SYDNEY | Sydney’s craft beer scene has exploded in recent years, and today there are many venues that can lay claim to being amongst the best craft beer pubs in Sydney. Up until a few years ago, it would be mostly beers from Victoria and Western Australia that you’d see on the taps if you wanted something more than a commercial lager but now there are so many great craft breweries across New South Wales that it’s not hard to fill an entire tap list with brews much closer to home.

Many of these breweries are located in Sydney’s inner suburbs, and have tap rooms that you can visit. You can read about some of these great breweries in our Guide To Sydney’s Inner West Breweries, but if it’s craft beer pubs and bars that you want, the list below is for you. Is your favourite Sydney craft beer spot here?

Keg & Brew

top 10 best craft beer pubs bars sydney

Keg & Brew is owned by the same folks behind the Dove and Olive Hotel, and puts the focus firmly on craft beer and classic pub food done well. The venue retains the feel of an old school pub, while having a tap list that’s thoroughly modern. Lovers of good beer are treated to a selection of mostly local craft beers (and a couple of ciders), along with interstate and international brews across the 30 taps and 3 hand pumps. There are also 30 bourbons available too, along with some decent wines and other spirits for those who want something other than beer.

Food wise, it’s a good assortment of American and Australian pub classics that always the spot when having a few drinks.

Keg & Brew

26 Foveaux Street
Surry Hills
New South Wales 2010
Australia

The Noble Hops

Noble Hops is one of Sydney’s newest craft beer venues and in a short period of time has built a reputation as one of its best. The reason for this is simple – despite the fact that there are only 10 taps in this small, 60 capacity venue, The Noble Hops nails all of the important things. Eight of the taps feature beers from independent Australian breweries while the other two feature international beers. The 50 or so strong bottle list consists of mostly American and Belgian beers, while the large whisky list means that properly paired boilermakers are always an option.

Everything is overseen by owner Joe Wee, who isn’t tied to any long-term contracts and has complete freedom in choosing what he wants to offer at this bar. The result, a really nice local’s bar with good drinks, service and atmosphere. There’s no food here (apart from free popcorn) but you can order pizza from La Coppola across the road and have it delivered to the bar if you’re hungry.

The Noble Hops

125 Redfern Street
Redfern
New South Wales 2016
Australia

Dove & Olive

top 10 best craft beer pubs bars sydney

Dove & Olive offers punters a choice from over 20 taps of local and international craft beers on regular rotation, along with a decent bottle selection. Many of our favourites are often on the taps here, including beers from Brewcult, The Grifter and Willie The Boatman. The range spans all of the main styles of beers and mixes core range beers from various breweries with seasonal and one-off brews.

If you’re looking for a feed, the offering at Dove & Olive mixes Aussie pub favourites with US influenced creations, all designed to be matched with beer.

Dove & Olive

156 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills
New South Wales 2010
Australia

The Union Hotel

The Union Hotel might not look like much from the outside, and even the interior doesn’t scream “trendy” when you walk inside. What this place is, is an unpretentious bistro type venue with friendly service that’s the kind of place that anyone will feel welcome in. There are pool tables, live music and tasty food that’s great for small and large groups.

For the craft beer drinker, the appeal lies in the offering across the Union Hotel’s 22 taps. Craft breweries from across Australia are well represented here, and there are usually a few international taps too. Popular names like Batch, Modus Operandi, 4 Pines and Feral share the taps with lesser known, up-and-coming breweries like Bounty Hunter and Frenchies. Not sure what to get? The Union Hotel handily offers tasting paddles.

The Union Hotel

576 King Street
Newtown
New South Wales 2042
Australia

The SG (Spooning Goats)

top 10 best craft beer pubs bars sydney

The SG (formerly Spooning Goats) is the perfect bar for those who love their craft beer, wine and cocktails with a dose of retro eclecticism. Walk into the unassuming basement space and you’re greeted with an assortment of furniture that looks like it came from various grandparent’s living rooms. All the beer available is brewed in NSW, and there’s always a good mix of sessionable core range beers and more experimental brews.

The SG (Spooning Goats)

32 York Street
Sydney
New South Wales 2000
Australia

Frankie’s Pizza

top 10 best craft beer pubs bars sydney

Frankie’s Pizza is a dive bar x pizza parlour and is one of our favourite night spots in Sydney. Walk into the basement venue and you’re faced with a little Italian pizzeria. Walk through the doors next to the kitchen though, and you’ll find a dark room with hard rock music playing, along with a bar that features one of the best craft beer lists in Sydney. Beers are both local and international and span all of the major styles. Quite often you can also find one-offs and collaboration beers too.

Frankie’s Pizza

50 Hunter Street
Sydney
New South Wales 2000
Australia

The Lord Raglan Hotel

The Lord Raglan Hotel is a great example of how an old pub can be transformed without relying on pokies. A few years ago there was nothing special about this place – it was a dilapidated old pub whose heyday was well behind it, that had been closed for 3 years. The team from Rocks Brewing Co bought the pub, stripped the inside, ditched the pokies and reopened the Lord Raglan in 2014 a craft beer focused local’s pub.

