Slow Lane Brewing

Sydney is a city that’s always in a rush. Pedestrians charge down the footpath like they’re late for an urgent meeting. Cyclists cut and weave through traffic like their lives depend on it. Cars rev their engines and honk their horns and show their impatience with every erratic lane change. Everything is high speed, high pressure, high stress.

Standing defiantly amid all of this is Slow Lane Brewing.

Like a rock holding its ground in the middle of a flowing stream, Slow Lane will not be budged by the world rushing around it. Owners Alex and Yvonne Jarman started the brewery to focus on European beer styles that benefit from Old World methods. They’re not averse to using modern techniques, or experimenting with different yeasts. But where traditional methods produce better flavours or a unique effect, they’ll stand firm. Even if they’re more labour intensive. Even if they take longer.

“We’re happy to be inefficient if it gives better flavour,” Alex says.

This might sound like a strange business decision (especially for two people from the world of finance). But when a brewery launches with a blonde ale styled on a Belgian single (an easy-drinking style rarely seen outside the walls of a Trappist monastery) and a saison that spent three months in a wine barrel with Brettanomyces for added complexity, you know they’re not interested in playing by the same rules as everyone else.

And the results speak for themselves - Slow Lane’s beers are popular with thirsty locals and farmhouse ale connoisseurs alike.

Inspired by Belgian brewing traditions, Alex lets his 1200 litre batches ferment for at least a month. And even when he’s brewing a clean beer with a simple flavour profile, he’ll generally leave the tops of the fermenting tanks open.

"We can’t prove it, but we think it gives better flavour in the beer. The yeast is happier.”

Even then the beers aren’t quite finished. From there, some will go into oak barrels and spend time developing more flavour complexity, and all beers finish with two weeks of can or keg conditioning for high carbonation and a longer shelf life.

“We’re trying to do things big breweries can’t do,” Alex explains.

It’s worth noting there’s nothing boring about being “slow” and “traditional”. While each beer takes a long time to turn around, Alex’s approach is all about exploring different styles, forgoing a core range in favour of trying new recipes and tweaking old favourites. At Slow Lane, the Old World is constantly getting a contemporary facelift.

Part of this is the modern approach to packaging. It’s not often you see a complex, barrel-aged saison in a can with a minimalist design on the label. Some people who wouldn’t dream of buying beer in a 750ml bottle with a cork will happily buy a four-pack of pastel tinnies from their local brewery, and discover a new (old) style in the process.

The brewery itself is a similar mixture of traditional and contemporary. Like many of its fellow breweries, Slow Lane is in an industrial warehouse space, albeit a relatively small one, with a tasting room that opened to the public at the start of 2021. But the stark white walls and oak barrels stacked to the ceiling hint at a beer cellar in Belgium. Alex and Yvonne have given the whole place a feeling of serenity and simplicity; they make the small space work.

This simplicity is also seen in the brewery’s branding: modernist, minimalist, geometric. It plays off aerial photography of the local area, which shows the circular tanks at Port Botany, the rectangles of the container depot, and the criss-cross of runways at Sydney Airport. The clean lines of the shapes in the logo carry an aesthetic simplicity, which points back to Slow Lane’s philosophy of brewing - getting back to basics.

Because at the end of the day, the months of fermentation and barrel-ageing and can conditioning are all done to produce something very simple: a beer to drink and enjoy.

It just takes a while, that’s all.

Mick Wust

Slow Lane Brewing

30 Byrnes Street
NSW 2019

(02) 9121 6279
Open Hours

Friday: 5pm to 9pm
Saturday: midday to 9pm
Sunday: midday to 7pm

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

Slow Lane Brewing Regulars

Slow Lane Brewing Quake Pale Ale

Published October 19, 2020
Returning to Slow Lane’s unorthodox beer lineup is Quake, a pale ale brewed with a strain of Norwegian kveik yeast and Kiwi Nelson Sauvin hops. One of the most prized properties of kveik is the ability to fully ferment a beer in as little as one or two days at temperatures that would usually result in some pretty unpleasant off flavours in most other beer yeasts. So, of course, Slow Lane made sure to keep Quake in tank for a month because why do anything quickly when you can take your time? One… Read more
Kveik Pale

