The Australian Hotel The Rocks

Rebecca Varidel
6th Jun 2015

Locals young and old, tourists from all over the world, flock to the Australian in The Rocks, a heritage hotel that's recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. This is a marvellous corner pub with two levels of inside drinking and dining, and tables spilling out onto Cumberland Street.

There's many a pub now that gives a nod to craft beer, yet the Australian Hotel does more than that. There are over 140 Australian craft beers on offer. From New South Wales alone, 4 Pines, Balmain Brewing, Endeavour, Hahn, Happy Goblin, Little Brewing Co. Lord Nelson, Murray's, New Englander, Pigs Fly, Riverside Brewery, Six Strings, Stone & Wood, Tooheys, Wayward, Wilde and Young Henrys, are all represented. Victoria also puts on a big show with Bridge Road, Cricketers Arms, Fosters, Hawthorn, Hargreaves Hill, Holgate, Kooinda Brewery, Matilda Bay, Mountain Goat, Prickly Moses, Quiet Deeds, Red Duck, Red Hill, Two Birds and White Rabbit. Of course the acclaimed Feral Brewing from Western Australia, Botis, Golden Ace, Hopfen Fahrt, Hop Hog, White Ale, Smoked Porter, Sly Fox, is on the list. South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland are not forgotten. Nor are the ciders from Apple Thief to Pressman's. Better still, is that the pub staff are both knowledgeable and passionate about them. The Australian Hotel takes it one step further, with a food and beer matching menu.

Pizzas rule here and there is a beer match to go with each topping, and they have a decidedly Australian feel, from Pepper Kangaroo (recommended match McLaren Vale Ale) and the - half emu and half pepper kangaroo Coat Of Arms (recommended match Little Creatures Pale Ale) to the crispy bacon, roasted tomatoes and chunky pineapple Queenslander (recommended match Stone & Wood lager). More creative, and more traditional continue on the second fold, from Roast Peking Duck (recommended match Hawthorn Amber Ale) pizza to Roast Pork Belly (recommended match Murray's Whale Ale), chicken pesto garli olives onion eggplant mozzarella Mediterranean (recommended match Riverside 69 Summer Ale), Tiger Prawn with spinach, slow roast tomato and Yarra Valley goats cheese (recommended match Pigsfly Pilsener) and Margherita (recommended match Scharer's lager). The pizza base is thick and hearty and a terrific mop for beer whatever topping you choose.

The first few of the starters don't list a beer match on the menu, but the helpful crew can give you a tip on what to choose. We went with the hotel team pick with Aussie Potato Skins (three pieces for $12.50) and started with Wicked Elf Pilsener, a Port Macquarie craft brew that imports its hops from the original Czech Republic pilsener region. It was a stunning stand alone pilsener, perhaps the best choice at the pub, and also a great match with our first dish.

Burgers are on everyone's lips these days. Here the option carries on the Aussie theme. The Kangaroo Jack Burger ($24.90) has a tender and moist generous home made pattie, cheddar, beetroot, smokey bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, BBQ sauce and fries. And the beer match? Hazards Ale is recommend and swills down nicely. As any good pub, they also do a Classic Chicken Schnitzel Burger with recommended match Endeavour Vintage Growers Bright Ale.

But to our mind the classic has to be the pub's own heritage Scharer's Bock as a marvellous match with Beef & Bock Pot Pie. As the name suggests, the beef is actually slow cooked in the beer.

After many beers, and pizza and burgers and pie, there was no room for dessert. The Australian menu contribution continues until the end with - you guessed it - Pavlova.

Whether you are a Republican or Monarchist, whatever your Australian political beliefs, what could be more patriotic than downing some schooners of Australian craft beer with a bit of Aussie pub nosh in a traditional and historic setting?

Loading Map....
100 Cumberland Street
The Rocks
+61 2 9247 2229

Mon – Sun 10.30am – midnight