This time of year lends itself to reflection. And with that reflection should come recognition of what made the year great.
So here, in no physical form, are awards for the parts of the Sydney beer scene that have made it fantastic in 2016.
Winner: Shenanigans Winston
There are so many beers that could be considered Sydney’s best. In reality, I’m convinced this is something that will change from batch to batch and from year to year. That said, Shenanigans Winston, an already excellent beer, reached new heights in 2016.
It’s one of the freshest, most aromatic and delicious pale ales around. And even better, it’s utterly smashable. It’s a beer that keeps you coming back again and again and one that resonates with all drinkers, no matter where on their craft beer journey they are.
Winston, along with the beer commended below, are two beers that I will never pass up if they’re on tap and tasting fresh.
Commended:Wayward’s Sourpuss Raspberry Berliner Weisse (last year’s winner)
Winner: Wayward Brewing
If last year’s choice was hard, 2016’s was even harder. New breweries have popped up while some old favourites continue to kick goals. Packaged product and the cellar door experience have improved immeasurably in the last year.
It’s safe to say that everyone reading this will have their favourite. Thankfully, the Sydney craft beer scene is evolving into a place where you can be proud of your local brewery.
Wayward have gone from strength to strength in the last year. Celebrating the first anniversary of their Camperdown home, releasing a string of seasonal and limited beers and packaging their core range, it’s been a year filled with milestones.
The quality of the beer and of their taproom has been consistently astounding. They really have rocketed to the top echelon of Sydney breweries.
Commended: Modus Operandi
Winner: Bitter Phew
Bitter Phew really is the best beer bar in Sydney, by a long shot.
While there are pubs and brewery taprooms aplenty that provide great beer lists, awesome atmospheres and centres for their local communities, Bitter Phew stands out as a truly beer-focused venue.
The Darlinghurst bar consistently has stand-out beer offerings while the knowledge, passion, service and downright friendliness of the staff is virtually unparalleled in Sydney.
Ones to watch: The Noble Hops, Creek & Cella
(A quick note: 2016 was the year we lost Cammeray Craft. It’s a great shame to have lost such a fantastic venue north of the bridge.)
Stand Out Moment
Winner: GABS Sydney 2016
GABS more than delivered in 2016. Extended to three sessions, it took everything that was great about GABS 2015 and made it even better.
There were a lot more people this year but best of all it wasn’t just beer nerds. There was a real diversity among the attendees and it was clear the festival has done a great job of introducing people to craft beer.
And obviously, the beer was sensational.
Cheers To 2016!
Yet again, our local beer scene here in Sydney has come on leaps and bounds in the last year, with new breweries, venues and more.
Thanks 2016! Here’s hoping it continues into 2017.
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