Philter Brewing

Few breweries have burst onto the craft beer scene quite as triumphantly as Philter. A mere four months into existence, with only two beers to their name, the brewing company took home one of the most coveted titles in Australian beer – Champion Pale Ale at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards. It turned out the fun, retro-style cans that had just begun appearing on bottleshop shelves (and which saw Philter collect a second, tongue-in-cheek, award on the night) actually had some serious stuff going on inside of them.

Perhaps that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the brewer behind the beers is Samara “Sam” Füss. Over more than a decade and a half in the industry as one of Australia’s first female head brewers – and one of its most colourful characters, she’s held brewing positions across the country, including stints at Little Creatures in Fremantle and Young Henrys in Sydney and a couple of roles in Melbourne too.

It was Sam’s mates Michael Neil and Stefan Constantoulas who first proposed the idea of Philter over a few beers in a Marrickville backyard. Both men happened to be neighbours with a wealth of business and marketing knowledge accrued at large companies – Mick at surf lifestyle brand O’Neill and Stef at liquor giants Lion and Beam Suntory. They just needed a brewer to complete the story and, conveniently enough, they knew one.

Wanting to hit the ground running, the beer Sam pitched first was a sessionable, easy-drinking XPA. With the idea of the end product in mind, recipe development took place in Tasmania, shared equally between days in a mate’s 300 litre brewhouse and those spent fishing (beer needs time to ferment, after all). The trio was after something quaffable for a lazy afternoon, but also something of high enough quality that it could be professionally critiqued. In other words, they wanted a beer that could be deeply thought about, but didn’t have to be.

That ethos has held true through the rest of the beers in the Philter brand, which, although the name may suggest otherwise, are and always will be unfiltered. Rather, the name comes from an archaic name for a medieval elixir, like a love potion or aphrodisiac. Hence the brewery’s tagline that adorns every can: “Seductively Beer.”

The biggest step taken since launching occurred in August 2020 when they shone a little light into what's been a rough year for the beer world and opened their Public Bar in Marrickville, the suburb that's the heart and soul of the brand.

The former yoghurt factory is also home to their own brewery – you can read about their search for it here – and comes with a fit-out was designed with a nod to the building’s mid-60s design and heritage as well as the 80s Australiana that has driven Philter’s can designs.

The space uses some of Sydney’s colourful hotel history to evoke suburban pub nostalgia: hand-painted signage and handmade tiles inspired by the iconic inner west bars of days gone by; a bar top rescued from a pub that was redecorating. There's a deck area connecting the Public Bar to the state-of-the-art brewery where you can view brewers at work.

"This is our home," Michael says. "It’s where the heart of the brand has always been, and now where the bricks and mortar can showcase a great immersive encounter with Philter."

In October 2021, Philter Brewing decided to start a new chapter in the book of good vibes by opening their upstairs storage space to the public (sans pallet crates). The Miami Vice-reminiscent upstairs area dubbed Marrickville Springs takes inspiration from 80s kitsch culture, offering an exciting new food and drinks menu all in the warmth of the Sydney sun.

All Philter beers are available either on tap or in cans in Marrickville Springs, alongside a range of cocktails by Jacoby’s and flashback foodie favourites such as prawn cocktail and a cheddar and cabanossi cheese board (both locally sourced, this is still the inner west here).

Crafty adventurers might also get a kick out of the watermelon sour slushies which, like the cocktails and menu, are exclusive to the white cinderblock bar of Marrickville Springs.

There’s seating for about 30 with no bookings taken, so get in quick if you happen to be in Marrickville on an absolute day for it.

Philter Brewing

92-98 Sydenham Road

(02) 9199 9655
Open Hours

Wed & Thurs: 5pm to 9pm
Fri & Sat: midday to 10pm (reservation only)
Sunday: midday to 6pm (reservation only)

This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

Philter Brewing Regulars

Philter Henson Park Draught

Published June 11, 2021
When you think of beer at the footy you don't tend to associate it with the types of beer typically featured on The Crafty Pint. Personally, the term "footy beer" reminds me of tastes that are flat and soapy, often mid-strength and nearly always in a plastic cup. I'm not a snob, however. I know there is a time and place for footy beer but can a beer still be crafty if it's made for gulping at the footy? Luckily, Philter have answered the question with a frothy "Yes!" Henson Park… Read more
Footy Beer

Philter Marrickville Nights

Published August 28, 2020
The Philter brand was born in Marrickville, during a neighbourly backyard chat over beers. And Philter’s new brewery has just opened in Marrickville, with a public bar to give locals a way to drink Philter beer fresh from the source. So it’s only fitting the first beer to come out of the brewery pays homage to the suburb where it all started. Marrickville Nights is called a hoppy dark ale, but don’t expect it to be black - it’s more the golden brown of a lion’s mane, sitting in the glass… Read more
Hoppy Dark Ale

Philter IPA

Published October 25, 2018
Philter set out from the start to make drinking beers. Sure, beers with flavour and character but, more than anything, that you'd want to put away then have another. A stack of awards would suggest they're doing a pretty good job of making such beers well and it's likely this IPA, the fourth addition to the core range, will see the brewing company headed by Sam Füss continue in that vein. It's a beer that does what it promises on the tin – passionfruit, grapefruit and orange aromas welcome you… Read more