Slow Lane Brewing Foundation

If you're going to name one of your launch beers Foundation, it means a couple of things. You're making a statement that this represents you and your ethos. And, as such, it needs to be bloody good. First things first: it certainly spells out just what Slow Lane are about: an open-fermented, red wine barrel-aged farmhouse ale featuring flaked wheat and oats, spicy European hops and a Belgian saison yeast alongside Brettanomyces. And if it's a sign of what's to come, well, two tickets please! Pale… Read more
Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Ale

Slow Lane Brewing Botany Weisse

The rise of sour beers in their very many forms was one of the standout features of the second half of the 2010s. Just as they come in many forms, they're made via many methods and thanks to advances in yeast development and supply there are many beers on the market inspired by German Berliner Weisse that are produced in pretty much the same manner as your common or garden pale ale. But Slow Lane is the name of this brewery for a reason: they want to do things slowly and, some would argue, properly. Their… Read more
Berliner Weisse

Slow Lane Brewing Thirsty Miner

The grisette style could be described, in simple terms, a lower ABV saison or a session farmhouse ale. There have been a few released in Australia over the years – plus an "imperial" one from Shenanigans that remains one of the best I've had the pleasure of enjoying in more than ten years of exploring Aussie beer culture – and often they come across that way: a less impactful version of a pale farmhouse ale. Slow Lane's is named in honour of the beers from Belgium's southern Hainaut… Read more

Slow Lane Brewing Refectory

If there was a common thread running through the earliest releases from Slow Lane, it was that they were typically dry as anything. OK, they were all also inspired by old European traditions, well structured and full of promise. Refectory, in a way, was an exception. Sure, the beer is still well made and comes from a place far removed from hazy IPAs and pastry stouts, but this Belgian blonde ale allows a little sweetness to seep in too. That said, all things are relative... The Belgian yeast is allowed… Read more
Belgian Blonde Ale

Slow Lane Brewing Specials

Slow Lane To the Fruit Farm, Hop Detective & Ton of Bricks

Published May 11, 2023
Three-y, flirty and thriving! Botany’s bastion of tradition, Slow Lane, have notched up a third full rotation of the sun and have fittingly released a trio of absolutely banging beers to celebrate. They always manage to coax so much character and complexity out of their beers in a way few others can, and these beers are fabulous examples of that. Also, it’s their birthday and yet we are the ones who get the presents? Let’s unwrap these bad boys, shall we? First up is To the Fruit Farm, a barrel-aged… Read more
Various Styles As Indicated
6.5% & 6.5% & 11.5%

Slow Lane A Mars a Day, Attention Seeker & Family Ties

Published March 29, 2023
This is a particularly exciting triple release from Botany brewers Slow Lane this March. Yes, all three beers are very good, but that’s pretty much par for the course. The main cause for all this excitement is a beer style that’s completely new to me! So let’s stop playing silly buggers and find out what the bloody hell a bière de mars is, shall we? If two years of primary school French 25 years ago hasn’t completely escaped me, this style directly translates as March beer, ie beer made… Read more
Bière de Mars, Hoppy Hefe & Hazy IPA
5.0% & 6.5% & 6.5%

Slow Lane Like A Chimney, Timeless Pieces & Merry Merry

Published February 24, 2023
Thanks to a lost package and a heap of re-brews, we’re opening up Slow Lane’s account for 2023 a little later than usual, but it’s about as classic a Slow Lane triple release as you could ever hope to receive. First up is Like A Chimney, Slow Lane’s pitch perfect take on the historical beer style, lichtenhainer. I gotta say, the Venn diagram for people who like sour beers and people who like smoked beers probably doesn’t contain a great deal of overlap. Which is a shame when the all too… Read more
Lichtenhainer, Oaked IPA & Christmas Red Ale
4.0% & 6.5% & 12.0%

