SYDNEY | Hawke’s Brewing was founded by Nathan Lennon and David Gibson in 2017, with the blessing of Bob Hawke himself. It wasn’t until this year, however, that they had a brewery and venue of their own. Enter, The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre.
Located in amongst the brewing hotspot that is Marrickville, the aptly named leisure centre is a tribute to the main man, the pubs and RSLs, and general Aussie aesthetic of the 1980s. The space is roughly divided into five sections. Downstairs, when you first walk in you have the public room, which is home to the main bar, and Lucky-Prawn, modelled off, and offering dishes familiar to anyone who dined at suburban Chinese restaurants back in the day.
To the pack, there’s the RJLH Pool Room, which also houses the Bob Hawke photo and memorabilia gallery. On the mezzanine floor there’s the tropical themed Sanctuary Cove and Ansett Bar, and there’s also seats and tables out the front.
The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s more than a little bit daggy, and is all the better for it. The space oozes character and is a whole lot of fun.
Beer is quality. Rather than focusing on constantly changing limited and experimental brews, head brewer Brodie French is all about quality, consistent brews, covering the main styles that people like to drink. The 4.5% ABV “Patio Pale” Pale Ale and 5.7% ABV “Hawke’s American Porter” are two highlights.
It’s not all the same, though. You’ll always find a few seasonal limited release beers, “One Hit Wonders”, on the taps at any given time. If you want to try a few things, tasting paddles of four smaller pours are available.
For food, the aforementioned Chinese-Australian restaurant serves quality versions of nostalgic dishes like salt and pepper calamari, sweet and sour pork, and special fried rice. For dessert, there’s a deep fried Vienetta cake and Vanilla ice-cream with Ice Magic.
Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre
8-12 Sydney Street
New South Wales 2204
Mon – Tue: 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Wed: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Thu – Fri: 12:00pm to 12:00am
Sat: 11:00am to 12:00am
Sun: 11:00am to 10:00pm