Sydney’s most historic area is being transformed into the mother of all beer gardens.
The best brewers in Australia are set to converge on the Rocks district in Sydney for the annual Australian Beer Festival from 13-15 October.
The big beer bash will be hosted by the Australian Heritage Hotel (above), the cradle of craft beer in Sydney, and will transform the winding streets of the historic Rocks precinct into one hell of a street party over the bumper weekend.
The fiesta of the frothy features more than 30 stalls, 120 boutique beers and ciders, gourmet eats and live entertainments filling Cumberland and Gloucester Streets over the three-day extravaganza, returning for its 13th year.
All of the nation’s top craft beers will be represented — Sydney stalwarts Batch Brewing (Marrickville), 4 Pines Beer (Manly), Grifter Brewing (Marrickville) and Modus Operandi (Mona Vale) are the stars of the show, plus Pirate Life Brewing (Adelaide), Feral Brewing Company (Perth), Murray’s Craft Brewing Co (Port Stephens) and Balter Brewing (Gold Coast) from further afield.
A series of gongs will recognise the top brews on offer, including the prestigious Geoff Scharer Best Overall Beer, best cider, best pale ale, and best IPA. There’s even a ‘Weird and Wonderful’ award recognising the quirkiest frothy, as voted by the public — so attendees should really make an effort to sample as much grog as possible (purely for voting purposes, of course).
Knock the top off one in the beer garden on Gloucester Street then tuck into the oyster bar by Seabreeze Beach Hotel South West Rocks, or one of the Australian Hotel’s iconic pizzas — they’ve even got a ‘Coat of Arms’ pizza that’s half emu and half kangaroo. And it doesn’t get much more Australian than devouring both of your national animals at the same time with a cold one in your hand.
There will also be ‘meet the brewer’ sessions, blind tastings, and a dunk tank (that’s ‘dunk tank’, not ‘drunk tank’) to raise money for mental health charity Beyond Blue.
Tickets to the Australian Beer Festival are now on sale for $35 — including a tasting cup plus 10 tasting tokens — from the Australian Hotel’s website (australianheritagehotel.com/beer-fest).