THE GRIFTER BREWING COMPANY
Address: 3/142 Cleveland St, Chippendale, Sydney inner-west
Type: Contract (gypsy) Brewer
Beers : Pale Ale and single batch including “Big Sur” West Coast American IPA, “Marnie’s Majority” American IPA and “The Omen” Oatmeal Stout. Also previous batches including “Cold War” Hopfen-Weizen, “Sheep Shed” Saison and “Tortoise and Hop” Pilsner.
The Grifter Brewing Company started up in 2012 in Sydney’s inner-west, and now makes superb beers available in selected craft beer venues in Sydney. Don’t be too surprised if these beers are a bit hard to find – they are only available on tap at the time of writing and are artisan beers made in small batches.
Named after the grifter, a travelling trickster and hustler, you need to keep a sharp eye on their website to find where the beers are pouring – then hunt it down as fast as you can (this is my method).
I first ran across “Marnie’s Majority” American India Pale Ale at Harts Pub in the Rocks area of Sydney. This beer uses Bravo and Mosaic hops and is very resiny and bitter with honeyed orange and fruit flavours as well as lasting citrus notes. This is 6.8% ABV.
Also available at Harts Pub was the “Cold War” Hopfen-Weizen”, a cloudy wheat beer that uses 50% wheat malt, and finishes with notes of citrus and spice (cinnamon) and a delicious bitter hop backdrop. Lots of New Zealand hops in this beer, a take on a Hefewiezen, and it has 5.3% ABV.
A few months later and it was winter, and a chill wind was blowing off Central Station and howling through the narrow Sydney lanes. Such is winter in Sydney that people had to wear socks with their flip-flops, and sometimes even two T-shirts.
So it was back to the “Dove and Olive” in Surrey Hills for a warming winter pint in front of one of their fires. They had a Grifter West Coast American India Pale Ale called “Big Sur”, and with 6.7% ABV , it is deep amber, rich and foamy with a really good malt and hop balance. Lots of heavy pine and citrus and a complex “umami’ finish. Winter in Sydney – with “Big Sur” didn’t even notice it.
There are other Grifter beers, and there are new seasonal brews appearing all the time at craft beer pubs. A beer to keep an eye out for.