On the taps are 16 different craft beers from New South Wales and further afield ranging all of the major styles, and there’s a decent bottle list too. There’s a good mix of core range beers and more interesting one-offs to keep everyone satisfied. Food wise it’s a mixture of tasty Australian and American pub classics and to keep punters entertained there’s live music and pinball.

The Lord Raglan Hotel

12 Henderson Road
Redfern
New South Wales 2016
Australia

Bitter Phew

top 10 best craft beer pubs bars sydney

Bitter Phew features some of the most interesting beers on offer in Sydney across its 12 taps and over 100 strong bottle list. The space is small and simple, located in an attic above Oxford Street. The signage is unassuming – blink and you might miss it, but if you do enter and head up the stairs, you’re in for a treat. If you’re new to the craft beer scene, staff will guide you towards the beer which are best suited to your tastes while more seasoned craft beer drinkers will almost always be able to find a beer that they haven’t tried before.

If it’s variety you’re after, the “Bottle Share” is a great option, where you and a few friends can sample a few bottles of varying styles of beer. For those really into their craft beer, it’s worth checking out the monthly-ish “Rare Phew” events where attendees get to share and try beers from a selection of super-rare bottles.

Bitter Phew

1/137 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst
New South Wales 2010
Australia

The Local Taphouse

top 10 best craft beer pubs bars sydney

The Local Taphouse is housed in an old hotel that spans three levels, with the atmosphere of an very old school pub with lots of lacquered wood and dark furnishings. There’s also a rooftop bar for those days when the weather is too good to be sitting indoors.

Across The Local Taphouse’s three bars you can find taps featuring 20 unique and rotating beers along with an impressive bottle range featuring rare beers that you may not be able to find elsewhere. The beer list contains beers both local and international brews, and there’s generally a good selection of styles available so that there’s something for everyone. If you want to try a few things, you can get a tasting paddle and if you’re hungry, the elevated pub grub hits the spot nicely.

The Local Taphouse

22 Flinders Street
Darlinghurst
New South Wales 2010
Australia

Harts Pub

Harts Pub was one of the first pubs in Sydney to really champion craft beer, and has had an exclusively Australian craft beer tap list since 2009. Housed in what was originally a three storey terraced house, this historic building is a great spot for a drink and a feed. The 12 rotating taps and two handpumps always have something interesting on offer, including beers from Rocks Brewing, who used to brew here before moving to their current Alexandria premises.

Tasting paddles are offered if there are a few things you want to try, and the pub food, which goes fantastically with beer, is top quality.

Harts Pub

Corner of Essex & Gloucester Streets
The Rocks
New South Wales 2000
Australia

Royal Albert Hotel

top 10 best craft beer pubs bars sydney

The Royal Albert Hotel has been around since 1897, but has built a reputation as one of Sydney’s premier craft beer destinations since a shift in focus in 2012. The atmosphere of this old pub is cozy, the venue retaining much of its old world charm, while the crowd diverse and the service friendly.

There are fourteen taps showcasing a wide array of mostly local, sometimes international craft beers. The likes of Modus Operandi, Young & Henrys, and 4 Pines can often be found on tap and on most Thursdays there are tap takeovers which see all 14 of the Royal Albert’s taps taken over by a single brewery – a great opportunity to try something new or limited. Food wise there’s an assortment of options like burgers, hot-dogs and dumplings.

Royal Albert Hotel

Corner Commonwealth and Reservoir Streets
Surry Hills
New South Wales 2010
Australia

Pumphouse

top 10 best craft beer pubs bars sydney

Pumphouse was originally built as a pumping station in 1890, but today houses a bar which has a focus on craft beer. There are over 100 local and international beer on offer here, including Thunderbolt Strong Ale, an amber ale that used to be found here exclusively in one of the bar’s prior incarnations, when it was owned by the Tank Steam Brewery.

You’ll generally find a good selection of local beers on the taps, with a list that covers most styles, while the bottle range expands the offering for those looking for something more. Food wise it’s good quality pub food with a modern Australian and Mediterranean twists.

Pumphouse

17 Little Pier Street
Darling Harbour
New South Wales 2010
Australia

DOG Hotel

The DOG Hotel occupies a 750 square metre block and offers an impressive 59 beers across its taps. There’s still a few non-crafty options on the taps, to appeal to the regulars who know what they like, but for the craft beer fan, you can’t go wrong. You can find beers from independent Sydney brewers and those further abroad with all kinds of styles available. The tap list tends towards the approachable end of the scale, but you’ll always be sure to find something interesting. Tasting paddles of 3 beers for $10 are also offered for those who want to sample a few different beers.

For food the public bar downstairs offers up pub classics while upstairs it’s a more interesting American/French inspired menu. Thankfully both menus are available throughout the venue, something with wasn’t allowed back in the day.

DOG Hotel

2 St. Marks Road
Randwick
New South Wales 2031
Australia