THE AUSTRALIAN BREWERY
Address: 350 Annangrove Rd, Rouse Hill – NW of Sydney
Type: Brewery and Brewpub
Beers : “Pale Ale”, “Pilsner”, “Steam Ale”, “TBA” English Bitter, “Extra Hoppy”, Dark Lager, Mexican Lager and “Heisenberg” Hefeweizen
This is the place to visit if you not only want to taste super craft beers, but also learn about the brewing process and what goes into every glass of beer. This is a brewpub where you can see the beers being made, with big diagrams showing each stage of the story from barley to beer. There is also a virtual brewery tour and you can taste and smell samples of the Galaxy and Challenger hops and the various malted barleys. Once you’ve tasted dried Galaxy hops, you’ll never forget that ozone-like aroma, and the delicious bitter, fruity flavour.
There are eight beers and a cider on tap including a Steam Ale, a Mexican lager (with a slice of lime in each glass) and an incredible “Extra Hoppy” Ale. If you like hops, neatly balanced with just the right amount of malt, these are the beers to go for. I tried the tasting paddle of five beers – generous 200ml glasses in a board shaped like a map of Australia.
There’s a set selection of five, but you can vary this if you want to make your own choice. When finished, just return the board (and glasses) to the bar, and they will give you a schooner of your favourite brew, all for $15.
I’ll mention the “Extra Hoppy” and the “Pale Ale”, which are my favourites. Both are full of strong hop aromas – floral, and refreshing, and a taste dominated by bitter hop flavours. “Extra Hoppy” has a bitter, dry hopped flavour which I love, and the “Pale Ale” has a taste full of expertly balanced citrus, hops and Pale Malt.
The Australian Brewery beers are unique in being the only Sydney craft beers available in generous 355ml cans. Compared to a bottle with a crown cap, a can is lighter, won’t shatter if dropped, keeps out the light and air better and even chills faster.
You can buy the cans of “Pale Ale” and “Pilsner” from the large retailers.
Everything here, like the cans, is well thought out – next to the brewery, there’s a big restaurant, featuring Churrasco flame-grilled chicken and slow-roasted pork and lamb (Fridays and weekends), and an outside barbecue, with Texan-style oak-smoked brisket. There’s a dining room especially for parents with children, entertainment and games daily, lots of seating inside and out – and to top it all, money from the brewery goes towards local community groups and to support sports clubs in the area.