The Oak Barrel

There's little doubt that Sydney's CBD is blessed with some fine craft beer venues, from underground bars to rooftop gardens, grand old brew pubs and everything in between. But as for good beer bottle stores, there's a bit of a dearth. However, that almost doesn't matter when you have one as good as The Oak Barrel.

The Elizabeth Street store is home to one of the more impressive selections of craft beer to be found anywhere across the city. But that's only half the story. Well, a third of the story to be exact because the Oak Barrel team pride themselves on expertise not only in beer, but wine and spirits - especially whisky. In fact the beer side of the business has been the relative late bloomer, much as it is has been across Sydney in general, but that hasn't stopped them taking to it with gusto.

Their range now boasts more than 800 different beers, featuring independent brewers from across Australia and just about every other beer-producing country of note. Taking in the weird to the wonderful (often in the same bottle) you'll find a bit of everything here, from NSW brewers like Little Brewing, Modus Operandi, and HopDog to interstate names such as Feral, Moon Dog and Two Metre Tall through to international big-names like Stone, To Øl and Rodenbach. And it would appear they haven't any plans to stop; every time you visit the store it seems as though an old shelf has been cleared out - or a new one put in - to help cope with the ever expanding range. They even branched out to draught beer by installing a two tap growler system.

Independent since 1956, The Oak Barrel's reputation is built as much on the quality and knowledge of their products as it is for the sheer breadth of what they stock. If you're after any sort of assurance of that quality, almost every beer, wine and spirit stocked at the Oak Barrel has been tried by the staff before it's put on the shelf to tempt you. As a result, it's well worth asking for a staff recommendation if you're not sure what you're looking for.

It's also worth keeping an eye out for the regular tastings that take place across the range, from the small counter-top variety to professional sit-down affairs in a dedicated tasting room that's surely the envy of every other bottle store in the land. Cavernous and grand, it hosts events ranging from Winemaker's Dinners to mini-festivals. Their annual Whisky Fair is legendary and a guaranteed sell-out, the Sydney Boutique Wine Fair gets people up close and personal with some of Australia's most interesting winemakers while the Sydney Craft Beer and Cider Fair features dozens of local brewers and hundreds of beers. (Pro tip: ask about becoming an Oak Barrel member to get discounts on events, invitations to members-only events and a discount on purchases).

With a comprehensive range, knowledgeable staff and an enviable location, The Oak Barrel is a must-visit destination for those who like getting a little extra quality from what they drink. And if you can't get there in person, everything is now available to order online.

Nick O

Name
The Oak Barrel
Address

152 Elizabeth Street
Sydney
NSW 2000

Phone
(02) 9264 3022
Website
Regular events

June: Sydney Beer & Cider Festival
July: Boutique Wine Fair
August: Sydney Whisky Fair
Discounted event tickets, exclusive events and 10% off all purchases for Oak Barrel members

