The Bands That Made The Beer: Rusty Penny Brewing

In a brand new series, we’ll be taking a dive into local independent breweries and doing our best impression of being a Cicerone, by matching the brewery’s beers with a band. We’ll be taste testing the best a brewery has to offer and teaming tipples with tracks, all to make that drinking experience even more special.

First on our list is Rusty Penny Brewing, a local Penrith success story years in the making.

Starting out as a home brew kit store in 2014, owners Matt and Mark realised their dream of opening a brewery in 2018 with Rusty Penny Brewing. After a couple of strong years with reasonable growth (all things COVID considered), the brewery opened the doors to their new, upgraded and fancy premises in March 2022, just a stones throw from the Penrith CBD. Now with the capacity to brew 24 different beers, ciders and seltzers on site, things are looking very promising for Rusty Penny as they look to take Western Sydney and the local independent brewing scene by storm.

We sat down with owner and licensee Mark to sample few of Rusty Penny’s stand out beers and decide what bands match best with the drinking experience.

Penrith Lager

Alcohol content: 4.5%
Tasting notes: A beer for the hot Western Sydney summer. Refreshing and light that goes down well after a long hot day in the sun or at work. An easy drinking, crisp lager brewed with the palest of Australian artesian malts and European hops, the Penrith Lager is incredibly sessionable, light on the palate and for those who love beer in the same realm as Great Northern Super Crisp.

Rusty Penny recommends teaming it with: INXS – “Don’t Change” and Weezer – “Buddy Holly”
The AU Review recommends: TISM – “Greg! The Stop Sign” and The Chats – “Struck By Lightning”

The Nepean

Alcohol content: 4.5%
Tasting notes: ‘The Beer of Penrith’, The Nepean is a gateway pale ale into craft beer for anyone looking to branch out their tastes. Brewed with all natively sourced ingredients, this pale ale is for you if you’re looking for something different and reliable enough that you’ll be willing to come back to it time and time again fully well knowing it will always hit the spot. Like an old friend you haven’t seen in forever, The Nepean is nostalgia wrapped in a sweet malt and medium hopped blanket.

Rusty Penny recommends teaming it with: LCD Soundsystem – “Home” and Bruce Springsteen – “Badlands”
The AU Review recommends: Ball Park Music – “Stars in My Eyes” and Royel Otis – “Oysters in My Pocket”

Pale James

Alcohol content: 5.4%
Tasting notes: A robust yet balanced pale ale not dissimilar in essence and flavour to Sierra Nevada’s pale ale, the Pale James has all the flavour of an American pale ale with the charm of a Western Sydney legend. With plenty of citrus notes and good quality body, the Pale James is the flagship beer of Rusty Penny Brewing and one you’re bound to love.

Rusty Penny recommends teaming it with: Rod Stewart – “Maggie May” and Bloc Party – “Banquet”
The AU Review recommends: Camp Cope – “Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams” and WAAX – “Most Hated Girl”

High Street Haze

Alcohol content: 6.5%
Tasting notes: Rusty Penny’s take on everyone’s new favourite style of beer, a Hazy Pale Ale. With plenty of citrus, melon and stone fruit flavours, the High Street Haze is like a freshly squeezed breakfast juice that hits the spot before heading back into the office after a fantastic weekend (we don’t condone drinking in the morning fwiw).

Rusty Penny recommends teaming it with: Jack Johnson – “Mudfootball” and Dolly Parton – “Baby I’m Burnin'”
The AU Review recommends: Joy Crooks – “When You Were Mine” and Cosmo’s Midnight – “Can’t Do Without (My Baby)”

Red Beard Irish Ale

Alcohol content: 4.5%
Tasting notes: A low bitter red ale filled with toffee and dark fruit flavours, there is a sweet biscuit backbone to the beer that makes it heavier bodied while also going down incredibly smooth. The Red Beard Irish Ale is the type of beer you’d want to buy for you and a long lost friend as you catch up post pandemic.

Rusty Penny recommends teaming it with: U2 – “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and Pulp – “Common People”
The AU Review recommends: Fontaines D.C – “I Love You” and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – “The Dripping Tap”

Nostalgia Stout

Alcohol content: 5.8%
Tasting notes: The oldest in the Rusty Penny collection, this beer is built for coffee and chocolate lovers alike. Not heavy like a Guinness, the Nostalgia Stout is much more comparable to the White Rabbit Dark Ale and just as smooth. A beer built on a steady mix of English hops that is balanced from first sip to last drop, it is best enjoyed during a pensive night of reflection and deep thinking.

Rusty Penny recommends teaming it with: The National – “Graceless” and Simon & Garfunkel – “Sounds of Silence”
The AU Review recommends: Ruby Gill – “Champion Ruby” and Annie Hamilton – “Night Off”

Now at their new location, there are plenty of big moves being made by Rusty Penny in the Western Sydney beer scene. With plans to drop a small batch series of different hopped beers over the coming months, make sure you put the effort in to head out to the Golden West and give Rusty Penny Brewing a whirl.

You can visit Rusty Penny Brewing at 4/137 Coreen Avenue, Penrith – find out more through their website, Facebook or Instagram.