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Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
Active Beers: 9
Beer Ratings: 100
Beer Avg: 3.56
Taps: 11 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
Corner Kent & Argyle Streets, The Rocks
phone: (02) 9251 4044
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Tucked away a bit in The Rocks is the oldest brewpub in the country and one of the seemingly many Sydney pubs with claims to be the oldest in the country.
An old sandstone building with timber everywhere inside, including well worn timber floors. Nice lantern style lights go with the obvious nautical theme. Huge timber beams in the ceiling from which a barrel and many nautical flags fly. The walls are adorned by old brewery photos as well as honour boards for sailing races that the pub used to run. The place gets a good buzz about it with all the hard surfaces as the pub fills up, but is nice and relaxing at lunchtime midweek to just chill and have a beer when it is less crowded. Expect for it to be busy all weekend and on Thursday and Friday nights.
Service was ok, nice and polite and efficient. The person after me was after the beer closest to an IPA and she suggested Trafalgar would be the closest but acknowledged it wasn't on at the moment. So solid beer knowledge.
The beers have a British slant to them, which should come as no surprise given the name of the place. Currently 11 taps devoted to beer, 7 for the house brews (Quayle Ale, Trafalgar Pale, Nelson's Blood, Victory Bitter, Old Admiral and Three Sheets, plus the current seasonal One Eyed Rye), though Trafalgar, Nelson's and One Eyed Rye were not pouring today. Coopers Light is the low ABV offering, while Coopers Pale, Coopers Vintage and Paulaner are the others. 2 taps for cider. The Coopers taps aren't surprising as the pub has always been a good supporter of Coopers. As the story goes, they once sold a cellared version of Coopers Extra Stout which was so well received it prompted Coopers to cellar the beer themselves and release it as Special Old Stout.
Prices aren't the cheapest at $4.70 for a 10oz pour of the Victory Bitter. However, this is The Rocks, so its a bit of a case of expectations being met. Beer is now available "to-go" with the 3 bottled ales (Quayle Ale, Three Sheets and Old Admiral) selling for $5 a single, $19-$19.50 a 6 pack and $66-$71 for a case of 24. Bear in mind the bottled beers are brewed under licence off-site.
The beers have their ups and downs and the brewery seems to have a pretty high turnover of brewers. Also if you are into Rum, it has one of the better pub selections in Sydney and likewise for single malt Scotch. The pub itself is one of the best in Sydney for character. If you like crowds, pick your moment and if you like space, also best to choose the best time to visit. Worthwhile visting if you are in The Rocks.
11-13-2012 02:03:45 |
More by MrKennedy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
The Nelson is basically a Sydney Institution. Set nicely back for the main area of the Rocks, it benefits by getting busy but not too busy. In on a recent Saturday night at seven, the place was full, but not overflowing, and a great vibe, once you opened the door. The fire was blazing (well, by Aus standards) giving a wintery feel to the place. Lovely sandstone walls abound, and the brewery tanks sit round the corner - I am not sure if this is their whole brewing operation tho.
The beer menu is easy to see and read - chalkboards above the bar do the job nicely. It's also not too extensive, tho other taps feature Coopers and also Chimay Blanc. English style ales of varying strengths are the theme.
Just the right mount of items hang from the ceiling to make it look like A Pub, with a real nod to British Heritage.
Let's put it into perspective in Sydney. If fills a niche - it may not have as many beers as Redoak, nor be as plush. It has a better vibe than the Taphouse, and is older. It doesn't have family-friendliness like say 4 Pines. When you do these comparison it becomes clear that the current crop of Sydney's beer bars are apples and oranges. none are alike. This is A Good Thing.
Last and sadly least, the beer is served too cold.
Beers reviewed elsewhere. Food not sampled recently.
06-05-2011 23:36:56 |
More by heygeebee
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
Sitting in the old section of Sydney called "The Rocks" is a neat stone brewery called Lord Nelson's Brewery (LNB)!!! It certainly did not take a full nelson to get me into this place. It is very invited from the entry way, which is in on a diagnol to invite parched patron on either crossing street. The neighborhood, "the rocks", offers a charm of its own cuz it provides a little bit of local flavor...meaning even the locals enjoy it. Unfortunately for the world visiting LNB or Australia for that matter...you have to get used to the slow un-urgent service. Once you get past that and enjoy the beer it has to offer you soon can forget about the poor service. What is interesting about LNB is that it has a wonderful old world pub feel at the main level, but the upper level where the Brasserie is...is quite different. The brasserie has white table clothes a select wine list and wonderful....and I mean wonderful....food, but it is pricy...even for Sydney. At a minimum I highly recommend a visit to at least taste the beer....if hungary and have extra cash in the pocket head up stairs for a bite....no doubt you will enjoy!
02-15-2011 11:38:02 |
More by WoodBrew
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Simply put, a wonderful brewpub.
I came across this place on my one and only day in Sydney. And I spent more time there than I probably should have as it was my first visit to Australia (and did I mention that visit was all of 24 hours?). But the beers were that enticing. So I stayed.
And if the great brews weren't enough to keep me there, I met and chatted with the brewmaster, Damon. He was very open and welcoming--more than happy to chat about brewing methods, tricks, etc. Passionate about his brewing and an all-around nice guy.
I only wish they'd have had some eats beyond chips (which they actually did at the time - some cheese/bread plate thing - but that wasn't actually offered me!)
Great great place.
11-19-2010 15:46:15 |
More by chadlebald
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
Reviewed from notes taken on a recent visit to Sydney.
Made the visit on a busy Saturday evening. The downstairs bar was quite crowded and somewhat noisy but we found a barrel to stand around and set the beers on while chatting and waiting for a table to open up at the restaurant upstairs.
