The Markets Hotel, Flemington NSW is the unlikely location of one of Sydney’s more longstanding craft brewers. Paddy’s Brewery has been operating out of the Market’s Hotel since 2001, which in craft brewing terms in NSW puts into veteran status. Over the years, they’ve won a swag of awards including the World Champion Small Brewer of the year in 2004 in the Australian International Brewing Awards. I’m not sure if everything is brewed on site, but that’s a very impressive effort for a brewer operating in a part of Sydney that is right under the nose of the Tooheys Brewery in Lidcombe.
It’s an incongruous location for a craft brewer. There’s nothing wrong with the Markets Hotel, but it serves many purposes and clienteles. It’s open 6am to midnight, 7 days a week. It’s got the massive TAB, large bistro, accomodation, gaming room as well as a craft brewery. The craft brewery can’t be missed, but it is by no means the only game on in The Markets Hotel. There’s a set of craft brew taps (photographed), but less than 5 metres away is a set of taps that can’t be further removed from the world of craft brewing.
Now I happened to be in Auburn on Father’s Day and convinced the family to pop into Paddy’s Markets at Flemington, whilst I took a quick look at Paddy’s Brewery. I was hoping for a tasting rack, but received a reasonably quizzical look from barmaid – and opted for a couple of middies instead. First cab off the rank was a General Sherman Pale Ale. This was a bright, hoppy beer if a little thin. Not sure of the reason for the name – General Sherman was a hard arse Union general famous for his scorched earth policies – but it’s a unique name.
I absolutely fell for the Chocolate Porter, however. Top shelf porter. Solid dark brown colour, with that great blend of chocolate and coffee maltiness with a bitter backbone. A really fine beer. I’d like to visit Paddy’s when they have their annual beer festival. The Hop Harvest Festival is held around April and this year had a terrific line-up including some real micros like Black Duck and Ekim. I’d feel better being amongst other craft beer drinkers, rather than being the lone sipper amongst a bunch of shift workers ripping into some hard earned schooners of Tooheys.