Sydney's newest microbrewery opens its doors

Local craft beer lovers in the inner-west Municipality of Leichhardt are rejoicing that they finally have a brewery to call their own with the opening of Wayward Brewing Company’s new brewery to the public.

The shiny new brewery production facility sits on the border between Annandale and Camperdown and just started full production in September after a six month build. A veritable flood of new beers are now making their way to the tasting bar attached to the brewery and to local pubs.

The Wayward Cellar bar, which seats up to 150 people, has been converted from a space that once housed Gehrig Wines nearly a century ago, with rooms converted from the wax-lined concrete wine vats that originally occupied the space. The bar offers a relaxed atmosphere that is dog and kid friendlly and features funky lighting and a vintage Royal Enfield motorcycle bolted to the wall as modern sculpture.

The five year project has been a labour of love for founder Peter Philip who has turned a passion for craft beer into a business in the fastest growing segment of the beer market. Peter and his wife Yvette who runs the Wayward office are local residents, living less than 2km from the brewery in Leichhardt.

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“I love creating a product that people love to experience, enjoy and talk about”, said Philip, adding “people are fascinated during our brewery tours to learn about what craft beer is and how it’s made.”

The brewery has a loyal following on social media and many Wayward fans have already been to visit the Cellar Bar during a series of ‘soft opening’ weekends.

The Cellar Bar is now gearing up for its grand opening on the 24th of October where the brewery will be decked out in full Bavarian Octoberfest regalia with German food and music to go with three authentic styles of German beer on tap in addition to a range of other Wayward and guest beers.

“We have 12 taps in the cellar bar and we are working around the clock to fill those taps with some new and exciting Wayward beers “, said Philip.

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Wayward Brewing Company has previously been operating as a ‘Gypsy’ brewer, a term that refers to breweries that don’t have their own facilities but instead use those of other local breweries.

“I think I have brewed my beer at nearly every brewery in Sydney over the last two years” said Philip. “It’s great to finally have our own home where we can brew exactly what we want, when we want.”

“We love brewing single batch beers that are only available for a limited time to keep things fresh and interesting for our customers – some will be brewed in such small batches that they are only be available at the Cellar Bar for a week or two.”

The Wayward name comes from Philip’s tendency to brew slightly beers that are often ‘left field’ which sometimes defy labels. Wayward’s flagship beer is a hybrid between an American IPA (India Pale Ale) style and an English Red Ale to give the resulting new style of “India Red Ale”.

“We also brew more mainstream beers but being wayward in our ways, we always try to do things a little differently or add a twist to make it interesting,” said Philip. “Our motto is ‘Carpe Bierum’ or ‘sieze the beer!’, added Philip refering to the company ethos of ‘drink the beer less taken’ (with apologies to Robert Frost).

The brewery Cellar Bar is presently open Friday (4pm-9pm), Saturday (12-9pm) and Sunday (12-8pm) and has 12 taps on offer for drinking on premise or for take-away in eco-friendly refillable 1.9L glass ‘growlers’. Food is available from a constantly changing range of food trucks and patrons can also order pizza at the bar which is delivered from a local pizza straight to their table.

Those looking for a break from beer (heaven forbid) are also catered for with a carefully selected range of wine.

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