MURRAY’S CRAFT BREWING COMPANY
Address: 3443 Nelson Bay Rd, Bobs Farm – near Port Stephens, north of Sydney
Type: Brewery and Brewpub near Port Stephens
Beers : A large range including “Angry Man” Pale Ale and Brown Ale, “Rude Boy” Pilsner, “Whale Ale” Wheat Beer, “Punch and Judy” Bitter, “Dark Knight” Porter, “Heart of Darkness” Imperial Stout – several year round beers and over 40 beers in all!
Murray’s started brewing fine beers in 2006 in a small northern New South Wales town, Taylors Arm, at a place called “The Pub with No Beer”. Going from strength to strength, the brewery was enlarged and relocated to near Port Stephens, about 2 hours by car north of Sydney a few years later. I had to include Murray’s in this website, as their beers are widely available in Sydney on tap, and in bottles in big retailers (such as Dan Murphys).
I easily sampled four Murray’s beers in four separate Sydney venues, as these brews have now become legendary – “Angy Man” Pale Ale gets featured in all of my beer references (a bibliography in progress). I tried it at the “Yardarm” in Manly – deep amber, with an aroma of toffee and tropical fruit, it has a beautiful balance of citrus and passionfruit with a bitter, slightly peppery finish. The “Yardarm” pub used to be a Murray’s brewpub, although now (late 2014) it serves mostly other craft beers.
Then I tried the “Whale Ale” at the “Royal Oak” in Balmain – this is a hazy, wheat beer with lots of malted wheat, citrus and mango notes matched with a smooth, hop bitterness. Next was the “Heart of Darkness” Imperial Stout at the “Local Taphouse” in Darlinghurst – at 9.6% this has roasted nut, spice and raisin notes. Then the “Moon Boy” Golden Ale in Darling Harbour – hazy, deep amber, tasting of spice, passionfruit and a hint of pepper. I think you get the picture – Murray’s beers are splashed around Sydney everywhere, and possibly the most written about of all Sydney beers.
The Murray’s Craft Brewing Company and brewpub is at Bobs Farm, near Port Stephens, and is situated on 35 acres of forest and vineyards. It is right next to the Port Stephens Winery, and is great for a day out in the country, with a restaurant, brewery tours and generous tasting paddles. I admit that I haven’t visited there yet, but clearly, the beers are already a Sydney craft mainstay.
Please have a look at the Murray’s website, where you can see the eight (more now probably) regularly available beers, plus information on the many seasonal batches that have been produced over the last eight years.
The list includes beauties like a bock, Irish Stout and Belgian style beers. I’ll be back…