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Latest Beer & Cider News

Beer Collective I: West is Best

Beer Collective I.

Did somebody say beer club? Not exactly, but you’d be close.

Beer Collective is going to be a conversational, sit down for complete beer nuts and enthusiasts alike. In the Oak Barrel’s Sydney CBD Cellar Room, we’re going to drink and chat about what’s new and interesting in the country and around the world.

We’re planning to host a Beer Collective get together every few months. Each time we’ll have a different focus, whether it’s a brewery, a brewer, a style or a state. We’re going to play it by ear and by tastebud to enjoy the latest and greatest in craft beer trends and break-outs.

The first Collective tasting kicks off with a look at Western Australia. Thanks to an upcoming trip out west, I’ll be able to bring back some brews that we haven’t seen on the east coast, from breweries you may not have even heard of.

Forget Feral, forget Little Creatures, we’re going look at the really little guys such as Innate, Rocky Ridge and Otherside as well as sampling some of their brews (which aren’t available in NSW yet).

Join us for the very first Beer Collective meeting Wednesday 30 May. It’s going to be very casual and intimate (I can only carry so much beer back with me), but one for beer nerds to flex their tasting notes.

Each Beer Collective will have a slightly different ticket price to cover the cost of the beers and nibbles – we’ve managed to keep this one down to $15 for members and $25 for guests.

WHAT: Beer Collective I: West is Best 
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney 2000
WHEN: Wednesday May 30th, 6.15pm for 6.30pm start.
PRICE: Members $15 / Guest $25

Posted: 15/03/2018
New Zealand is back!


Anyone who's been in store recently would've noticed the New Zealand section looking a little bit empty but thankfully that's no longer the case. In the last two weeks we've seen fresh Kereru, Epic8 Wired and Garage Project rock up. Lots of old favourites are back, particularly from Garage Project. We'll hopefully see a fairly steady supply of New Zealand beers for the rest of the year. 

I'm also excited to announce our first Beer Collective event. I've been mulling over the idea for awhile and have finally pulled the trigger so we have a date and a theme. Details are below. 

Dont forget, tickets are now available for our annual Craft Beer & Cider Fair. I've been chatting with a few breweries, so exciting things ahead. 

As usual, we've got the New Beer List or you can hit the button below. I'll be away for the next three weeks drinking good beer elsewhere. If anyone needs anything, feel free to hit up the rest of the OB team. They love talking about Galaxy hops!


Posted: 14/03/2018
Sydney Craft Beer and Cider Fair 2018


It's that time of year again where we announce ticket sales open for our seventh Sydney Craft Beer & Cider Fair. This year we're hosting two sessions on Saturday 30th June 2018. Tickets are available through the Oak Barrel website on our TICKET PAGE or via the image below. As usual, we'll have a range of brewers and breweries from around Australia and the world. Everyone is asked to bring something new or unusual to satisfy your curiosity. It's also a good chance to come and have a chit chat with the men and women who bring you some of the most delicious beer in the industry. 

In next weeks email, keep an eye out for a few more event announcements - we'll have a few smaller events in the lead up to the Fair. And now, I know the product below isn't beer but it comes from the same guys who make one of the country's (and the stores) most popular stouts. Big Shed's Golden Stout Time Stout was a GABS beer that has now been made time and time again due to its popularity. The brewers decided to try something a little different just before Christmas and it was such a success, they've released a second batch which now proudly sits on our vodka shelf - that's right, vodka. 

Big Shed Brewing Golden Stout Time Vodka 40% 700ml

Famous for their Golden Stout Time Stout, the brewers decided to try and get all those delicious caramel, honeycomb and nutty flavours into  vodka. And with the help of Never Never Distillery, they did! This is their second batch. They don't disclose exactly how they've done it, but do mention using the beer as a base to make sure all those amazing flavours get transferred accross. 

I highly recommend trying a Espresso Martini using Big Shed vodka. 

This week, the NEW BEERS list will be updated on Friday as I'm waiting on some new Wayward stock to turn up. If you can't wait that long, hit the button below!


Posted: 08/03/2018
Sydney Craft Beer and Cider Fair 2018


The Oak Barrel will be hosting the Seventh annual Sydney Craft Beer and Cider Fair on Saturday June 30, 2018. This is an indoor event showcasing the very best of Australian and International craft beer and cider.

This year’s fair will host 22 stallholders and each will showcase a variety of labels. There will be over 120 craft beers and ciders available to sample, offering you the chance to taste and connect with the brewers, brand ambassadors and other passionate folks alike.

As always, there will be an emphasis on local craft producers. There has been a revolution in local craft production over the last few years and we aim to highlight the great stuff being achieved in our own backyard. As always I will be pushing each  stall holder to have something new or something brewed just for our Fair.

