1. Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel || 19 Kent St, The Rocks. Ph: (02) 9251 4044. lordnelsonbrewery.com
This is pretty much the epitome of the classic brew pub. Not only is it Sydney’s oldest running brewery it’s housed in one of the city’s oldest pubs. Grab one of their Three Sheets pale ales and drink in the history.
2. Schwartz Brewery || Macquarie Hotel, 42 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills. Ph: (02) 8262 8877. schwartzbrewery.com
The brewery here may come as something as a surprise, even for those that think they know the area. For years the Macquarie made its name as a home of jazz and funk music, now it’s better known for its eight house brews including a German-style dark ale and a Bavarian red.
3. St Peters Brewery || 15 May St, St Peters. Ph: (02) 9519 0191. stpetersbrewerysydney.com.au
There’s no pub attached to this one-man brewery but somehow the word on Matt Donelan’s beer has spread. His signature Blonde comes only on tap and is a staple drink through pubs in the Inner West. Donelan also produces the Thunderbolt Strong Ale sold at the Pumphouse Bar in Darling Harbour.
4. 4 Pines || 29/43-45 East Esp, Manly. Ph: (02) 9976 2300. 4pinesbeer.com.au
Something of a newcomer to the brewing scene (established in 2008) 4 Pines is still probably not as well known as it should be. Upstairs above the Manly Cinemas it’s a fun-filled venue that incorporates their beer like hefeweizen and kolsch with great pub food and live music.
5. Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe || 201 Clarence St, Sydney. Ph: (02) 9262 3303. redoak.com.au
Despite being Sydney’s most awarded microbrewery, Redoak is actually about more than just the beer. The signature (and often rather unique) beers like Framboise Froment or Blackberry Hefeweizen are designed to be paired, like wines, with food from the café’s top notch menu.