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Mr. Selfish and I are so glad to once again be in a country with a brew pub culture. At first, we were a bit skeptical as to the microbreweries in Sydney but were quickly won over by two brew pubs – 4 Pines and the Lord Nelson Pub.

The 4 Pines in Manly

During our first nine days in Sydney, we stayed at my cousin’s apartment in Manly. In order to get to Manly from Sydney city center, you have to take the Manly ferry, which takes around 30 minutes and costs $5.80 per single trip. Although taking an hour trip and paying $11.60 to go to a brew pub seems a bit much, 4 Pines (29/43-45 E Esplanade, Manly) is worth the trip, especially on a day with a beautiful sunset.

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Mr. Selfish and I didn’t discover the 4 Pines until our last few days in Manly but during those last few days, we went there three times. We even signed up for their Beer Club (via the 4 Pines website), which I highly recommend doing for their great deals. During their beer parties, members of the Beer Club pay only $5 for a pint, as opposed to $9.50.

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Mr. Selfish and I tried quite a few beers at the 4 Pines, including the Kolsch, pale ale, cider, stout, oatmeal porter, amber mosaic, and the Old Ranga (English-style hand pulled beer). We enjoyed the oatmeal porter and the amber mosaic the most since we found the flavors to be the most complex out of all the beers we sampled. We also tried the ribs and chips, which were quite plentiful and tasty and cost only $5 for Beer Club members.

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The ambiance at the 4 Pines is quite nice and laid back. It is right on Manly beach, and due to the proximity from the city, it is mostly a locals hangout. Moreover, the beers, particularly the oatmeal porter and the amber mosaic, were refreshingly complex (after drinking bland beer in Asia for so long). Plus, you can’t beat the Beer Club deals.

Lord Nelson Brewery in the Rocks

Mr. Selfish and I also enjoyed some pints at the Lord Nelson Brewery (19 Kent St., The Rocks). While the 4 Pines is a modern pub, the Lord Nelson is more like a traditional English style pub.

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We sampled pints ($9.50 each) of the 3 Sheets, the oatmeal porter, and the stout. Although the 3 Sheets is a lager, it had a very nice flavor. I found the oatmeal porter, which is the most chocolate beer I’ve ever had, to be quite tasty. As for food, we tried the beef Aussie pie with mash and peas, which is only $7 on Monday nights. The pie had a good beef and peppery flavor. The fish and chips and the chicken wings are also quite well-done.

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The ambiance at Lord Nelson is quite different from the 4 Pines since it is right in the touristy district of Sydney. However, we found the mixed crowd to be quite friendly and cheerful as well.

All in all, Mr. Selfish and I preferred the 4 Pines as a brew pub. We enjoyed the vast selection of beers and the ambiance more. Finally, if you sign up for the Beer Club, you can’t beat the amazing deals!