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Batch Brewing Co

When you can include wild fermentation, trophy winning beers, a bottleshop that brews and a brewery that distills, there’s merit to the argument that Sydney’s Inner West is home to the most interesting concentration of beer businesses in Australia. Yet, as recently as 2012 there was just one independent brewery in the area – and it wasn't open to the public. It’s more than a little remarkable how quickly things have changed.

Amongst the first to see this new wave coming was a pair of American ex-pats, Chris Sidwa and Andrew Fineran. In 2013 they took a chance on a warehouse in Marrickville, rolled in a small brewing kit and launched the Batch Brewing Company.

The choice of brewery name reflected their concept, one that would eschew a broad range of core beers in favour of just a couple of regulars and a rapidly changing array of single batches. There was no grand plan as to what styles these would be. Instead, they were happy to take a lead from the seasons, unexpected opportunities and whatever else they felt people in a then nascent beer scene might be willing to try. Then they banked everything on how well the ‘drink local’ concept would resonate; as a small business, from day one they were cognisant that any future success would depend on people in their own community supporting what they were doing. They came up with a line that summed up this inclusive ethos, painted it on the wall and stamped it on their labels: ‘We Brew For You’.

More than many others, Batch has always felt like a working brewery rather than just a place to go for a beer. At times the separation between brewery and bar was as thin as a painted line on the floor. In the beginning, when there was still space, it was almost wholly industrial with sprawling stainless steel, piles of ingredients, kegs being cleaned and bottles filled and capped by hand. Between the thrum of traffic outside on Sydenham Road and regular roars from planes descending on the nearby Sydney airport, quiet moments were rare. In summer the place was stifling. But as the business grew the place warmed in a different way.

More tanks came in, as did a more efficient bottling machine and, later, a canning line. They had to fit all this into the same space, of course, but they figured out how to fit it in better and the front third of the warehouse was reconfigured to make things more comfortable for guests. Where once your only option was perching at a high table surrounded by racks of malt while drinking out of hipster-era mason jars, now you could sit on a proper couch below a wall of locally made art and sip fresh beer from tulip glasses. Batch has always been popular but here was a brewery maturing, displaying more heart and soul to match the toil.

Out back, the brewers stayed true to the original plan. After a few years they settled on four core beers; a lager called Just Beer; an American pale ale (the only beer to have been there from the beginning), a West Coast IPA and Elsie, the nitro milk stout. When it came to one-off beers they were almost impossibly prolific; at its peak the brewery was releasing something new on average every ten days. Things have slowed a bit - if you call a new beer about every two weeks a slowdown – but the ideas remain as expansive as ever.

But perhaps the defining thing about Batch’s beer is that they’ve always tried to do right by it. They were one of the first local breweries to make date stamping a feature of their packaged product, letting customers know exactly when a beer was made and when to drink it. They kept distribution tight, believing that beer made in Marrickville should be consumed as close to Marrickville as possible; to this day they still sell the vast majority of their beer in Sydney, and much of that remains in suburbs close to the brewery.

They nurtured relationships with businesses in the community, brewing porter for pies and using honey from the neighbourhood’s rooftop hives. Their pursuance of all things local led them to form a close bond with Voyager, the burgeoning New South Wales craft malt grower, to the extent that the maltster now has a dedicated block whose bounty goes directly to Batch. Look behind the bar at the brewery today and you’ll see the weather and rain reports for the town of Barellan, where their de facto allotment is located. It could be easily missed but this simple chalkboard is a reminder, for those who care, that there is a genuine link between the land and the beer in your hand.

And one of the things about Batch is they make you care. You can't visit the bar without noticing what’s happening in the brewery, so you can't help asking a question of a brewer. Suddenly you're interested. Then you're invested and want to be more involved. Multiply that effect over a number of years and it would be hard to measure just how many people in the area will have found their way to better beer by virtue of Batch simply doing what it does in the place it does it. And that’s just people coming through their door. The brewery has also been a veritable breeding ground for the wider industry, with Batch alumni having gone on to launch other pioneering local businesses and work behind the scenes to further change the face of the Sydney beer scene.

If you were to claim the Inner West truly is the most interesting place for beer in Australia, you could equally claim that the Batch Brewing Company is right at the heart of it.

Nick Oscilowski

Name
Batch Brewing Co
Address

44 Sydenham Road
Marrickville
NSW 2204

Phone
(02) 9550 5432
Website
Hours

Monday to Sunday: 10am to 8pm

Tours

Saturday & Sunday, 12:30pm & 3:30pm. Bookings essential. Other times available on request.

