Super stylish brewery sets a new standard of classy dining, beers, wine and interior design in Brookvale. Say G’day to Freshwater Brewery

Hang on, what’s this? Are we at the right spot? We are standing at the entrance of a mint coloured roller door of something very new, very different and down right beautiful. Well hello Freshwater Brewery!

What a stunner. These are not the words normally associated with breweries. The space is simply beautiful, bright, airy and femine. In an aircraft hanger size space the team have created a dazzling homage to brewing. All the way at the back, like rings in a jewellery shop window, are a series of glamorous shiny reflective steel tanks stretching up into the heavens. A 14 tap horseshoe bar with pink tiles leads to various seating areas. Choose your perch from high chairs, low tables and banquette seating. Breezy palm trees and fernery adds to the pastel palate of sage green, dusky pinks and clean whites. Thumbs up for the beautifully fitted out bathrooms too.

It’s a Sunday lunch and almost every table is accompanied by a range of hoomans and a pooch. Yes, this spot is doggo friendly. We couldn’t be more enamoured with it and we haven’t even tried the beers or food.

The Freshy Crew!

First the beers. All this is made possible with mateship. The founding crew is a bevy of cool dudes and dudettes! Brett Phillips (Head Brewer), Tom Bruce, Jonny Bucknall, Chloe Morgan-Webster and Marv Slocombe. They first started Brewing at White Bay in Rozelle. We kick off with the Wedge Cerveza. It’s a Mexican inspired beer using corn with Aussie and Kiwi hops. It’s refreshing and it’s my favourite, with lovely rich rounded flavours. We could add a lime but it’s great without. The Secrets Hazy Pale Ale is classically Aussie, crisp and dry but with lots of flavours of the tropics. There is a great wine list too, so head to the taps or grab a bottle of whatever makes you happy or hoppy.

A Brookvale brewery is not where you expect to find a Michelin trained British chef (ex Dandy, London) but ter-dar! Behold the wonders of Executive Chef Daniel Wilson. The menu is tight. It’s what Dan call’s ‘relaxed backyard meets beachside bliss’. These dishes are both Britannia and Aussie nostalgic but also creative.

On the left is the prawn po’boy, right is the fish finger sarnie…

Their signature dishes in our opinion are the sarnies. What can be new about a sandwich? Just try them. First the Fish Finger Sanga. Rounds of thickly sliced fluffy white Berkelo Bread with a nutty, crusty edge are slathered with a housemade dill pickle tartare, crispy cos, herby tomato with generous layers of seasoned ling. It’s a show stopper, two handed job. The prawn po’boy is a similarly stacked affair with juicy prawns sustainably fished from Coffin Bay, bursting from sanga edges, layered with mustard aoli, lime, rocket and tomato. They look good. It tastes better.

A Ploughmans, is an English pub staple, in Australia we are normally offered ‘cheese platters’ however this is the real deal. Every element thoughtfully sourced and nailed. Half a warm toasty baguette with a generous dollop of Peppe Saya butter sprinkled with sea salt and we are off to a good start. From left to right this is how the Ploughman goes…

We cut into a slab of ‘Pearl’ a semi hard cheese in the form of a young cheddar from micro dairy – The Pines Kiama, a 6th Generation Regenerative micro-dairy farming on Dharawal land. They have a mixed herd of Holsteins and crossbred cows with Normande, Fleckvieh and Pinzgauer genetics. The milk is wildly distinct, and landscape driven. It has fresh, soft rendered butter notes, similar in style to qualities reminiscent of raw milk cheeses (however it’s not a raw milk cheese).

Its perfect partner are the thickly sliced off the bone free range Quatto Stelle ham, from a family run traditional charcuterie in Sydney. The apple wood smoking gives it lovely savoury notes of beechwood, herbs and spices.

A square of honeycomb is delicious beyond comparison to other honeys; perhaps that’s because Dan’s brother is an apiarist at Bee One Third, an Urban Apiary operating out of South East Queensland and Northern Rivers. They have networks of beekeepers and hives all over the country with access to single source and single year vintage honeys. As far as we know, they are the only ones working directly with raw honeycomb without treatment, straight from the hive onto the plate. The flavour bomb is unrivalled.

Entrance to Freshwater Brewery, with the tanks at the back

Then the piccalilli made by Dan. It’s a colourful burst of neon yellow on the plate with mustard spice kick which cuts through the richness of the cheese.

Did we mention the fries? Yeah-fries-had-them-before…but WAIT these are crunchy, actually CRUNCHY!! Then dusted with spicy sancho pepper. A mighty fine sausage roll is also a golden nugget of nostalgia with flaky pastry and porky, herby goodness inside.

If this all sounds like we have perhaps moved to fan territory, then yes, we are hopelessly, ridiciously in love with this team and how they have innovated on an established, formulaic trend. To call this a brewery is underserve the skill of this team in redefining what have come to expect. Great beers, wine, seamingly simple food executed insanely well. With the menu set to expand to 20 or more offerings. Like Arnie said.. ‘We’ll be back”.

FreshWater Brewery, 4 Powells Road, Brookvale, NSW
ours are:Wed & Thurs 4 – 11pm, Fri 4 – 12am, Sat 12 – 12am, Sun 12 –10pm. DJ sets on Friday and Saturday nights

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).