Small, craft-beer bar Bitter Phew joins the two-speed Oxford St scene

May 3, 2014 at 2:51 am
bitter phew


For the love of beer, it’s been far too long since a creative and crafty beer enthusiast opened up shop in Sydney! Enter Aaron Edwards, one of four co-owners of Bitter Phew, an upstairs Darlinghurst bar with a grungy, dimly lit stairwell entrance that opens up to some small-bar goodness above.

Dinghy and dark, the outdoor façade smoothly translates to its rustic core, where Edwards’ professional skills as an interior designer were hard at work. The roof was ripped out leaving bare wooden beams that compliment the wooden feature bar sitting triumphantly in the middle of the bar, twelve glistening silver taps the centre piece of the alcohol-framed piece of art.

In one good thing to come from globalisation, the venue has a dozen brews of craft beer and cider on tap from exotic locations, rotating near fortnightly as the taps run dry and new shipments come in from far-flung regions. This shifting menu blends a unique love of international and local drinking with an intelligent business model – you’ll always want to come back to try something you’ve never tried before, like a delightful blueberry-infused draught.

For those wishing to test their alcohol limit, twelve different blends entice the taste buds to go the distance. Bar hopping through the Rocks or along George St’s ageing spine to find a range of brews is no longer necessary!

Edwards credits Copenhagen as the inspiration for the mix of 1920s jazz and blues, courtyard fairy lights and authentic, down-to-earth romance. The bar scene of the Danish capital was the spark for Edwards and his mates to band together and create a small bar reminiscent of the Danish charm.

Relatively new, having only opened its doors in late January, the bar is a welcome addition to the two-speed Oxford St scene. Plans for themed nights are in the works with a steady focus on well-priced craft beer and wine. A monthly artist night will offer up local creatives the chance to show off their talents by having their work plastered over the walls for public scrutiny and/or purchase.

Worth noting in the calendar is the kitchen’s kick off this month, with a light menu of ‘Jamaican soul food’ on the way. In Bitter Phew, bar-goers have a new small bar and craft beer joint to enjoy, in a district of the city which desperately needs something fresh and different.