Batch Brewing Co Regulars

Batch Brewing Co Hay-Z New England Sour

Tapped Yesterday
Filling the ground between their series of fruit sours and juicy New England influenced beers, Hay-Z is back on stage at the Batch bar and filling fridges and fonts further afield too. In terms of general style, it seems less of the latter and more of the former, a 4.5 percent ABV beer that’s been loaded with Galaxy and Vic Secret hops that spit out intense lemon and citrus characters. It’s not especially murky but that’s forgotten when it hits your tongue and those citrus flavours team up… Read more
Style
Hoppy Sour
Strength
4.5%

Batch Brewing Co Pash The Magic Dragon

Tapped February 16th, 2018
The Batch brewers have been playing around with all manner of funky, tangy, fruity things for a good while now and, as of summer 2018, it looks like one of the fruitiest fruits of their labours is graduating to become a regularly brewed and canned release. The beer in question is Pash The Magic Dragon, one that meets their requirement for a fun and punny name too. The name hints at what's inside the tinnies, with passionfruit and dragon fruit there in such volumes that you're left with a beverage… Read more
Style
Fruit Sour
Strength
4.5%

Batch Brewing Co. Just Beer

Despite being the most consumed beer style in Australia by some margin, lagers tend to have a bit of a tough time of it in the craft beer world. You'd have to suggest that’s mainly an effect of generations of drinkers having been weaned on the mass market stuff, growing up and wanting to run as far from those kinds of beers as possible. This is the kind of lager that should pull a few hardcore beer drinkers back the other way. Just Beer is a double entendre in that it is an unabashedly simple… Read more
Style
Lager
Strength
5.0%

Batch Brewing Co. American Pale Ale

Considering Batch was founded by a pair of American ex-pats, it’s perhaps little surprise that the first beer they ever produced was an American Pale Ale. It’s also the only beer to have been continually produced at the brewery since those early days, a dependable pillar to fall back on as an ever expanding array of one-off releases came and went on a seemingly weekly basis. The beer itself is meant as a showcase of Cascade hops, which it uses exclusively and at several points through the brewing… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
Strength
5.2%

Batch Brewing Co. West Coast IPA

They’ve done a lot of IPAs over the years, have the brewers at Batch: nitro, lactose, grapefruit, mango, double, black, white, smoked, session – if it’s doable, they’ve probably done it. But over all that time and all those IPAs, the only one they’ve kept coming back to is this. Batch’s West Coast IPA takes its inspiration from the West Coast of the brewery founders’ native USA and aims to be a faithful representation of the style, albeit at the lighter end of the scale. You can thus… Read more
Style
American IPA
Strength
5.8%

Batch Brewing Co. Elsie The Milk Stout

At a time when next to no one in Australia was regularly brewing a milk stout, Batch’s take on the style became so popular in Marrickville that it forced its way into the brewery’s very hard to penetrate core range. Elsie The Milk Stout, to give the beer its full name, is a luscious creature with all the best bits of a regular stout plus a sweeter side that lifts her up another level. She’s smooth and chocolatey, dark and toasty, and oh-so-wonderfully thick and creamy – a distinct benefit… Read more
Style
Milk Stout
Strength
4.3%

Batch Brewing Co Specials

Batch Brewing Co Black Magic Coffee Porter

Tapped September 14th, 2018
The whole coffee and beer thing isn’t new, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Particularly when you come across something like this. Batch’s Black Magic Coffee Porter is a beer dripping in coffee character. Pop the top off a bottle and the aroma fills the room as if you’re standing at a café chatting with the barista as they work the tamper. The brewers acquired the cold brew from their over-the-road neighbours at the Voodoo Coffee Company who had, in turn, sourced the beans from… Read more
Style
Coffee Porter
Strength
4.4%

Batch Brewing Co Juicy As Phuck

Tapped September 14th, 2018
The ever-evolving Juicy beers keep coming at Batch, with a slightly modified re-release of their double New England IPA, Juicy As Phuck. From a technical perspective perhaps the most significant thing of note is the use of a Nottingham yeast, as opposed to a more common Vermont yeast. That aside, it’s all familiar territory. This is a beer with an absolutely rampaging tropical fruit character – like drizzling a tin of pineapple juice over a peach and mango salad. But what else could you reasonably… Read more
Style
Double NEIPA
Strength
8.9%