The last 6 years we have sold out well in advance so to avoid disappointment we suggest purchasing your tickets early.

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” – Dave Berry


Date: Saturday 30th June 2018

Session Times :

Session 1 – 12pm to 3pm

Session 2 – 4pm to 7pm

Tickets :
Advance – $45 members or $55 non members
(The ticket price will include a $10 food voucher to be spent at the OB Canteen on the day.)

To Purchase  ONLINE CLICK HERE   or  (02) 9264 3022  

Location:  The Oak Barrel , 152 Elizabeth St , Sydney(CBD)

Licensed Event: Must be over 18 years – Responsible Service of Alcohol applies at all times

Posted: 02/03/2018
New beers come Stomping in and fresh kegs!


This week sees an ecclectic mix of beers on the shelves as well FRESHHHHHH kegs on the taps. Check out our Growler Page for details. 

We welcome Stomping Ground Brewing Co. from Collingwood, Victoria to the store. They've only been around a few short years and have finally gotten their packaged product to NSW. Below we have two of their cans currently available and I've been assured more are on the way!





Stomping Ground Gipps St. Pale Ale 5.2% 355ml

An American-style Pale Ale brewed with Simcoe, Cascade and Mosaic hops. A bright fresh, tropical nose with hints of pine and tangerine. 

Brewery notes: Named after the street we call home, this gold medal winner is full of tropical fruit American hop character and serious personality. 




Stomping Ground PRIDElweiss Wheat Ale 4.4% 355ml

An American wheat ale brewed with peaches. 

Brewery notes: Midsumma Festival is Victoria's premier queer arts and cultural festival and takes place for three weeks from mid January each year. To celebrate this, we release PRIDElweiss to coincide with the festival and raise funds for Midsumma Futures, a year-long mentoring program for early-career artists and culture-makers from the LGBTQIA+ community.

A friendly reminder that you can Click & Collect for your beers and ciders - save you the hassle of missing out on our limited release stuff. If you need any help with logging in or life in general, feel free to give us a buzz :)


Posted: 01/03/2018
New Farm-to-Table Beers


The Almanacs have finally landed! We have all new stock in (unfortunately in limited amounts), plus some old favourties. 

Almanac Beer Co. is a micro brewery out of California that was founded in 2010. They have a huge focus on farm-to-table brews and are at the forefront of New World sours. 

Also, keep an eye out for upcoming beer events, namely our annual Craft Beer & Cider Fair and something brand new: Beer Collective. More info will be released in the coming weeks. 



Almanac Beer Co. Bourbon Barrel Peche 7.3% 375ml

Sour blonde ale aged in bourbon barrels with peaches. 

Note from the brewery: Our newest release, Bourbon Barrel Pêche, took inspiration from an Almanac classic: Brandy Barrel Pêche. This year’s version swapped brandy barrels for Breckingridge and Four Roses bourbon barrels. We loaded our mixed fermentation farmhouse ale with three pounds per gallon of Blossom Bluff Orchard’s White Snow and Fay Elberta peaches. The macerated yellow and white peaches were aged in used bourbon barrels with our house sour culture until the beer was laced with notes of sweet vanilla and rich bourbon on the finish. Pair with glazed pork chops, fried chicken and Grandma’s peach pie.



Almanac Beer Co. Tropical Galaxy 6.8% 375ml

Dry-hopped farmhouse ale aged in oak barrels with mango, lime and coconut. 

Note from the brewery: Tropical Galaxy is a cosmic elixir of lush equatorial flavors. We blended mangoes, lime and coconut together in oak foedres with our farmhouse-brett base beer to create a far out and funky tropical treat. We finished it with a generous dry-hopping of Australian Galaxy Hops, contributing aromas of passionfruit and citrus. Enjoy on your next intergalactic odyssey with fresh crab, jerk chicken or scallop ceviche.



Almanac Beer Co. Splendid Population 8.8% 375ml

Imperial sour blonde ale aged in wine barrels with muscat grapes, peaches, nectarines and vanilla beans. 

Note from the brewery: Splendid Population is our ode to the trailblazing spirit of the Golden State. The term was coined by Mark Twain in the late 1800s while traveling through California. Twain viewed the pioneers’ bold endeavors as, “magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness.” We created this adventurous beer-wine hybrid in that same intrepid spirit. Splendid Population is blended from select barrels of imperial sour blonde ale aged with muscat grapes, nectarines, peaches, and vanilla beans. Part wine, part beer and part autumn harvest—this brew is 100% California. Pair with roasted chicken dishes, fresh abalone, or peach ice cream.