Slow Lane Rye Sense Of Humour & Simple Living

Published October 27, 2022
The tents in Munich’s Theresienwiese might have been packed away three weeks ago, but that hasn’t stopped the flow of Oktoberfest beers rolling out around Oz. That’s not snark, by the way. October in Australia over the last two years has turned into a lagerphile’s paradise. One can scarcely walk down the street without being accosted with a Helles and currywurst and, frankly, that seems as close to heaven as can be found in this mortal plane. Take Botany's Slow Lane, for example: despite… Read more
Roggenbier & Kellerbier
4.5% & 5.0%

Slow Lane Grain of Salt & Woodchip

Published September 16, 2022
Never before have we been so well serviced with low and no alcohol beers. It really wasn’t very long ago that XXXX Gold was the best-selling beer in the country and was pretty much the only option available to anyone who wanted a couple of beers without having to deal with the reckoning that comes with several standard drinks worth of alcohol. Now we’re blessed with beers like this duo from Slow Lane. Unlike the mid-strength beers of yore, just because they’re 3.5 percent-ish ABV doesn’t… Read more
Gose & Oaked Table Beer
3.2% & 3.5%

Slow Lane Barreljuice, Same But Different & The Time Is Rye

Published August 23, 2022
Another month in which the Slow Lane new release machine just keeps rolling on. I gotta be honest, I am worried that they’re going to run out of colour combinations for their cans soon. I mean, how many two colour combinations could there really be? One hundred? Two hundred? Are they going to have to invent new colours just to stay ahead of the game? That really seems like a lot of work for a small brewery. Maybe the Independent Brewers Association can look into lobbying the Federal Government… Read more
Barrel-Aged Brett IPA, Hazy IPA & Barrel-Aged Dark Rye Sour
6.5% & & 8.5%

Slow Lane's June 2022 Quartet

Published June 17, 2022
Business as usual at Slow Lane this month. It’s nice they’re trying to keep up with what all the other hype brewers are doing but, honestly, if I had a dollar for every 16th century weissbier I’ve had recently I’d be rich enough to start my own brewery. I just wish Slow Lane would try something a bit different, you know? Speaking of 16th century weissbiers, it’s a good a place as any to start with this quartet. There’s an enormous amount of cool history associated with Bavaria and brewing… Read more
Various Styles As Indicated
6.0% & 3.5% & 3.5% & 9.5%

Slow Lane's May 2022 Quartet

Published May 24, 2022
It’s another Slow Lane special this month. The Sydney maestros routinely release beers that are so good I struggle to contain all the gushing praise, and this time might be the hardest of the lot. This foursome is once again a diverse cast of styles ranging from classics to inventions, all dialled in with the usual Slow Lane exactitude. Definitely Maybe is a beefy German lager labelled here as a Maibock but also known as a Helles Bock, depending on who you ask. In Germany, Maibocks are brewed in… Read more
Various Styles As Indicated
7.0% & 7.5% & 6.5% & 11.5%

Slow Lane's March 2022 Trio

Published March 18, 2022
Back to regularly scheduled programming for Slow Lane this month: a trio of beer releases that more or less perfectly sum up their whole deal. There's an easy-drinking pale ale utilising Kiwi hops, a barrel-aged golden sour ale just shy of two years in the making and, finally, the grandaddy of Belgian Abbey styles, the quadrupel. It took 16 years of breeding and development for the hop formally known as HORT 4337 to gain an official name and commercial release in 2020. Then, as is the way with these… Read more
Hazy Pale, Belgian Quad & Golden Sour
5.8% & 10.5% & 5.5%

Slow Lane Simplicity, Melody, Botany Weisse Peach & Rise Up

Published February 23, 2022
Another year underway, another quartet of Slow Lane specialties. The Botany maestros have served up another triple helping of German classics and a single Frankenstein’s monster of cobbled together insanity. Will Simplicity, Melody and Botany Weisse Peach fear and hate Rise Up for its grotesque appearance? Will Rise Up befriend a blind hermit only to be attacked by the hermit’s son and thus, scorned by beer society, go on a violent quest of revenge against its creator only to discover its lust… Read more
Helles, Vienna Lager, Berliner Weisse & Delicious Thing
5.0% & 5.0% & 3.5% & 6.5%