Batch Brewing Co Trippy Hippy’s Voodoo Gold

Tapped September 14th, 2018
Golden ale is a style of beer that can be hard to get excited about. Their purpose for existence seems, in the majority of Australian examples at least, to be plugging a gap between lager and pale ale. So they’re principally hoppy beers, but also meant to be approachable. Satisfaction without offence. Like a smart kid held back a year at school, Trippy Hippy’s Voodoo Gold seems to have a bit too much going on inside for it to be lumped in with such dull company. To start with it’s a deeper… Read more
Style
Golden Ale
Strength
5.6%

Batch Brewing Ginu-Pine & Big Pun-Net & Juicy Pale Ale & Malt Save The Dream & Marrickville Pork Roll

Tapped August 24th, 2018
Prolificacy is a virtue at Batch as the Marrickville brewery has packaged up two very different sours, two very different pale ales and another beer that’s simply very different. Continuing the brewery's run as number one at rap puns, the first sour is Ginu-Pine. This is a pineapple and Mosaic sour and it’s difficult, borderline pointless, to advance that line in terms of useful flavour descriptors. It’s very close to pineapple juice but, crucially, doesn’t leave you with a nasty cloying… Read more
Style
Various styles
Strength
4.2% to 6.0%

Batch Brewing Co Elsie's Other Udder

Tapped July 20th, 2018
Amid the torrent of new beers that flows unabated from the tanks of the Batch Brewing Company, one of the notable things about their range is that a permanent place has long been made for Elsie, their milk stout. This is a beer style that feels like it ought not to have cachet with modern drinkers. It feels like an old fashioned English thing, one whose heyday might have come and gone when Ena Sharples downed her last pint and walked out the doors of The Rover’s Return. But Batch brews it all year… Read more
Style
Double Milk Stout
Strength
7.0%

Batch Brewing Tank 6 2018 & Method Man-darin

Tapped July 17th, 2018
Winter 2018 represents the fourth vintage of Batch’s annual Russian imperial stout release, Tank 6. What’s always quite refreshing about this – if refreshing is a word in any way applicable to a beer in the realms of ten percent ABV – is that it’s a straight up big stout. No infusions. No additions. No oak barrels. It’s all malt, hops and time in tank. And, to paraphrase the Mystic Valley Band, that’s the difference. It spends six months in the brewery’s now eponymous tank number… Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout & Fruit Sour
Strength
9.6% & 4.2%

Batch Brewing Co Batch 1000 APA

Tapped May 24th, 2018
One hot October day in 2013, Chris Sidwa and Andrew Fineran rolled a brewhouse into a sparsely filled warehouse on Marrickville’s Sydenham Road. It took a few weeks to hook it all up and get going but, by December, they’d got the thing working. Their first beer was an American Pale Ale, which made sense: they were Americans, so they brewed an American style beer. They hand bottled it, then hand stamped it with the name of their new business: Batch Brewing Company. Some four and a half years… Read more
Style
APA
Strength
5.0%

Batch Brewing Co Pilsner & Das Vienna Lager & Das Roggen

Tapped May 11th, 2018
There’s common comment, if not quite lament, that too few local brewers go to the trouble of making lagers. Perhaps it’s something to do with lagers having become so common that they’re seen as boring. Perhaps it's that their flavours are too subtle compared to the bold New World beer styles. Perhaps it’s just that they take longer to produce, which pushes against commercial necessities. Probably it’s a mixture of all three. Batch is one brewery that’s never felt locked to a particular… Read more
Style
Lagers
Strength
5.4% to 5.6%

Batch Brewing Co Sweet Sweet Nugz

Tapped March 29th, 2018
Proving that this time of year needn’t be all about chocolate and buns, the brewers at Batch are exploring their sweet side by releasing what they’ve styled a Yankee Strong Ale. Sweet Sweet Nugz ended up spending a bit longer in tanks than they originally planned but it’s done the beer absolutely no harm as it presents the most gorgeous aroma, like a pudding replete with caramel, raisins and dried fruit. Those luscious sensations meld together in your mouth with a long, smooth and rich sweetness… Read more
Style
American Strong Ale
Strength
9.5%

Batch Brewing Co You Enjoy Myself Farmhouse XPA

Tapped March 27th, 2018
Still trying to figure out what an XPA is? Never mind, we’ve moved on. Exhibit A: You Enjoy Myself, a Farmhouse XPA from the Batch Brewing Company. This beer is some kind of mixture of a saison and really hoppy pale ale – a super dry-hopped saison, if you will – which greets you with aromas mainly concerning peppery spice and a little lemon. But it’s the palate where most of the action is, with a huge hit of hops delivering punchy flavours of citrus zest of lemon, orange and grapefruit plus… Read more
Style
Farmhouse XPA
Strength
5.9%

