Freshwater Brewing Co (Freshie) in Brookvale is a community-focused brewery serving crisp lagers along with a fresh summer-inspired menu.

The tap room, which opened in 2022, is spacious and welcoming. There are a few families with young kids when we visit for lunch on a warm summer Saturday. Kids eat free on Sundays and there’s plenty of room for strollers.

The décor is a mix of white with blue and a sandy yellow, like a beach, with lots of foliage. There are surfboards mounted on the wall over a DJ station and gigantic vats at the back mark where the brewing action happens.

We head to the bar and are met with 12 draughts and two side-pour taps with an impressive range of lagers and pilsners.

Founder Johnny Bucknall said he wanted to brew the ‘effortlessly enjoyable and unpretentious beers that he grew up drinking, rather than the hazy pale ales and craft concoctions the beer scene had become renowned for’.

Freshie also has an extensive list of natural wines, craft soft drinks, Hills cider and cocktails -including a spritz on tap.

I go for a pilsner, cool and refreshing on this warm summer day.

The menu has a good variety with vegans and vegetarians well looked after, and a kids menu that features a kids snack plate with hummus, flatbread, fruit and vegetables, as well as the usual options of kids’ chicken strips and fish.

There are handheld and shareable items such as sliders, chips and guacamole, flatbread and fries and elevated two-handed bites such as a wagyu cheeseburger and a fish finger sambo. The surfer’s salad is tempting, but we go for corn chips and a mix of tacos and sliders.

The corn chips come with a house-made tasty charred corn salsa and chunky smashed avocado.

The braised beef tacos, sweet and stick brisket braised in Freshie’s smoked helles lager, served with pickled red onions and slaw, are delicious, the sweetness of the beef perfectly offset by the tangy onions.

Chef Craig Sudell, previously at Manly Skiff Club, says he pickles his own onions a little differently from the usual method. But you’ll have to visit Freshie yourself to find out how!

Freshwater Brewing Co

4 Powells Road, Brookvale

Phone: 0499 207 584