YOUNG Henry’s brewing is the epitome of what craft beer is all about. Words like fun, community conscious, exciting and expressive are all suitable adjectives to describe this small, progressive inner Sydney brewery. And more and more, these descriptive terms have become applicable when describing craft beer and craft breweries from the world.
I recently ventured to Newtown in Sydney’s inner west to chat with Dan Hampton, one of the owners of Young Henry’s. Formerly working as a sales representative with Little Creatures Brewing, Dan moved on from the company shortly after they were purchased by Lion Nathan. Speaking with Dan, I get the impression that he decided to become a partner at Young Henry’s not only for the business opportunity it presented and the cracking beer they make, but also for the community feel of a craft brewer, that is generally lost when a small brewery is bought out by a larger entity. Dan assured me of course that he felt no animosity towards Little Creatures but felt he’d be “better served working for a little beer company.”
Young Henry’s beers scream Newtown. With its vibrant and arty population, the beers speak volumes about the local residents whilst also providing non-Newtownians with a taste of Newtown in a glass. A good example of this is the colourful music scene in Newtown (the brewery is merely a stone’s throw away from the Enmore Theatre). With this in mind, the brewery has taken up the the opportunity to collaborate their beers with a plethora of bands including Front-end Loader, You am I and most recently, Frenzal Rhomb. Taking into account their love of music, Dan also mentioned a recent collaboration with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He spoke about the deep brass section of the orchestra being synonymous with a rich, full bodied porter, whilst the fast, higher pitched string ensemble perfectly reflecting a sharp, Belgian white ale or similar. The brewery is currently working on this collaboration as we speak.
Young Henry’s beers are predominately English style ales, with an Australian twist in each bottle! This can be reflected in the suburb of Newtown, one of Sydney’s oldest areas. The brewery is located down a back alley off the main road, surrounded by tight knitVictorian era terrace housing. The brewery itself is located in a former warehouse, which lends itself to the image of the Victorian era industrial revolution.
A taste of Young Henrys can take you to Newtown, much like what Richard Watkins is trying to achieve with his Braddon brewery Bentspoke. Being a big believer in craft beer, I think it would be in everyones interest to visit Young Henry’s next time you venture up the Barton Highway. In Canberra, you can find Young Henry’s on tap sporadically at the Transit bar, Honkytonks, The Durham Castle Arms and on the growler station at Plonk.
What’s impressing me?
- Sydney breweries; Once left behind its bigger brother in Melbourne, Sydney is well and truly catching up on the craft beer scene
- Brew Cult Get Down American Brown; Big, roasted malt flavours and on tap at the Transit Bar
- Bridge Road Brewers; Every one of their beers are cracking! You’d do well to get your hands on some of them
Adrian Moran has been pouring beers for over nine years and runs a weekly podcast devoted to craft beer