You can check out the rest of the Almanac Beer Co. Range HERE or you can check out all the NEW STUFF OR! Hit the button below. 


Posted: 22/02/2018
Old favourites are back!


This week sees the return of a lot of old favourites to the shelves, some after a loooong absence, others not so much. Don't get me wrong, there are some great new brews in too!



Dugges Mango Mango Mango Sour 4.5% 330ml

It might sound like an echo, but it’s not. This collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal explores the true depth of Mango flavor. Three layers of taste and aroma from fruit and hops. Go Mango!

We haven't seen Dugges coming into Australia on a regualar basis for a few years but hopefully that's all about to change with Acid Brewing Co. taking over distribution. We currently have three different brews in store and can be found HERE.


Six String Double Dark Red IPA 10% 375ml

With double the malt and triple the hops this cuddly bear is an amped up version of our LEGENDARY dark red IPA. The use of caramel and chocolate malts give this beer a dark velvety red colour. Hops dominate with a resiny, citrus smell from the late hopping. Don't be an octopus, try this awesome beer!

We saw this seasonal from Six Strings last year and it did not last long, partly because I'm a sucker for reds and this is a great example. 

Sailors Grave Peach Melba Pavlova Cream Sour 4.8% 355ml

Just a milk cream sour brewed with peaches, raspberries, vanilla & lactose in honour of two summer desserts that are in honour of two cultural icons. Light as a billowy cloud - an all singing, all dancing Christmas beer.

Chris released this just before Christmas, and it was such a success that he brewed a second batch. Rumour has it this is slightly different in that he uses white peaches instead of your regular ones. Do yourself a favour, if you haven't tried this and you can only buy one beer this week (unlikely but ok...), get this one. Seriously. 


Quiet Deeds Juice Train New England IPA 6.5% 330ml

Our Seasonal New England IPA is a beer with a soft and silky mouthfeel that is purposely hazy from the use of oats. It's low in bitterness but packed full of hops, in fact more hops that we've ever used before, all of which were added in the whirlpool and during fermentation. The result is a beer that is super juicy and full of tropical flavours.

This little guy is true to its name in every way. It quietly slipped through into the shop with little fanfare. It quietly sold out but one for one can which I tried. Holy moly, what a ripper. Definitely a NEIPA to try!

 Akasha's Korden D DIPA arrives in store today (Thursday) and for the first time in cans. As usual, it will be pretty limited and it will be up online as soon as I can manage. I would highly recommend to anyone wishing to get their hands on some to 'Click and Collect'. It will appear in our NEW BEERS LIST or you can hit the button below. 


Posted: 15/02/2018
New Beers from the US, plus Clare Valley


This week sees the introduction of Clare Valley Brewing Co (CVBC) to the store as well as the first (of many I'm sure) San Diego brewed Mikkeller, Marin Brewing Co & Drake's Brewing Co. 

Normally when you think of the Clare Valley in SA you think of grapes, wine making and riesling. CVBC is a refreshing change, providing beers to Clare Valley and beyond since 2014. 



Clare Valley Brewing Co. Double IPA 8.1% 500ml

West Coast style Double IPA, brewed with Columbus, Chinook, Centennial & Simcoe hops.

The DIPA is one of their seasonal releases so get in while you can! Lots of tropical hops swirl around a nice piney, resinous core. 





Clare Valley Brewing Co. Red Ale 5.2% 330ml

A carefully selected combination of malts including Golden Promise, Munich and Caramalt (to name a few) combine to create a complex malt flavour and the characteristic red hue of this flagship beer. US hops Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial and Chinook are added throughout the process adding an earthy spiciness to the aroma and flavour.


Mikkeller San Diego, Drake's & Marin have come off a recent US shipment and they're looking good! Mikkeller hasn't deviated too much from his usual beer aesthetic, while Marin and Drake's are showing some big stouts and porters. 




Mikkeller Windy Hill NEIPA 7% 473ml

Mikkeller hasn't given much info on the NEIPA so it'll be interesting to see if he's taken on a solid US influence. 





Mikkeller Fruit Face Berliner Weisse 4% 473ml

A seasonal US release made with Cranberries, Rhubarb and Orange. 




Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout 9% 655ml

A big, malty beast of a beer that exemplifies the way we roll here at Drake’s. Two-row malt is blended with Chocolate malt, roasted barley and dark Crystal malts to make up the grist. Only one hop addition, Columbus, is added for bittering, allowing the abundance of malt in this beer to shine through. Drakonic is smooth and dense with flavors of licorice, coffee and chocolate and a slightly dry finish. Enjoy.





