Scharers Little Brewery

Last week I had the good fortune to be able to stop off in Picton on my way down the South Coast. I had wanted to go there for a while to visit the historic George IV Inn.

King George IV logo George IV hotel

Tacked onto the back of this old (established in 1839) hotel — in what was once the stable — is Scharers Little Brewery. The hotel only has accommodations for 14 people now, but most people come for the beer. I should also mention the excellent pub grub that’s available — from traditional german sausage plates to gourmet seafood via steaks, all tastes should be satisfied.

At the brewery, they make 3 beers: Scharers Lager, Burragorang Bock, and D’Lite.

Scharers Burragorang Bock label

D’Lite is a a low alcohol beer only available on tap at the George IV. Burragorang Bock is a traditional German bock — kind of like an old or porter, but made with a lager yeast at cold temperatures. Scharers Lager is the famous one, however.

I first tried Scharers Lager some years ago at The Australian Hotel in the Rocks. Apparently it is also available on tap at The Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo. Other than those two places, it looks like you’ve got to go out to Picton.

Scharers Lager label

Scharers Lager

A traditional German-style lager, fermented at 7-9°C and lagered at 4°C for 4-6 weeks. The storage produces a soft, natural carbonation. Full-bodied with high bitterness and hop flavour and a dry finish. Hoppy aromatic nose.

Australian Good Beer Directory

This is a very interesting beer. Made in the traditional german style and adhering to the Reinheitsgebot, this beer simply contains malt, hops, yeast and water. No preservatives, no sugar, no chemicals. Unpasteurised and unfiltered, this beer may lack visual appeal to those brought up on crisp pilsners and transparent commercial beers, but it looks like beer to anyone who’s tried my homebrew.

It does mean that the beer is fresh, though, and must be consumed within a month of purchase. Not that you’ll need an excuse. My personal tasting notes emphasise the maltiness of the beer — unusual in that it retains it’s sweetness despite being highly hopped.

Lager and Bock

This beer is well worth a go. If you are driving down and can’t find a designated driver, you can buy some to take with you — $16.50 for 3 x 780mL bottles.

If you’d rather stay in Sydney, visit one of the aforementioned hotels. If you are keen to try other brewpubs, I recommend the James Squire Brewhouse or The Lord Nelson Hotel.

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