Slow Lane Oktoberfest Trio Pt 2

Published November 3, 2021
Well, that’s that. Oktoberfest is done for another year. A hearty "Prost!" to all who observe this sacred time but I’m afraid you must fold away the dirndl, box up the steins, and promise yourself that maybe next year you’ll get around to finishing off that kilogram jar of sauerkraut you bought four years ago. As is customary, anyone caught selling a non-pilsner German style beer from now on will be prosecuted to the full extent of Beer Law. The maximum penalty? Sixty days hard labour… Read more
Märzen, Kolsch & Altbier
6.0% & 5.0% & 5.0%

Slow Lane Brewing Classic Dark Haze, Liquid Bread & Return Walker

Published September 17, 2021
For most breweries, Oktoberfest is their one opportunity to bang out a classic crisp lager or a revitalising weissbier. The cops may not be able to stop a brewery releasing a Märzen in February, but few seem willing to risk it anyway. For Slow Lane, Oktoberfest is just September. The beauty of releasing classic Euro styles all year round means celebrating the wonder of German beer is business as usual. And, thusly, the Botany brewery’s newest triple release consists of a dunkelweizen, doppelbock… Read more
Dunkelweizen, Doppelbock & Hazy Pale
5.6% & 8.5% & 4.0%

Slow Lane Entirety & Cellar Worthy 2021

Published August 26, 2021
Indulge me, if you will, in a little peak behind the curtain into the glamorous and fast-paced life of the C tier [When did you move up, Judd? – Editor], part-time beer writer... You receive an email from one of the handful of breweries that routinely send you new beers to write about letting you know a package is on the way. This is great news, of course, but is tempered by the revelation that the four beers contain more than 13 standard drinks and, ideally, you’d like to write them up ASAP… Read more
Russian Imperial Stouts & Barleywines
Big & Boozy

Slow Lane Brewing Botany Weisse Pineapple, Simple Coercion & Frozen Sea

Published August 19, 2021
The city may be under a collective depression, but that won’t stop Sydney’s Slow Lane from releasing a cavalcade of delicious beers from their Botany home [A name change for the brewery might be in order at this rate – Editor]. This three-part release includes a new variant of a favourite, a not so simple, on-trend hazy pale ale, and a season appropriate Baltic porter. Slow Lane’s Botany Weisse is likely one of the only traditionally brewed Berliner Weisse in the country. Probably because… Read more
Fruit Berliner Weisse, Hazy Pale & Baltic Porter
3.5% & 5.0% & 8.5%

Slow Lane Brewing Solitude

Published June 24, 2021
Not content with brewing the country’s best Tripel (IMHO), Slow Lane have set their sights on the biggest style the Belgians have to offer. Solitude is a 9.4 percent ABV Belgian dark strong ale and, although it was first released as part of the 2020 Carwyn Cellars Canvent, this is the first time it’s been available for the average punter. Dark strong ales are probably most well known for Westvleteren XII, at one time regarded as the best beer in the world and still highly sought after. They are… Read more
Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Slow Lane Brewing Before Dawn

Published June 9, 2021
Having a glass of dunkel is like having a little taste of history itself. Dark German lagers are, in effect, the grandparents of all modern lagers, pale included. If it wasn’t for those plucky Benedictine monks and their penchant for open fermenting wort in the winter, I may very well have not had a plastic cup of XXXX Gold in my hand as I experienced a moment of joy so intense that I would later swear I saw the face of God (Johnson, Harris and Lyon combining to see England lose six for nine after… Read more

Slow Lane Brewing Hop Barn & Oaty

Published May 22, 2021
If you placed a glass of Hop Barn and a glass of pineapple juice in front of me right now, I reckon I would not immediately be able to tell which one is the beer. Granted, it would only take several seconds before I figured it out but still. When written down it occurs to me this seems very unimpressive, but this beer is genuinely the closest I’ve experienced to drinking actual fruit juice where no fruit was involved in the process. I’m sure Slow Lane didn’t set out to create pineapple juice… Read more
Hoppy Farmhouse Ale & Oatmeal Stout
Both 5.4%

