After hearing about a couple of recent gold medal wins at the Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show, we (the Sydney On Tap team/the Tappers/the SOTs) decided we’d head down to Sydney’s most central and best hidden cidery to check out how they do their thing.
Game day – we headed to Town Hall, through World Square and up the stairs to the big yellow “Cidery” sign. We’d been before way back in our craft beer youth but now - realising this place was owned by Sydney Brewery and called the Cidery for a reason - we saw it with new and more appreciative eyes. Five dedicated Sydney Brewery taps went way over our heads back then.
We met up with our mate, Billie from the marketing department. She took us past some hay bails to a secret elevator where we began our descent into the cider filled dungeons below the city. This is where we met the head cider brewer Lucas, a handsome man with a love for his work. As he was filling some kegs we - naturally - had a bit of a goosey at how the place was set up. The most obvious difference between the cidery and a brewery would be the smell; breweries smell like a lot of things: bread, hops, a team of hairy blokes, but the cidery just smelled sweet, and you could identify the beginnings of some of Sydney’s classic cider flavours. Also when making cider you don’t have to eff about with grain and wort (yet to be fermented beer) which means the set up for the cidery was visually much simpler; just fermentation tanks. All the packaging goes on down there too, an obvious step but it was still surprising to us that it goes on just below the CBD.
We began to gain more of an idea of what work life was like there after hearing about “The Sombrero” which was worn by Lucas to the launch of the Agave Ginger cider this year. Everyone we met down in the brewing dungeons came to us with a smile, especially Tim, in charge of packing (photographed) who has to be the most loveable, happy-go-lucky guy we’ve ever met. It’s just nice to know the people bringing you great drinks are having a great time doing it. You’ll be hearing from our very own Emma Campbell how they stack up taste wise very soon so keep an eye out.
As always, cheers to Sydney Brewery for having us down and expanding our minds, all your recent awards have been well deserved.
P.S: for the diehard beer drinkers - on the way out, we had a sip of the Potts Point Porter, I know it’s summer but that is a beer to try. Smooth, rich and with a good amount of chocolatey sweetness.
thoughts & feelings - extended edition
This is where we at Sydney On Tap post all the things that couldn't fit into the paragraphs on each bar page, or the comments under each beer.