If you haven’t already, it’s time to try the local small batch and handcrafted beer brewed onsite at Naremburn’s Flat Rock Brew Café. This nano-brewery also offers great food and live entertainment – and has recently acquired its own beer garden!
The masterminds behind local gem Flat Rock Brew Cafe are husband-and-wife team, Karl and Jenny Riseborough. It was after many homebrewing experiments that Karl decided to take his hobby commercial and bring a piece of English pub culture to the Lower North Shore.
“We have lived in the area for many years, and we decided that the Naremburn shops were a great location,” Karl explains. “It has a village feel about it, has character, has fantastic locals and as we are both quite involved in the community. We wanted to make it a comfortable place to visit for families like us.”
Everything at Flat Rock is unique and beautifully genuine. Their beers are handcrafted in small batches of up to 200L, the soft drinks are made with organic, fresh fruit, the gin is locally produced, and the wine is sourced from smaller wineries.
“We look to support smaller businesses rather than big multi-national businesses because that is where you find quality,” Karl explains. “Everything that is sold at Flat Rock is made by an individual rather than a machine.”
Flat Rock’s six taps rotate between the ever-increasing list of fantastic Australian boutique breweries, with two hand pumps reserved for Flat Rock beer only; their English Bitter and a seasonal ale. The English bitter is as authentic as it gets and made from a heritage barley malt variety that was dominant in England’s Victorian era.
“We are probably one of the only places in Sydney that make and serves authentic English cask ale in the traditional way,” Karl says.
Another beer to try is their more modern New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA), which Karl describes as “a very hop-forward beer that has tropical fruit flavours and is very easy to drink.” The passionate team of locals have enlightened many to the joys of this wonderfully historic and versatile drink and will help find the right beer to suit your tastes.
Flat Rock prides itself on being a certified member of the Better Business Partnership and continually look for ways to become more sustainable. All brewing and cooking by-products are organically reused, such as being donated as chicken feed or compost to local gardeners.
In recent months, the team has concentrated on improving its food offering so that it complements Flat Rock’s high-quality beers. Chicken Parmy and Octopus Pitchos are favourites amongst locals but there’s also an extensive list of pasta, burgers, steak, fish and share plates to try.
“We have weekend specials where (Chef) Eduardo experiments with exciting flavours in his food to match our beers,” Karl says. “We are also very particular about having food options that are gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan, and we absolutely make sure we have a decent menu for the children.”
If you want to try new beer styles and learn what might be right for you, then be sure to drop by. Their venue is family-friendly and there is a private function room upstairs that can accommodate up to 30 guests for events like parent class catch-ups or book clubs.
Definitely pop by on a Sunday at 4pm for live music, and keep your eyes peeled for their beer and food matching experience that is coming soon.