Slow Lane Brewing 1st Birthday Beers

Published May 19, 2021
The first year of life is a wonderful thing. For some, it’s the joy of watching a little sentient mass of meat learn how to cry more and sleep less; for others it’s building a taproom and winning awards. For Slow Lane Brewing, the last 12 months have featured both, although less of the former and more of the latter – and I am hearing reports they are finally sleeping through. To celebrate their first birthday, they've released a birthday quartet of beers. If you can think of a better way to… Read more
Various styles
ABVs as indicated

Slow Lane Brewing Weka Pale Ale

Published March 29, 2021
Weka Island is a 5.8 percent ABV hazy pale ale from Slow Lane and also a tiny island off the coast of another small island which is off the coast of the island nation of Aotearoa. Got it? I’ll get to the beer shortly but first I’m going to write a totally unnecessary and barely relevant bit about our national neighbour and its birds. Weka Island is located off the east coast of Rakiura, an island that sits south of the southern most point of the south island of Aotearoa. Rakiura and the islands… Read more
Hazy Pale

Slow Lane Brewing Threefold

Published March 29, 2021
Threefold is Slow Lane Brewing’s take on a no-nonsense traditional Belgian tripel. Tripels are the strongest of the pale Trappist styles, first brewed by the Westmalle monastery in 1934 and now produced throughout Belgium and beyond. Australian made tripels are released at the rate of about 1.3 a year so, if you don’t grab one of these, you’ll be lucky to see another within the next nine months or so, I reckon. Slow Lane’s Alex Jarman has gone for a 100 percent pilsner malt base and, although… Read more
Belgian Tripel

Slow Lane Continuum

Published March 19, 2021
Slow Lane made the unorthodox choice of launching their brewery in May 2020 with a barrel-aged saison in a can. The beer, named Foundation, was a bright light in an otherwise pretty grim time and nabbed a spot in our end of year Best of NSW list. Continuum is the follow-up to Foundation and is more or less built on the same basic formula. It does, however, come in a bit bigger at 6.4 percent ABV and spent ten months in white rather than red wine barrels, with a couple of legendary roommates named… Read more
Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Ale

Slow Lane Brewing Resting Place

Published December 26, 2020
Slow Lane said from the beginning they were keen to experiment with different kinds of yeast, and Resting Place is a shining example of that. This beer was soured, not by adding lactobacillus or other souring bacteria, but by a strain of yeast called Lachancea, which naturally produces lactic acid during fermentation. And since Lachancea was first discovered on a tree in a graveyard†, the name Resting Place seemed appropriate. But, while there’s a slight earthiness to this beer, which has my… Read more
Mixed Fermentation Sour Ale

Slow Lane Brewing Mango & Passionfruit / Apricot Botany Weisse

Published September 24, 2020
For a brewery named Slow Lane, there’s been no meandering when it’s come to new beer releases. Since opening earlier in 2020, Alex and Yvonne Jarman have been steadily putting out more of the all too rare yeast-driven European styles that have already won them plenty of fans in Sydney and beyond. While locals wait for the much anticipated tasting room, Slow Lane have released four new beers many months in the making: two fruited versions of the Botany Weisse, plus a barrel-aged Belgian sour brown… Read more
Fruited Berliner Weisse
3.4% & 4.2%

Slow Lane Brewing Old Russet & Cellar Worthy

Published September 24, 2020
In the weeks leading up to the opening of their tasting room, Slow Lane released a quartet of specialties. You can read about the fruited spins on their Botany Weisse here and tuck into a pair of rather heftier beasts here. Old Russet started life as a Belgian Dubbel which, honestly, would have been a joy in and of itself. But a straight up Dubbel could have been ready for release in like a month and that is simply not Slow Lane’s jam. So instead they whacked it into a barrel for six months with… Read more
Barrel-Aged Belgian Dubbel & English Barleywine
8.4% & 14.0%