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Although the beach has never done any harm to beer-drinking culture, Manly's 4 Pines Brewery is earning fans for a whole new reason. Push aside visions of stubbies, sand and wife beaters and turn your mind to relaxed furnishings, earthy tones and a sense of effortless cool. This little spot, which has carved out a nook opposite Manly Wharf is like the sax player of the brewery world – jazzy and immediately likeable. Decked out in beige banquettes, tall tables with heavy wooden stools, chalkboards, a breezy terrace and a micro brewery behind a glass wall, it makes for a great spot to grab a pint and bite to eat. But be prepared, the locals are onto it so snagging a table could take time.
Unsurprisingly, the main attraction at 4 Pines is the beer which is brewed on-site. You can watch the vats or read about the process on the walls, but don't spend too much time enlightening your mind because the fun is in the eating and drinking. Make your beverage selection first. This shouldn't be too difficult, 4 Pines brews four of its own, so pick the one that speaks to your tastebuds and off you go. If decision making is not your strong point, skip it altogether and try a sample board for a taste of all four. Then focus your attention on the menu. There are two ways to enjoy the food: by sharing some smaller dishes (like arancini balls or calamari) or using them as an introduction to more robust mains. Big appetites should definitely cast an eye over beer favourites like burgers, pot pies and steaming bowls of mussels. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, the familiar manner of the service and don't forget to pick up a six pack before you head out the door.