A venue that's undergoing a beery revival, the Pumphouse Bar was once the site of the Pumphouse Brewery and Tavern. Now, after a period in the craft beer wilderness, it's back with one of Sydney's biggest offerings of quality Aussie and imported beers. Originally built as a pumping station in the late 1800s, it's been reinvented as a classy, cavernous Darling Harbour craft beer venue that's as likely to act as a gateway to craft beer for newcomers as it is to become a haunt for beer lovers chasing the latest releases.
Under the guidance of a handful of beer aficionados behind the bar, who have maximised the tap and fridge space available to independent breweries, it offers around 100 craft beers at any one time. Little Brewing and Murray's always have a beer pouring, while there is a permanent international guest tap too. They've also brought back the Thunderbolt Strong Ale, a thick, sweet, malty beer that was a mainstay of the former Pumphouse Tavern when owned by the Tank Steam Brewery. As for the bottles, take your pick of beers from across the Aussie craft beer landscape that sit alongside Old and New World internationals such as Sierra Nevada, Weihenstephan and Eel River.
Aside from plenty of excellent beer, the impressive building next to the Sydney International Convention Centre also houses a restaurant out front that can be opened up to the plaza outside and a wide selection of wines and spirits for those that are yet to be converted. The food is modern Australian, with Mediterranean influences, while bar food is also available all day.
The Pumphouse is connected to the Novotel Sydney Rockford Darling Harbour at its rear, meaning there's somewhere handy to rest your head after a session. It also hosts regular live music on Friday nights, and with its mezzanine and high ceilings, is often hired out for events and private functions.