Flat Rock Brew Cafe is dedicated to local craft producers and we regularly offer a variety of style as well as our own on-site brews. Click here for our latest list of Tap Beers and be sure you visit us and let us know your favourites.
Here is information on some of our own brews:
We are one of the very few venues in Sydney - even Australia - to regularly produce real ale in the classic British style. That makes our own English Bitter heaven for those from the old country seeking a proper pint.
“What’s the difference?”, you might ask. Essentially what separates this from most tap beers is in the way the beer is conditioned and served. After fermentation, the English Bitter is put into casks rather than kegs and left to condition and develop natural carbonation. There’s no CO2 used, either for carbonation or to push the beer through the lines to the tap. It means your beer arrives in the glass naturally through one of the venue’s two handpumps and as fresh as it gets.
As for the taste, the all-English ingredients make sure it ticks all the boxes for the style, i.e. malt sweetness and very modest bitterness balanced with a touch of fruitiness. The cellar serving temperature ensures a lovely rounded mouthfeel and allows the flavours to really shine through. The Flat Rock English Bitter is the kind of beer you want to drink all day and, at just 4.2 percent, probably could.
English Bitter -served on handpump
One of the quirks - and indeed the perks - of being a small brewery is that you’re able to change things as you please. Case in point is our own Fatty Dawson IPA (named for an apparently reclusive pig farmer who lived in the area in the 1800s and whose home can still be seen in the nearby Dawson Track). This is a beer you’ll very rarely have twice because we are always tweaking the recipe just a little. But it does follow a general recipe built, as good IPAs should be, on plenty of hops.
In this case they’re all from the US, specifically the Horizon, Columbus, Willamette and Centennial varieties. These provide typically up-front floral, pine and citrus aromas as well as contributing to the bitterness. But, for an IPA, it’s fairly restrained on that front in order to ensure it’s got drinkability - something which is key to all our regular beers. We recommend letting the beer sit for a few minutes to let it warm as this releases more of the hop aromas while also reducing any harsh bitterness you might get from a beer served at lower temperatures. In any case, the lingering taste you’ll be left with won’t just be about the hops as there’s a good deal of malty sweetness here to balance things out.
Fatty Dawson American IPA
Our house pale ale is named after the esteemed Australian poet, Henry Lawson, who lived in the area near the cafe some 100 years ago. Lawson was, apparently, rather prone to overindulgence. He would write poems, recite them in local pubs and, in return, be showered with drinks by grateful locals. On the downside, his regular punishment was refusal to be allowed back in the house, meaning he’d be forced to spent the night sleeping off his shame in a small cave in the Flat Rock gully.
Unlike Lawson the cave dweller, his eponymous beer manages to retain balance between what it ought to do and what it wants to do. Being a malty, American style pale ale means it’s got a slightly deeper colour than your average pale, while it also carries a touch more sweetness. Exclusive use of Cascade hops in the brew has given it a fairly light, but certainly noticeable, citrus aroma and contributes to a lingering bitterness and dryness. It’s a beer the we pitch as an introduction to the American Pale Ale style, enough to invite in those new to the style but also with enough character to keep the experienced drinker happy all night. We’re sure Henry Lawson would approve.
Henry Lawson Pale Ale