DDH Pale

Tapped July 27, 2020
Hazy pale ales done well can carry all the hop character of a NEIPA but with less wallop factor. Higher Now is an example of such a pale. In the glass it looks like pear juice, with that dull cloudy orange that’s adjacent to beige, but there’s nothing boring going on here. Galaxy, Azacca and the newer Sultana hops bringing fruit aplenty, although Higher Now isn’t a sweet glass of brekky juice like some hazies. Think more of a dry fruitiness, with tropical fruit hitting evenly across the palate… Read more
DDH Pale

White Bay Beer Co Common Ground Baltic Porter

Tapped July 1, 2020
This is White Bay’s first beer with an adjunct, first dark beer, and first collaboration beer. And I think anyone would agree they’ve knocked it out of the park. Right from the beginning, White Bay wanted to partner with their neighbour, The Little Marionette coffee roasters, to make a dark beer with coffee. They landed on Baltic porter as the base style, using a lager yeast to provide a solid but clean foundation to let the Ethiopian coffee shine. Like a terrific filter coffee, there’s so… Read more
Baltic Coffee Porter
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