Good beer is expensive. Sydney is expensive. If you’re just getting into good beer, or if you’re just the naturally money conscious type, here’s a rough guide to finding the best bang for your buck beers in Sydney.
Firstly, prices fluctuate and not all beers listed here will always be available. Secondly, good beer costs money for a reason. My aim here is simply to highlight a few classic or new and exciting beers that can be bought for a relatively low price.
They’re still going to cost more than a tinny of VB but what you’re getting is serious value for the quality of beer.
While they’re not all Australian beers, if you’re starting out on your craft beer journey, or if you’re just watching the pennies, here are a few beers that’ll blow you away and still leave some change in your wallet.
In Australia, we pay more in tax for higher ABV beers. So naturally most affordable beers are going to be lower in alcohol. But there are still a few boozier beers that, for the price, represent great value for money.
I’ve started with international beers because that’s what inspired this piece.
Looking through various bottle lists, Rodenbach jumps out as providing fantastic value for money. It’s a classic, world-renowned beer that’s about as good as it gets for the price.
It’s a constant reassurance that there’s still good things in the world when I see a beer of this quality available for well under $10. Look hard enough and I’m sure you’ll find a tinny for around a fiver. If you do, grab as many as you can.
And that’s one of the great things about this classic beer, it’s available in cans. You can get a world-leading Belgian sour beer in cans. Rodenbach represents fantastic value and a great introduction to a wonderful style of beer, even on pricier bottle lists.
Rodenbach Grand Cru
The previous beer’s big sister, this is a beefed up, delicious beer. While it’ll cost you a few bucks more than the regular Rodenbach, it’s worth getting hold off, especially if you can get it in a beautiful bottle.
You’ll get a bit more oaky barrel and green apple and grapey character on this beer compared to Rodenbach Classic. Whether you’re a craft aficionado or new to this world of beers, this is a must-try. It’s a reference point for beers in the Flemish Red tradition.
Saison Dupont pretty much defines modern saison beers (the definition of which is another debate entirely).
It’s a benchmark beer for brewers aspiring to create something in this style. And when you can find a 750ml bottle for around $15, that’s incredible value.
And for people who balk at paying $15 for a beer, show me a wine for the same price that’s best in class and standard setting for a particular style. They’ll be hard to find.
You can find bottles of Saison Dupont at various Camperdown Cellars stores.
Local Sydney Beers
When buying beer, local brews can work out cheaper than imports because of lower transport costs. Hoppy beers will also be fresher. So if you’re looking for good beer for a great price, look to your local market.
Here are a few from Sydney to start you off.
Wayward Sour Puss
The classic German sour beer, Berliner Weisse, has had a massive resurgence, wowing craft beer drinkers in the US, UK and Australia. This has an added tart raspberry flavour and it’s about as smashable a beer as you’ll find. Low in ABV, it naturally fits into a lower tax bracket.
It’s mostly been available on tap, especially at Wayward’s cellar door, and you’ll be paying around $5 for a half pint, which for a beer of this quality is great value.
Enjoy the incredible crafty refreshment you can get for a low price. You can find out where Sour Puss is currently on tap using Now Tapped!
One of Sydney’s leading pale ales. Shenanigans are clawing back a good reputation for gypsy brewers.
Winston is a beautiful local example of the American pale ale which has led the craft beer evolution. Bold in its tropical citrus aroma and with a perfect level of bitterness, this beer will have you coming back again and again. It’s a Sydney classic.
Winston has had the occasional bottle release but try and find a recently tapped keg to taste it fresh.
A Bomber Of Batch
Batch Brewing excel in small batch brewing. Typically an expensive way of producing (and then buying) beer. But there’s incredible value to be had if you buy takeaway bombers (640ml bottles) directly from the brewery.
Prices will vary depending on the alcohol and the ingredients in the beer but look out for a low ABV fruit sour beer or an English style beer.
Alternatively, you could go for their classic core range beers such as the West Coast IPA or American Pale Ale which are both produced in greater quantities.
You’re guaranteed fresh local beer for a great price and you’re directly supporting the brewers.
If you have any tips for great value beer around Sydney, leave a comment below.