Time Out Sydney

Take a turn around one of Sydney's oldest pubs

We don't want to get into yet another squabble about which pub is Sydney's oldest. Let's just say that the Australian is one of the originals, and it's very bloody old, and when we walk in on a chilly Sunday arvo it's as bustling and popular as ever. There are plenty of reasons why. It's got old-school charm to spare – it's all dark-wood bar and brass and worn-in carpet and that pylon behind the bar papered in foreign notes gets us every time. We're fond of the flaky-painted pressed-tile ceiling, too. You can drink on the café-style furniture on the sidewalk, there's a scattering of high tables and big beer hall-style tables inside, and you can even duck into their little nook by the kitchen – this space feels like somewhere you stop in the country for good scones, though they actually serve things like crocodile pizza. But mostly everyone's here for the beer. Hit the taps for a solid selection of your standard boutique-ish stuff – Fat Yak, Vale IPA, Byron Bay pale ale – or beeline for that glass-doored fridge, each shelf groaning under the weight of bottled craft brews. Each shelf is labelled ('wheat beer', 'pale ale') and holds refreshing surprises like Victoria's Two Birds golden ale and Tasmania's Moo Brew. If you're confused by the sheer number of choices, pick by the name. We did, and ended up with a Happy Goblin pale ale, brewed in Sydney's Northern Beaches. It's a good choice if you want something smooth, light and fruity. Beer nuts should also note, the Australian always has a good beer of the month on and for three days in October the pub holds the Australian Beer Festival.

Who won the bar awards?

First published on . Updated on .

By Joel Meares   |  

The Australian Heritage Hotel details

100 Cumberland St, The Rocks 2000

Telephone 02 9247 2229

Price per person including drinks Up to $50

Open Daily 10.30am-midnight

The Australian Heritage Hotel website

The Australian Heritage Hotel map

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