Hours

Mon to Fri: 11am to 8.30pm
Sat: 11am to 8pm
Sun: Closed
Public holidays: Closed

Regularly featured brewers

2 Brothers 2 Brothers

2 Brothers

4 Joyner St
Moorabbin
VIC 3189

3 Ravens 3 Ravens

3 Ravens

1 Theobald Street
Thornbury
VIC 3071

4 Pines Brewpub 4 Pines Brewpub

4 Pines Brewpub

29/43-45 East Esplanade
Manly
NSW 2095

7 cent Brewery 7 cent Brewery

7 cent Brewery

Lock Rd
Gisborne South
VIC 3437

Akasha Brewing Company Akasha Brewing Company

Akasha Brewing Company

10A Spencer Street
Five Dock
NSW 2046

Australian Brewery Australian Brewery

Australian Brewery

350 Annangrove Road
Rouse Hill
NSW 2155

Big Shed Brewing Concern Big Shed Brewing Concern

Big Shed Brewing Concern

13/2 Brandwood Street
Royal Park
SA 5014

Black Dog Brewery Black Dog Brewery

Black Dog Brewery

339 Booth Road
Taminick
VIC 3675

Boatrocker Brewery Boatrocker Brewery

Boatrocker Brewery

51 Macbeth Street
Braeside
VIC 3195

BrewCult BrewCult

BrewCult

10 Superior Drive
Dandenong South
VIC 3175

Bridge Road Brewers Bridge Road Brewers

Bridge Road Brewers

Old Coach House
Ford Street
Beechworth VIC 3747

Bright Brewery Bright Brewery

Bright Brewery

121 Great Alpine Road
Bright
VIC 3741

Burleigh Brewing Company Burleigh Brewing Company

Burleigh Brewing Company

2 Ern Harley Drive
Burleigh Heads
QLD 4220

Cavalier Brewing Cavalier Brewing

Cavalier Brewing

Unit 8/2 Derrimut Drive
Derrimut
VIC 3030

Dainton Family Brewery Dainton Family Brewery

Dainton Family Brewery

560 Frankston Dandenong Rd
Carrum Downs
VIC 3201

Ekim Brewing Ekim Brewing

Ekim Brewing

11/1 Marina Close
Mount Kuring-gai
NSW 2080

Exit Brewing Exit Brewing

Exit Brewing

10 Superior Drive
Dandenong South
VIC 3175

Feral Brewing Feral Brewing

Feral Brewing

152 Haddrill Road
Baskerville
WA 6056

Fortitude Brewing / Noisy Minor Fortitude Brewing / Noisy Minor

Fortitude Brewing / Noisy Minor

165-185 Long Road
North Tamborine
QLD 4272

Hargreaves Hill Hargreaves Hill

Hargreaves Hill

25 Bell Street
Yarra Glen
VIC 3775

Hawthorn Brewing Company Hawthorn Brewing Company

Hawthorn Brewing Company

PO Box 2037
Hawthorn
VIC 3122

Holgate Brewhouse Holgate Brewhouse

Holgate Brewhouse

79 High Street
Woodend
VIC 3442

HopDog BeerWorks HopDog BeerWorks

HopDog BeerWorks

2/175 Princes Highway
South Nowra
NSW 2541

KAIJU! Beer KAIJU! Beer

KAIJU! Beer

10 Superior Drive
Dandenong South
VIC 3175

Kooinda Brewery Kooinda Brewery

Kooinda Brewery

28 Culverlands St
Heidelberg
VIC 3081

La Sirène Brewing La Sirène Brewing

La Sirène Brewing

2 Wingrove Street
Alphington
VIC 3078

Little Brewing Company Little Brewing Company

Little Brewing Company

Unit 1, 58 Uralla Road
Port Macquarie
NSW 2444

Lord Nelson Lord Nelson

Lord Nelson

19 Kent St
The Rocks
NSW 2000

Matso's Brewery Matso's Brewery

Matso's Brewery

60 Hamersley Street
Broome
WA 6725

Modus Operandi Modus Operandi

Modus Operandi

14 Harkeith Street
Mona Vale
NSW 2103

Moo Brew Moo Brew

Moo Brew

655 Main Road
Berriedale TAS 7011

Moon Dog Moon Dog

Moon Dog

17 Duke Street
Abbotsford
VIC 3067

Mornington Peninsula Brewery Mornington Peninsula Brewery

Mornington Peninsula Brewery

72 Watt Road
Mornington
VIC 3931

Mountain Goat Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat

Corner North and Clark Streets
Richmond
Victoria
3121

Murray's Murray's

Murray's

3443 Nelson Bay Rd
Bobs Farm
NSW 2316

Nail Brewing Nail Brewing

Nail Brewing

323 Collier Road
Bassendean
WA 6054

Nomad Brewing Nomad Brewing

Nomad Brewing

5 Sydenham Road
Brookvale
NSW 2100

Pirate Life Pirate Life

Pirate Life

89 South Road
Hindmarsh
SA 5007

Prickly Moses Prickly Moses

Prickly Moses

10 Hoveys Road
Barongarook
VIC 3429

Red Duck Brewery Red Duck Brewery

Red Duck Brewery

11a Michaels Drive
Alfredton
VIC

Red Hill Brewery Red Hill Brewery

Red Hill Brewery

88 Shoreham Rd
Red Hill South
VIC 3937

Redoak Brewery Redoak Brewery

Redoak Brewery

201 Clarence St
Sydney
NSW 2000

Riverside Brewing Company Riverside Brewing Company

Riverside Brewing Company

Unit 3, 2 North Rocks Road
Parramatta
NSW

Rocks Brewing Rocks Brewing

Rocks Brewing

160 Bourke Road
Alexandria
NSW 2015

Shenanigans Brewing Shenanigans Brewing

Shenanigans Brewing

66 Marian St (OFFICE)
Enmore
NSW 2042

Six String Brewing Six String Brewing

Six String Brewing

4/330 The Entrance Road
Erina
NSW 2250

Southern Bay Brewing Southern Bay Brewing

Southern Bay Brewing

80 Point Henry Rd
Moolap
VIC 3224

Stockade Brew Co Stockade Brew Co

Stockade Brew Co

Unit 2
41 Topham Rd
Smeaton Grange
NSW 2567

Stone & Wood Stone & Wood

Stone & Wood

4 Boronia Place
Byron Bay
NSW 2481

Sydney Brewery Sydney Brewery

Sydney Brewery

389 Pitt St
World Square
Sydney 2002

Temple Temple

Temple

122 Weston Street
East Brunswick
VIC 3057

Two Birds Brewing Two Birds Brewing

Two Birds Brewing

136 Hall Street
Spotswood
VIC 3015

Vale Brewing Vale Brewing

Vale Brewing

6 Jay Drive
Willunga
SA 5172

Wayward Brewing Co Wayward Brewing Co

Wayward Brewing Co

3 Gehrig Lane
Camperdown
NSW 2050

Wolf of the Willows Wolf of the Willows

Wolf of the Willows

386 Reserve Road
Cheltenham
VIC 3192

Young Henrys Young Henrys

Young Henrys

Units D & E, 76 Wilford St
Newtown
NSW 2042

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