Travel along King Street past the Union Hotel and you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a corner pub like about a thousand others. But that'd be a mistake. Because this lovely old art deco boozer is doing something a bit different. And if you love the amber fluid, then you need to get in on the action.
So what's all the fuss about? How about twenty taps of Australian craft beer. The roster of tapped brews changes regularly, but expect the line-up to feature Newtown's own Young Henry's, Murray's from Port Stephens and ales from Stone and Wood, The Rocks Brewing Co and Mountain Goat. It's all a bit overwhelming at first. Best to peruse the chalkboard up above the bar where the currently tapped beers are written with their alcoholic content and prices. Still stumped? Let the friendly staff know and they'll guide you through. They'll even let you have a taste before you outlay enough for a full glass. Prices are steeper than your local; but they're not out of control either.
In addition to the ale action, there's a cider on tap and a wine list which isn't bad. They'll also do you a simple mix should you wish, but really, why would you bother? If you want great cocktails, The Moose, Bloodwood and Bar Racuda are all a short walk up the track.
Inside, the Union's got lovely old interiors, and thankfully, has managed to avoid the shiny chrome makeover which has spoilt many Sydney pubs. Tables and chairs up front allow you to look through the groovy glass windows out to the ever-lively parade of King Street, while pool tables and the jukebox provide the fun to accompany your beer drinking. Out back is the courtyard and bistro which dishes out surprisingly tasty eats, like burgers, steaks and pasta.
It's all a recipe for some rip-roaring good fun. The clientele includes just about every demographic you can imagine, despite the fact that this a beer nerds' paradise. So if you find yourself thirsty in Newtown, get on down to the Union. Because life is too short to drink bad beer.