5 reasons to get excited about the Newcastle Beer Festival by Kian West

After beginning life as the Boardwalk Beer Festival at Honeysuckle, the Newcastle Beer Festival has become an institution for beer lovers locally. This year expanding from a one day celebration to that golden nectar so many of us love into a two day extravaganza featuring all the best NSW breweries and then all the best from the rest of the country. 

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FOGHORN_2FINALLY! Newcastle has a brewery right in the heart of the city, what could be more working class than that? Who cares! The beer is delicious and it has a real fun community vibe already happening inside the venue with so many great things happening. Some real tasty food it is a fantastic option for so many activities and with a central location we are sure it will become a top priority visit for locals and visitors alike. Place: FogHorn Brewhouse Address: 218 King St, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Hours:


FOGHORN_1Why We Love it: It isn't very often we get an email from venues requesting to become a stockist, rarer still a venue that understands its part in the fabric of our community and jumps on board supporting local social productions like ours. Not only do we love the beer and pizza served but the drive & passion of the management to be part of something bigger, keep an eye on the outside of the venue 'cause big things are happening!




Drinking Crafty in Newie... with @A_Craft_beer_ideot by Kian West


"I thought I'd take a moment, just sit right there, and I'll tell you how we've became a city of such bloody good beer!" [Ed: Sung to the tune of ‘Fresh prince of bel Air]


Drinking Crafty in Newie

By A Craft Ideot

@A_craft_beer_ideot #Instagram


Newcastle has quietly become something of a hotbed of beer drinking brilliance, and it's booming right under our noses. There are a number of locations that every proud son and daughter of the city should make an effort to attend if one really wants to sample the best hopped malt water these streets have to offer.


Let's start by saying that good beer doesn't nessesarily have to be 'craft', and 'craft' does not nessesarily mean it's good beer. The term 'Craft Beer' generally implies you're drinking something that was brewed with skill and passion on a smaller scale, rather than a fluid manufactured by robots and computers in a factory owned by a greedy cigar smoking tycoon.


The image of craft beer drinkers can be that of a pack of thirsty hipsters with patchy beards all popping sick wheelies on the foreshore and clinking their IPA bottles atop their fixed gear bicycles - a perception chiefly fulled by the fact that it's generally true. But that's cool, everyone is welcome when it comes to good beer and our newest bars are proving it.


Let's look at our slightly worn CBD; there are a bunch of places here with tap lists set to swell your bladder and have you in bed with two neurofen by 9.30. These new craft dens have only appeared over the last few years, and inside you will find the broadest cross section of punters with high expectations of their brew. For example; The Grainstore nestled in Newcastle East proudly flys the flag as an Aussie craft beer paradise, with the very best that we brew flowing from it's many taps and a team of beer experts pouring them. We also have the Hop factory on Darby Street and The Blind Monk in Hamilton, newcomers for sure, but true champions of the craft. The Clarendon and The Albion Ale House are more established purveyors of fine beverages and they are both fully prepared to serve you your next dank hop-bomb (with a robust malt backbone of course).


Yeah, there are now dozens of bars pouring what a few years ago we would have had to head to Syds or Melbs to even get a sniff of - It's truly a golden age for Newy bars, but what of the shy retiring ale sipper that wants to enjoy his or her quality craft at home? Well you'll find a pretty great selection of beers in almost every bottle-o in the city, however if you truly itch for the fancy stuff (and you're willing to pay up son) allow me to recommend The Prince of Wales Bottle Shop in Merewether and of course, the famous Warners At The Bay. These are meccas of bueno ale, with WATB in particular supplying a selection so vast as to bring a tear to the eye of grown men and bank managers alike.


Heck as I write this I'm quaffing a craft beer that travelled all the way from Portland Oregon, in my yard, shirtless, straight from the bottle like a dang hillbilly. I plucked this beer cold from a fridge down the road - it's a satisfying feeling knowing that buying craft beer is as easy as buying a meat pie in Newy. There's no better time to start exploring Brewcastle folks, I'll see you at the bar.


The Novel Novocastrian Pt.3 by Kian West


The Novel Novocastrian

The Random Ramblings of a Temporary Resident

By Tara Brady


How “Where do you want to go for dinner?” has become a whole new experience since we’ve moved to Newcastle.


