Brewers tap trend for natural beer

ONCE a town dedicated to drinking Hunter Old, Newcastle is gulping down craft beer with gusto.

The city leads the country with today’s  opening of The Squire’s Maiden at Honeysuckle, the first of James Squire’s new  ‘‘brew bars’’.

The opening is another sign the city is increasingly embracing the craft beer trend, shown by the runaway success of Newcastle’s Craft Beer Week which marked its second anniversary last month. The ‘‘brew bar’’ also joins pubs across town embracing the craft beer trend – arguably led by Wickham’s The Albion Hotel and The Burwood Inn, Merewether – as well as a host of brewers including Murray’s Craft Brewing Co and Potters resort at Pokolbin.

Kelly Phillips and brother Damian O’Reilly are at the helm of The Squire’s Maiden. Mr O’Reilly previously owned Isobar, the Sydney Junction at Hamilton, Merewether’s Mary Ellen and Wallsend’s Fire Station.

‘‘We are proud and excited to bring something a little different to Newcastle,’’ Mr O’Reilly said.

 ‘‘I’m sure Novocastrians will love The Squire’s Maiden for its eccentric atmosphere, creative food menu and unique setting.’’

The bespoke venue – which will carry the full range of James Squire craft beers and seasonal brews on tap along with seasonal food menu – is the latest addition to the Honeysuckle drinking and dining precinct after the opening of The Landing Bar & Kitchen  in October at the former Isobar site.

Millionaire cosmetic surgeon Jerry Schwartz is also slated to bring his Schwartz Brewing operation to Newcastle.

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