"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
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.