By the end of September, the husband and I will have been married for four years (hooray!) One of the patterns we fell into fairly early on in our relationship was to succumb to a regular attack of the “midweek lazies”. You all know what I’m talking about: you come home and, despite a fully stocked fridge providing a myriad fine dining possibilities (like stir fry or spaggy bol), neither of you seems capable of even coming up with an idea for dinner, let alone the energy to cook it, so you decide to go out instead. Back in the UK there is a lane around the corner that has a particularly fine Turkish BBQ, so when the “midweek lazies” are upon us, we inevitably find ourselves there, and the question of “Where do you want to go for dinner?” is essentially redundant. Well, here in Newcastle it has become infinitely more complicated.

The first task is agreeing on what type of cuisine we’re after: pub grub? Fine French dining? fried chicken and beer? Spanish tapas? seafood with a sea view? The possibilities seem endless. So you’d think the restaurateurs of Newcastle would do us a favour by having one or two obvious frontrunners conveniently located within a ten minute walk and in a price range that’s just right…but no, instead there are more than half a dozen I can think of just off the top of my head and that’s only the ones in the East End…I haven’t even gotten to Darby Street.Novel-Novocastrian-web

So here, in no particular order, are my top 5 on the East Side

  1. Cafe Zeytoon (43 Bolton St): for when you’re craving middle-eastern food but want something a bit more refined than a kebab. The atmosphere in this cafe at night is great with dark tablecloths embroidered with gold, reflecting the candles and lanterns. I can personally recommend any of the lamb dishes; the meat is so tender it falls right off the bone!
  2. Bocados Spanish Kitchen (27 King St): this place serves excellent tapas at a reasonable price and with a great wine menu too. We regularly wind up here without having planned ahead and so wind up in the smaller bar area which is actually quite cozy.
  3. The Grain Store (64 – 66 Scott St): if you’re looking for pub food done to a high standard as well as an impressive list of beers to wash it all down with, then look no further than The Grain Store. The fact that you can play old-school board games while you wait for your food to arrive is an added bonus.
  4. Bistro Sandbar (1 Moroney Ave): this little bistro is a great spot for a romantic dinner for two overlooking the beach. The seafood here is fabulous!
  5. Casa de Loco (10 Pacific St): any restaurant/bar that advertises itself with the words: we love to eat/we love to drink has got to be worth a visit and this tequila bar/Mexican restaurant most definitely is. The food is much closer to authentic Mexican than the usual Tex-Mex stuff you find and the ambience here is always upbeat with really friendly bartenders and waiting staff. I’ve recently become obsessed with their Taco Tuesdays: each Tuesday has a different theme with a special taco on offer and accompanying music from their extensive vinyl collection. Make sure you save room for their Tres Leche Cake which is just amazing.

Happy eating Newcastle!





New Newy Nightlife by David Fulham


Rahooo! My friends, exciting times are afoot! By the end of the year there will be not just another one, but two new small bars to be open in our fine Newcastle CBD. The new dawn is upon us; it would appear, as the Mall and neighbouring areas are quickly shaping up to be part of the most exciting developments in Novocastrian nightlife in the last fifteen years. I remember hearing word a couple of years back that former Silverchair bassist Chris Joannou was thinking about opening up a bar in town. And as of now, that bit of Newy gossip has almost come to fruition with an unnamed venue on Parry Street planning to open doors in December! The bar will also feature a dining area with live entertainment (nice!). Outside of slapping that bass around, Joannou is also co-owner of the beer company Lovells Lager. So I have a little inkling that this particular brew might be making an appearance on tap, perhaps?

Somewhere in the nearby vicinity, but at a super sneaky top-secret unknown location, the new Coal and Cedar will also be opening its doors. Creators Ryan Hawthorne and Ethan Ortlipp are two very cool dudes in my book at the moment, reporting to the Newcastle Herald that they will be giving their bar an old-school/prohibition era theme with a little splash of New York style for good measure.

I am definitely sensing good times ahead. Already this year we’ve so far seen the recent openings of restaurant bar Cazador in the Mall, the Reserve Wine Bar on the corner of Bolton and Hunter Streets, plus One Penny Black and Good Brother also gearing up to serve alcohol post sundown. So, whilst a couple of these buns are still in the oven, it is still a very promising future for us all. Let the hype build, I say!