Philter XPA

When a new brewery launches, they can only hope their first beer is one that helps them hit the ground running. It has to establish the ethos of the brand and stand out from the rest, both in terms of the quality of the beer and its appearance on the shelf. Safe to say, when Philter XPA launched in early 2017, it met those expectations. Like most first born children, it’s an overachiever, winning the coveted Champion Pale Ale title at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards at the tender age of four and a half… Read more
30 IBU

Philter Red

The second beer to be released as part of Philter’s core range arrived just in time for winter 2017 and came in the form of a red ale. Although nothing could top the success of the XPA, the first batch of Red still managed to score two silvers at the same awards at which its older sibling took out Champion Pale Ale. The copper-hued Red displays its sessionability with just the right amount of crystal malt character. There’s enough to give it a bready profile – even touch of berry that lingers… Read more
Red Ale
35 IBU

Philter Lager

Before the launch of Philter’s third beer, the rumour around town was that this was going to be a “classic Aussie” kind of beer. The previous two can designs featured bands of blue and gold, then red and gold, so it seemed almost a given that this was going to be green and gold. What could be more Aussie than that? Instead, it was a totally new colour scheme, as if someone had put the XPA through the “inverse colour” option on MS Paint, featuring a thick gold band and a dark blue colour… Read more
30 IBU

Philter Brewing Specials

Philter West Coast IPA

Published March 20, 2023
West Coast IPAs were of the cornerstone brews upon which much of the excitement in craft beer scenes across the world was built. And while the sweeter, softer and fruitier charms of their hazy siblings have stolen much of the thunder in recent years, when done well they're the sort of bold and beloved style that deserves to be celebrated. And here, via a can that makes synthwave play in your head, Philter are writing their entry in the sticky, hoppy book of WCIPA. Pouring unctuous and close to amber… Read more
West Coast IPA

Philter Cold IPA

Published May 10, 2022
Philter have made a habit of celebrating their birthdays with a new beer, and their fifth has been marked with a cold IPA with a can design that fittingly feels like it's inspired by a Winter Olympics outfit from the 1980s. Cold IPA uses Eclipse, Idaho 7 and Galaxy hops to create a harmonious blend of mandarin, orange zest, pineapple and fresh pine needles. Given it's a cold IPA, the birthday beer is also lean, crisp and delivers a slight but building bitterness, all of which ensures it ties in… Read more
Cold IPA

Philter Double Red Ale

Published August 20, 2021
Red IPAs might have mostly fallen by the wayside in craft beer over the last decade, but for whatever reason, double red IPAs remain one of the only original American IPA variants to survive to great IPA hazening of the last four years. Philter’s latest special release is officially labelled a Double Red Ale but I’ll be buggered if I can see how the two styles can be differentiated? Cast in the precise mould of one of Australia’s original Hype Beers™, Modus Operandi’s Former Tenant, Philter’s… Read more
Double Red Ale

Philter IIPA

Published December 12, 2020
Philter take pride in making easy-drinking, sessionable beers, and they’ve built themselves a great reputation doing so. Head brewer Sam Füss isn’t a fan of huge bitterness herself, and the beers she makes encourage you to enjoy several in quick succession. But that hasn’t stopped her from making this beautiful beast of a double IPA. The aroma is all sweet comfort – tropical and citrus hops combine with golden syrup malts promising to give you a big, warm hug. But take a sip and you'll… Read more

Philter & M/SF/T Beloved Brew

Published October 9, 2019
If there’s anything more typically Australian than a tinnie of beer, it’s our surf culture. Better yet, it’s swigging from a tinnie of beer after an afternoon of surfing. Combining these two great Australian pastimes is what inspired Mona Vale-based surf movement M/SF/T, makers of custom surfboards and apparel, to team up with Philter to create this post-surf summer smasher. In true blue fashion, it’s a no bullshit beer that allows the hops to shine, like the glistening afternoon sun on the… Read more
Aussie Pale Ale

You can join Philter and M/SF/T at The Park House in Mona Vale for the launch on Oct 10 from 6pm

Philter Haze

Published May 16, 2019
Philter have joined the haze craze and done so in the typical fashion, calling their new IPA, simply, Haze and giving it a lively retro feel with cans inspired by 80s soft drinks but also recalling a casino. And, as is their wont, they've aimed to produce a beer that checks the boxes you'd expect from the style. Double dry-hopped with Mosaic, Galaxy, Simcoe and Citra, it's golden and hazy with a dense head that crawls down the glass. There's paw paw and passionfruit aplenty in a beer that sits in… Read more
Hazy IPA

And select VIC outlets

Released in Sydney on May 31

Philter Caribbean Stout

Published May 15, 2018
If you'd drawn one conclusion from the first 12 months of Philter, the Sydney based brewing company that snaffled a trophy for its XPA within months of launching, it's that here was an operation with a penchant for creating flavoursome beers in tight, approachable packets. (Alternatively, you might have looked at the cans and assumed they were NASCAR-following, Stuyvies-smoking bogans who just happened to love craft beer.) So the choice of beer to mark their first anniversary may have come as something… Read more
Export Stout