Marin San Quentin's Breakout Stout 7% 655ml

The Ultimate Stout, this ale is big, rich and malty. Our Stout has a creamy texture unsurpassed by any of our other ales. Black in color, with thick, long-lasting tan head. It’s dark color and deep-roasted flavor comes from the use of roasted and black barleys. 

As usual, we have many more new beers that can be found on the NEW BEER LIST or hit the button below!


Posted: 08/02/2018
O Canada!


I'm sure there are a few of you out there that have been following the below beer quite closely since it was announced that it'd be making its first appearance in Australia. 

In 1997, two friends quit their jobs, took out loans and started a brewery. At first they brewed average beer, but then they stopped, took stock and started creating beer they wanted to drink and Founders Brewing Co. was born. 


Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) 11.7%

After stumbling across some ex-bourbon barrels that had once housed delicious maple syrup, the brewers decided to put some of their imperialised Breakfast Stout (the same that they use for KBS) in and, the rest, they say, is history. 

Roasted coffee and rich chocolate from the base imperial stout meld with the sweet flavours of the maple syrup. 

Unfortunately, due to the limited quantity that we recieved, the CBS will be one per customer. It will be available to purchase online, either for delivery or click & collect, or you can pop in and see me in person! 

We also have plenty of new beers that came in this week: a new Mango Milkshake IPA from Green Beacon, a couple of newbies from Last Rites, some new Russian beers and the new Summer Farmhouse from Sailors Grave. We also have a plethora of tasting events coming up. See below:

Upcoming Craft Beer Tastings

Friday 2nd Feb FREE at the Front Counter - Brewski from Sweden

Thursday 8th Feb FREE at the Front Counter - Exit Brewing from VIC

Friday 9th Feb FREE at the Front Counter - Green Beacon Brewing from QLD

Wednesday 28th Feb Tickets Available HERESour Beer Tasting featuring Almanac

Friday 2nd March FREE at the Front Counter - Lionel from Square Keg (Fixation, New Belgium, Treehouse Cider)

As usual, you can check out the New Beer List or hit the button below for all new craft beer and cider. 


Posted: 01/02/2018
A Fruit Salad of Beers


We've seen a fruit salad's worth of beers come through the store in the last couple of weeks. Some excellent fruit Berliner Weisses from Mikkeller were on the menu last week. I've picked some of my favourites to showcase this week. They're going to be perfect for this weekend's festivities. 




Mountain Goat Rare Breed Lime Crisis Double IPA 8.2% 640ml

Lime Crisis kicks off our 2018 Rare Breed season with plenty of ACTION. We're levelling up our Double IPA offerings with crushed Persian Black Limes, Himalayan rock salt and tank-busting quantities of Citra, Centennial, Wakatu and Taiheke hops. This is one beer that will have you ready to RELOAD. 

I know there were probably some of you out there wondering on what direction Mountain Goat might take this year, particularly with their Rare Breed series. But you need not worry, this is a cracker and one that's not likely to disappoint. We have a fairly limited quantity, so get in quick. 




Beerfarm The Pineapple Berliner Weisse 4.2% 500ml

Our Berliner Weisse brewed with a truckload of Pineapple. The beer is pungent with tropical & lemony fruit characters, has a lovely clean refreshing acidity and finishes with a big punch of pineapple on the palate.

One of the best labels to pass through the store in recent times. Again, limited quantities so get in quick! 


Woolshed Utopia Rude Ruby 8.1% 375ml

Sassy, sophisticated and blissfully refreshing. Rude Ruby is a cheeky blend of fresh grapes and ruby grapefruit from the Riverland region. Fruity and sweet with just a touch of tart. 

Ok, ok, it's not technically a beer or a cider but damn, does it have a lot packed in. I'll admit I was a little sceptical but I really did like Woolshed's Hard Lemonade (which is the same ABV). I was not disappointed! The high alcohol goes completely unnoticed (maybe dangerously so) while the fruits come through with a balanced sweetness and tartness and some healthy fizz. It's not going to be for everyone but would recommend giving it ago. 




Pikes Kriek 6.5% 2016 330ml

Pikes 2016 Kriek - The third vintage of our seductive sour ale, fermented with fresh Adelaide Hills cherries and aged for 12 months in Pikes Wines' French oak barrels.  

A cheeky sample made it across my desk last Friday and it was exactly what I needed on a warm evening. Fresh, dry, with a nice cherry punch. A very lush example of a Lambic style beer. 

We'll have a bunch of fresh, fruity beers coming through so as usual, you can check out the NEW STUFF list or hit the button below. 

A reminder that we'll be shut for Australia Day but will be back on board on Saturday - Make sure you drink good beer (responsibly)!!


Posted: 24/01/2018