A beer-obsessed crew brews obsessive beer
The crew at Sydney Brewery make the kind of beers you can enjoy more than one of, with a range that has everyone’s tastes covered. They’re eclectic, experimental, and ever-so-in-love with both people and ales.
Pilsner, lager, pale ale, agave ginger, cider… whatever it is you like to drink, Sydney Brewery does it and does it with love from the heart of Surry Hills and the idyllic Hunter Valley. With more than 200 medals and counting, we’re not kidding when we say this stuff’s addictive.
The eclectic culture of Surry Hills has seeped into the DNA of Sydney Brewery
Sydney Brewery has its origins in the Macquarie Hotel, an old haunt tucked into Surry Hills’ Wentworth Ave. Back then, it was simply known as Sports Brewery. In 2005, owner Dr Jerry Schwartz thought it was high time he put his love of beer to good use and started brewing his own experimental ales. Needless to say, the drinks took off. In 2012, Schwartz renamed the brewery and today is a proud owner of two production facilities: a large industrial brewhouse, ‘Lovedale’, in the idyllic Hunter Valley and a smaller brewhouse on Albion Street in Surry Hills.
The name is appropriate for both the brewery, the ales, and the men who run the show. The eclectic culture of Surry Hills has seeped into the DNA of Sydney Brewery, and the drinks are named after popular Sydney suburbs with illustrations inspired by wacky characters seen floating around the streets of Surry Hills. There’s Kate Leigh, underworld queen, or the Irish Seven of Darlinghurst, and even an eccentric-looking gentleman dressed in a floral getup.
Two breweries overflowing with great beers
The Surry Hills brewery is headed by expert brewer Scott Hayward, who specialises in seasonal and specialty beers made with exceptional raw ingredients. Being a small independent brewery, there’s plenty of room for experimentation and playing around. Hayward extracts from his creativity to try new things and create new seasonal variations that make Sydney Brewery so distinct and able to carry such a wide range of tasty brews. You can head to the brewery to trial any number of brews that Hayward is playing around with at the moment.
In the Hunter Valley, the larger brewhouse sources its beer from filtered Hunter Valley water for a purely local blank canvas that allows the brewers to create a vast range of beers from Lager to Pale Ale and a rich Porter. Lovedale Lager is the darling of this brewery, a traditional Munich-style lager that combines three types of German hops to create a smooth citrusy aroma with a slightly toasted malt backbone.
Whether it’s the Surry Hills brewhouse or ol’ Lovedale in the Hunter Valley, Sydney Brewery’s crew have built a tight connection with locals thanks to their tasty brews and parochial approach to making and selling beer, earning them a loyal and obsessive following that keenly awaits new brews to drop.
A brewery that has everyone’s tastes covered
The Sydney Brewery team have one goal in mind: to bring people together around great beer and cider. And as they put it, “Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whatever you look like – you’re our kind of people”. The result of their people-loving approach is a diverse selection of ore beers and seasonals that truly has something for everyone – beer fan or not. There are the light and clean lagers, trusty pale ales, punchy IPAs, and deep flavours at the darker end of the spectrum for those who like a rich brew.
Those who prefer easy drinking flavours can chug on champagne-like Sydney Cider or the spicy and intriguing Agave Ginger Cider. On top of that, there are endless limited releases and collaborations that include pears, cherries, and even vermouth in the mix…
With a range like that backed with a fierce passion for both beer and the people who drink it, it’s no surprise the Sydney Brewery team have racked up the medals like it’s nobody’s business. There’s the Champion Beer in Show for their Pilsner and Champion Small/Medium Brewery medals at the Queensland Food and Wine Show in 2021. There were the Gold Medals for East Coast IPA, Blue Swimmer Summer Ale, Pilsner, Lager and Dark Lager at the Australian International Beer Awards. And there was the Grand Champion Beer trophy for their Czech-style Pilsner earned in the Royal Queensland Beer Awards 2021, when the small but mighty Brewery went up against 70 breweries submitting nearly 500 beers.
It all speaks for itself. Experimental, high quality beers made with love from a passionate team of beer enthusiasts, with an extensive range that has everyone’s tastes covered.
Read about some of the exclusive & most passionate producers in Australia in CHEFIN’s team deep dive into New South Wale’s best producers.