SIX STRING BREWING COMPANY
Address: 4/330 The Entrance Rd, Erina (n of Sydney)
Type: Brewery and Tasting Room
Beers : Pale Ale, Golden Ale, Hefeweizen, English IPA, Dark Red IPA, “Bobby Brown” Brown Ale and many seasonal brews including Saison and Dunkel.
Six String Brewing is located at Erina not far from Gosford on the Central Coast. The doors of the brewery opened in early 2013, and as well as a core range of fine ales there are superb seasonal batches brewed here, such as the Saison and Choc Cherry Dunkelweizen – a dark, fruity beer.
The name “Six String” is a reference to the number of strings on a bass guitar, and the musical theme is continued with the brewery’s catchphrase for their beers – “Amplified Ales”. Six String beers are available in many locations on tap, but I can recommend a visit to the funky brewery and tasting room on the road to The Entrance near Erina Fair (Shopping Centre). The tasting room is actually better than many pubs, with seven beers on tap on my visit, plus plenty of other drinks, including soft drinks and wine. Families are welcome.
Food is also available. There are sharing plates and a choice of mains on the menu, and the dishes at the brewery are beautifully prepared and delicious. Lunches are served from Wednesday to Sunday noon to 3 pm and dinners are on Friday and Saturday 5.30 to 8.30 pm.
Red IPA and Potato Skins with shallots and melted cheese… I’ve eaten some-couldn’t wait
Then the beer; it’s a good idea to start with a tasting paddle of four beers of your choice, then select one (or two) to be enjoyed in a full tulip-shaped glass. Growlers can also be filled up here with your choice of beer.
I liked the bass guitar rhythms in the background music as well, and the coloured lights set up to reflect off of the stainless steel tanks of the brewery – a nice touch. Local musicians give performances on weekend evenings, and there are brewery tours on Saturdays.
Having tried a number of Six String beers both at the brewery and in Sydney, here are my favourites –
Pale Ale, a clear gold with a creamy head and tropical fruit and citrus flavours. I think there are peppery notes as well. This is made with American and Australian hops and is 4.8% ABV.
Next, “Bobby Brown” Brown Ale – dark with caramel malt and stone-fruit flavours and a long hop finish. This is 5% ABV.
My all time favourite, though, is the Dark Red India Pale Ale, almost black, but with red highlights and with dark malt and strong hop flavours. I think there’s a hint of chocolate in there too. This is dry-hopped for extra flavour and is based on a West Coast USA Red Ale. At 6.6% ABV, this is a beer I will return for. It is delicious and features in my list of top ten local beers.
Before the Six String brewery opened, there was some local opposition to the idea of starting a brewery and tasting room in the area. Plenty of bureaucratic hurdles were put in the way to discourage this new venture. Now underway, after many tussles with local laws and council regulations, let’s remember that this brewery is Australian, Australian-owned and produces the highest quality Australian beers.
On my way from Gosford to Erina to visit Six String, I passed half a dozen pubs and stores selling the mass-produced “popular” beers, all ultimately owned by the giant British and Japanese brewing corporations. I don’t see any opposition to these places; we welcome foreign-owned beers with open arms and then belittle our own local products. For pity’s sake, when someone here wants to start an Australian enterprise, let’s at least offer some help, not try to prevent it.
OK, I’m done.
Here’s an Update – September 2015 : The Dark Red IPA and the Pale Ale are available in 375ml cans (This actually started in mid-2014). I’ve sampled this at venues such as the Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant at Woy Woy ; what a fantastic place for fresh seafood, and with Six String craft beer to accompany the meal. Cans of the IPA and the Pale Ale can also be found at other Central Coast venues at Ettalong and Gosford, as well as at specialist bottle shops in Sydney.