After firmly establishing themselves as the destination for craft beer lovers in Melbourne and Victoria, it’s with great excitement that the Beer DeLuxe brand was welcomed to Sydney last year, locating themselves right by the water at King Street Wharf (between Cargo Bar and Barangaroo) and setting up with their cosy, up-scale pub vibe complemented by bright astro-turf and a smart design that rolls on to the second floor with plush couches and a million dollar view. This is very much a big step for the Beer DeLuxe team and it’s obvious that they aren’t taking the opportunity lightly.
King Street Wharf is in the midst of some great changes now that Barangaroo is picking up steam, meaning that the whole strip is due to move away from the low quality tourist-trap reputation that has kept locals away, bringing in a bigger focus on good quality, on-trend, and local-friendly venues. Just nearby is one of the city’s best recent dining additions in Manjits at the Wharf, the neighbouring Meat District Co., and now Beer DeLuxe. King Street Wharf needed more variety than just King Street Brewhouse (which does have a decent selection) so needless to say, I was excited when heading along to get my first experience of Beer DeLuxe.
The front courtyard is a tad similar to the all-too-familiar front of Cargo Bar, but there’s much more space here and the benches are better set-out in a layout that is designed for social hangs.
The menu is called The Beer Bible and it contains a whole list of word-porn for discerning craft beer lovers. You’ll find Indian Pale Ales, Scotch Ales, Porters, Stouts, American Strong Ales, Lagers, Weizenbocks, and Belgian Style Beers listed here alongside specials, exclusive collaborations, and more.
For those looking for get the most of their visit it’s advisable to start off with a Beer Paddle ($16) that gives you 4 beers (of your choice, or by recommendation). The team here really know their stuff when it comes to what beers suit what palates and what foods, so it’s good to let loose your decision and let them decide. Each paddle comes with a generous side of salted nuts.
20 different taps line the bar, and they are rotating very regularly to keep things fresh and to showcase different local and national brews, along with 150 bottled beers. On my visit, Rocks Brewing Co. had their excellent Blueberry Wheat Beer on one of the taps, so of course that was my first order. From there it I threw my palate all over the place while my beer-drinking buddies and myself took a journey through different tastes and textures of beer. There’s enough here to give you a vast snapshot of where Australia’s craft beer industry is at right now, and a good way to zone in on this is to look for the staff picks which are listed on a board each day. The Jack Hammer by BrewDog was one such recommendation, an IPA with a strong aroma of grapefruit that leads into caramel and a bitter back palate, pairing up nicely with the food on offer.
Melbourne Chef Jake Furst is now well-known for updating regular pub grub for more premium offerings but still keeping it very casual. A good example of this is found on the brief burger list, with the Cheeseburger ($20) and The Lot ($17.50), both best if you fork out a bit extra and get a double – the bun can handle it.
Necessary smaller bites are focused on share-style dining, with beer-pairing always the consideration with the likes of Pulled Lamb Sliders ($14) with pickled cucumber and spiced yoghurt, and the surprising Pork Belly Bites ($16) with lime caramel; surprising because they were a step above many more expensive restaurants, and there’s a generous amount here too, well cooked, soft, and juicy. I didn’t get to try the Lamb Neck Nachos ($15), which are right at the top of my list for my next visit.
There’s always the option to just fork out $35pp and get a set menu of snacks chosen by the Chef, and it’d most likely include the Tuna Tataki ($17.50) with pickled beetroot and radish, salty from the pool of soy sauce soaking into the tuna, but thick with lip-smacking flavour and fresh to the a high standard one usually doesn’t find at beer-focused bars. A serving of Lemon Myrtle Squid ($17) with wasabi mayo is a must if going for more crispy, lighter beers.
The prices are a bit higher compared to the Melbourne venues, but the business has done well to adapt to both local beer and food of their new surrounds. You’ll find local Sydney produce used in Furst’s most proven recipes as much as you’d find locals all over the taps.
With Craft Beer Week coming up it’s an exciting time to have Beer DeLuxe in Sydney, the scene is forever changing and with a hub so dedicated and connected to the brewers who innovate and pioneer the time is now to explore in-depth Australia’s very strong craft beer industry.
Beer DeLuxe King Street Wharf
Address: 9 Lime St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9262 1727