Generally the amosphere in the bar was congenial and everyone was clearly there to enjoy themselves and relax. Lots of wood in evidence and its clear this place has been in business for a quite long time. Struck me a nice place on a quieter evening to stop by, have a couple of beers and a good chat with friends. (No TVs!) The bar was busy but service was just fine. The range of beers on offer was limited to about 5 of the Lord Nelson's range but those we tried were fine, if not outstanding.
Going upstairs for dinner was like entering a different establishment. The room was well appointed and quiet, tables were widely spaced and it was clear that this was a place for fine dining. The service was very attentive and the server very knowledgeable. I had a preparation of Barramundi I'd not tried before and found it to be excellent.
However, with the US and Aussie dollar almost at parity while I was there I did experience some sticker shock at the price of the food.
11-02-2010 02:05:13 |
More by drtth
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
Went Late on ANZAC Day
Okay so it was a happy holiday and everyone else was out in force for this special day. This was the fourth drinking establishment I visited on the day, but only the 2nd where I bought a pint(s). Could you fault me for trying to find a game of two up. Although their wasn't a game on it I decided to stick around for the killer atmosphere. It had a classic pub feel to it and fortunately no one was falling down drunk, which was atypical for the other places. The floor plan was open and moderately full. However this place is between the Rocks and CDB districts so grab a map before you try to find this place.
As for the service it was okay considering the night and the bar can't really be faulted. They had their own brews on tap and a wide variety of bottled ciders and even Chimney on-tap. You must try Nelson's Blood (Roasted Porter) even if its just for the name. The food looked good and on Mondays was $6 pie night.
$4Aus for pints on a Holiday--> Will always get my vote.
04-27-2009 09:55:55 |
More by TubaManJack
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
Uh. Guys. It looks a lot like it's an extract pub. Not all that exciting in terms of what can happen with beer. Heck, Australia... Wow. Talk about a country in need of beer. Still, I spoke with a shopkeeper and a barkeeper and they were both very strong beer advocates. The problem, for me, is that there's nothing for me to drink in the whole country, it would appear.
[Edit: In all fairness, I've been told that it's not an extract brewery. Makes sense, given the beers they serve. Unfortunately, that knocks the score for the service down since they don't know their own stuff. Too bad, they were all very nice.]
Which brings us back to this pub. Pretty publike feel. Small and crazy.
They had 6 of their own on tap. Quayle (wheat), Trafalgar Pale, 3 Sheets (German inspired - whatever that means), Old Admiral (old ale), Victory Bitter and whatever the porter was called. In addition to some other beers.
I had a pint of the Old Admiral then enjoyed a half pint each of the Trafalgar and Victory. The Trafalgar was the best beer of the three and by far. They could make a beer, based on that recipe, that would be simply amazing. Alas, as I said, it's an extract brewery. So they might be able to make a really good beer if they get really good extract.
Service was prompt, friendly, helpful.
They have a little bar food. Prices are variable (more expensive sat, sun and when we feel like it). Prolly par for the course.
1/2's were 4.2 and pints were 7.8 (aus$ resp.). Food was outrageous - 16 aus$? Get out of here!
Overall I'm not really impressed. I think this market is ripe for the right entrepreneur - someone to make the beer and sell it.
03-15-2009 08:45:27 |
More by charlesw
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I tried my hardest to get my co-workers traveling with me to stay at this place but they wouldn't go for it. I will stay next time in Sydney. We stopped in for a few beers and i loved the old world atmosphere of this place. The local feel was great and good beers made it a place i would love to hold a seat at the bar at anytime. I tried the Amber and the Robust Porter both were nice for the syles. It was mid afternoon so not ready for food but i will eat there next time and give another review. All in all a great place with alot of charater. Perfect location for an old beer soul to settle down in Sydney.
08-29-2008 14:56:43 |
More by hurleymanvw
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Visted on a rainy, humid Friday afternoon that extended into early evening. Busy enough to ensure that no seats were available but still pretty quick to get a drink.
I started with a pint of the Quayle Ale which was pretty refreshing. The stand out was easily the Nelsons Blood followed by Victory Bitter.
Didn't need to ask the bartenders about the various beers as they have chalkboards with decent descriptions above the bar.
Had 6 of their own beers on tap as well as both Coopers Sparkling & Pale. Also had Guiness & Chimay White as a guest tap. Most people seemed to be drinking LN beers but there were a few suits drinking Corona & Peroni...
The only complaint I have is that there was a table "reserved" in the corner. Since when can you reserve tables in a pub??? Added to this was the fact that it was staff who had just knocked off or having a break that were sitting there. I'd stop that sort of thing if I was the manager, particularly on a fairly busy Friday night.
01-19-2008 02:04:09 |
More by brendan13
United Kingdom (England)
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
My favourite place when visiting Sydney is the Lord Nelson Hotel.
A cosy bar downstairs with the brewing equipment visible in the back room. Uptairs holds a few rooms for accomodation, which are quite comfortable, even if they don't all have ensuite facilities.
Last time I was there, they had six of their own beers on sale, unfortunately, not on hand pump, but all very tasty, if a bit gassy for me. My favourite was the Three Sheets, an "Australian Pale Ale", very remininiscent of American Pale ales, being superbly hoppy. Second favourite for me was their variation of an English Porter.
Food is not a big thing here, though you can get pie, mushy peas and mash, which is quite tasty, if you like that sort of thing.
(Visited December 2007)
01-03-2008 11:30:25 |
More by johndawsonaustin
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Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel in Sydney, Australia