The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre
Hawke’s Brewing Co’s Marrickville HQ is much more than your average craft beer brewery.
On the top floor is the brewery itself, producing up to 1.3 million litres of beer annually. Downstairs is the “leisure centre”, separated into segments that include a front bar, a Chinese restaurant and a pool room devoted to the late former prime minster Bob Hawke, who co-founded the brand with Nathan Lennon and David Gibson before his death in 2019.
Aside from pouring the brand’s core range, the front bar offers a rotation of limited “one-hit wonder” releases: a hoppy sour, an extra special bitter and the brewery’s Legend IPA, released every year in honour of Hawke. A small range of fun Australian wines, cocktails and even shooters, such as the “lamington” featuring 1800 coconut tequila and dark chocolate liqueur, are also available at the bar.
For a feed, put your order in at the in-house Chinese bistro, Lucky Prawn. It’s essentially a mashup of a local RSL and the quintessential ’80s-era Australian-Chinese joint found in regional towns across the country, complete with ornate red carpet, lazy Susan tables and paper menus. Prawn-based dishes (including prawn crackers and steamed dumplings) join other classics such as sizzling beef and black bean, sweet and sour pork, and sang choi bao. For dessert, the deep-fried Viennetta is a must.
The entire venue is a celebration of Hawke’s legacy, and adheres to the retro design trends of his ’80s heyday. Photos of the former PM – and notorious beer-lover – hang from walls throughout the space. The ’80s vibes continue on the mezzanine level dubbed Sanctuary Cove, overlooking the main bar below. In addition to being home to a free-to-play pool table, the warmly lit lounge area is a museum of Hawke’s life, modelled after Hawke’s own pool room at his former Northbridge home.