Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Best Sydney microbreweries ?

My good friend Barney points us towards a recent Fairfax article: Finding Sydney's best microbreweries.

For the click-averse, here's the list:
  • Redoak  (24%)
  • Lord Nelson  (50%)
  • Schwartz  (6%)
  • James Squire Brewhouse (8%)
  • Harts Pub (12%)
All up, a reasonable list. What interests me is the reader survey attached to this article: "Which do you think is Sydney's best microbrewery ?" The percentages are those shown above.

The Lord Nelson is arguably Sydney's most handsome pub; sandstone, wood & brass, local ales. But as a 'microbrewery', the Lord's ales have never quite met expectation. "Best pub" for sure.... "Best microbrewery" not likely.....

For Schwartz to lose to James Squire is merely an indication of the former's relative obscurity. Squires successfully showcases the range of Malt Shovel beers, plus a couple of other local niceties, but does not have the edge that Schwartz has.  If the 1,959 survey respondents had visited all establishments (which I'm sure they haven't), the results would be different.

Although glad to see Harts on the list, it's not technically a microbrewey. But as a bona fide, local-focused-and-committed pub, there is none better.

And Redoak ? Again, not technically an onsite microbrewery.  Yes, there may be a couple of conditioning tanks in situ, but you won't find a mash-tun for at least a mile.... and that will be at Schwartz.....

What the journalist fails to consider (and this may be a result of editorial bias) is the possibility of microbreweries in Sydney that exist OUTSIDE the CBD.

Consider 4 Pines at Manly, or Paddy's at Flemington, or the new Australian Brewery at Rouse Hill.

Probably worth an update tour in itself. Anyone interested ?

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