Batch Brewing Co Chapeau

Tapped December 15th, 2017
It’s Christmas, it’s berry season and that means it’s time to once again say hello to Chapeau. 2017 represents the fourth release of Batch’s annual raspberry sour ale and perhaps the most notable change from last year’s edition comes down to origin. In keeping with their aim of sourcing as many of their beer ingredients as possible from small and independent producers, this year the brewers managed to get their raspberries from a small scale farmer in Tasmania. The finish product is a… Read more
Style
Raspberry Sour
Strength
6.2%
Stockists

Batch Brewing

Wayward Brewing Co

And good beer outlets across Sydney

More stockists...

Batch Brewing Co Tiny Coconut Bubbles & Island Style

Tapped November 17th, 2017
On current evidence it seems the brewers at Batch have been experiencing Polynesian dreams. Maybe it’s longing for a relaxing holiday at the end of a busy year in the brewery; a desire, perhaps, to swap the rattling of the bottling line for the soothing sounds of the sea, or to rake their fingers through golden sand instead of spent grain. Whatever the case, the tropical vibe has been embraced and brought to life in a pair of recent beers. The first was Tiny Coconut Bubbles, a golden coloured… Read more
Style
Fruity Lactose Beers

Batch Brewing Co Summer Farmhouse / Zonnebeke India Saison

Tapped October 27th, 2017
In time for spring, Batch has brought a couple of saisons to the table. The first is, somewhat ironically, the Summer Farmhouse, a pale, light and lively little wee number that harks back to the original intention of the style: to be a quencher at the end of a long hard day toiling in the farms and fields of France and Belgium. It’s a very clean beer with a soft yeast character that wakes up and rises forth as you let the beer warm – though don’t let it warm too much; this is meant as a refreshing… Read more
Style
Saison / India Saison
Strength
4.1% / 7.1%

Batch Brewing Co. The Dank IPA

Tapped October 24th, 2017
After making its first appearance as the official beer of Sydney Craft Beer Week a couple of years back, The Dank IPA is back for SBW ’17. A double IPA, it is obviously and by necessity, hugely hoppy. The way in which they’ve pulled it all together you feel a real depth and density to the way it drinks; chewy, resinous and bitter with a slightly peppery edge. But there’s also just a touch of sweetness which helps maintain the balance – inasmuch as a big, brash and hoppy beast of a beer can… Read more
Style
Double IPA
Strength
8.6%

Batch Brewing Co Das Bock

Tapped September 29th, 2017
Despite being the most widely consumed beer by style in the land, lagers tend to have a bit of a bad rep with Aussie craft beer drinkers; after all, lagers are what the big brewers do. And that’s partly the reason why, when Oktoberfest rolls around, few local brewers tend to make a traditional lager for the occasion. Instead they skirt around the sides, brewing all manner of Märzens, festbiers, dunkels, hefes and the like. Or, in Batch’s case, a bock. Their Oktoberfest beer is Das Bock, a strong… Read more
Style
Strong Lager
Strength
7.6%

Batch Brewing Co Trippy Hippie's XXPA

Tapped September 29th, 2017
One of the ongoing arguments against pre-mixed spirit and soft drink RTDs is that they pack a surprisingly high percentage of alcohol into a surprisingly drinkable – and usually incredibly sweet – package. The key is balance (or, in the case of RTDs, sweetness): the strength of the drink is disguised in order to convince you that buying and necking a discounted case from a big box retailer is a really excellent idea, despite the next morning demonstrating it's very much not. With that in mind… Read more
Style
Double XPA
Strength
8.8%

Batch Brewing Co DJ Jazzy Ginger & The Zest Prince

Tapped September 29th, 2017
They love a good pun at the Batch Brewing Company, and never more than when it involves a a hip hop reference; 2 Peach Shakur, Mango Mathers and HopFace Fillah – all the big names get a beer here. The latest in the lineage is a throwback to the 90s ft. DJ Jazzy Ginger & The Zest Prince. And it's a ginger and lemon sour ale. Pouring a pale yellow with a little haze, it throws up big aromas of ginger just like a ginger beer – as in the non alcoholic kind – which, if nothing else, makes it… Read more
Style
Sour Ale
Strength
4.5%
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