A key place in Sydney's history
Inspired by its history as one of Sydney's first microbreweries located right in the heart of Darling Harbour, the Pumphouse consistently stocks an evolving and diverse beer selection tailored to quench the thirst of beer lovers and novices alike. We offer a range of over 100 different craft and premium brews alongside specialty beers unique to Pumphouse, including our very own renowned signature, the Thunderbolt Strong Ale. As a leading beer bar in Sydney, the Pumphouse is playing a vital role in Sydney’s craft beer movement, what many people don’t know is that the Pumphouse has a rich history cemented in Sydney beer culture that began almost 40 years ago.
As the name suggests, Pumphouse was originally designed and built as a pumping station in 1890 for the Sydney & Suburban Hydraulic Power Company, before electricity provided most of our power needs. Water was pumped from Sydney’s water supply to the pumping station and stored in a large water tank (which can still be seen in the historic bar) the water was then pumped across the city to various destinations including the grand Queen Victoria Building and inner city banks, which utilised the water under pressure as a source of power.
Gradually, once the use of electric power took over, the historic building was saved from demolition by the Heritage Council of NSW and in 1975 was restored to become the Pumphouse Brewery and Tavern. The site was owned and operated by the Tank Stream Brewing Company selling boutique beer at the tavern made by the company at their own Sydney brewery.
As a Tavern, the Pumphouse was key to the development of cosmopolitan Sydney’s appreciation of the different tastes offered by beer – the original brewers were dedicated to their craft and to providing punters with rich and original flavours. Today the Pumphouse honours that tradition by driving Sydney’s craft beer revival stocking over 60 local and international craft beers and a rich selection of house brew beers.
The original Thunderbolt Strong Ale, a feature of the old Pumphouse Brewery and Tavern, still continues to be brewed to its original recipe exclusively for Pumphouse. With an intense caramel malt aroma, the signature Pumphouse beer is a deep amber colour and showcases a fine balance between floral hop and malty molasses flavours. The higher range ABV produces a pleasantly warming mouth feel and a long sweet finish.