About balmain

Balmain captures the hearts, minds and taste-buds of its many visitors every year, and no-one is as proud as a Balmain local.

Balmain is a beautiful, almost waterbound peninsula on the very inner harbour area of Sydney. It is full of charm and character with its village feel, historic old laneways and streets ripe for exploring, and its many heritage listed terrace houses and pubs. Balmain also boasts one of the most vibrant cafe and restaurant scenes in Sydney.

William Balmain was born in Scotland in 1762 and entered the Royal Navy at the age of eighteen. In 1786 he was commissioned assistant surgeon to the Botany Bay settlement, and so he sailed with the First Fleet on the convict transport ship ‘Alexander’. Thanks to his excellent services to the colony, which included removing a spear from Governor Phillip’s shoulder, Balmain became Principal Surgeon in 1796, and received significant land grants. One of those grants was the area now known as Balmain and Rozelle.

Balmain’s tough working class heritage is second to none in Australia. By 1854 the neighbourhood was known as the toughest in Sydney, and the historic Balmain Watch House was built and became the busiest police lock-up in Sydney. The industrialisation really began from 1855 with the opening of Sydney’s largest dry dock, the Mort's Dock and Engineering Company. Industries that soon followed included ship building, boiler making, metal foundries, coal mines and power stations. It was in Balmain in 1891 that the Labor Party was formed and first met, and it was ex-NSW Premier Neville Wran who famously coined the phrase “Balmain Boys Don’t Cry”.

Balmain is the cultural centre for beer in Australia, boasting the most pubs per capita in Australia, a record held since the mid 1800’s. In 1891 Balmain’s pubs numbered 42, representing one pub for every 559 people. These days there are about 20 pubs, meaning that the pub crawls need to cut short...

Whats brewing

Upcoming tastings

Central Coast Craft Beer and Cider Festival 2016 - at the Kincumber Hotel this Sunday, 19 June from 11.00am. Come along and sample some of the 150 brews, including our own.

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