The Barrel Shepherd Otto

Barrel-Fermented Kolsch

Traverse Australia and you'll find many a brewery with a kolsch – or at least a beer approximating the style with roots in Köln – in their lineup. Often, such beers will be there as the approachable option for guests whose journey into beer's more interesting realms are in their infancy, or as a quaffer for someone seeking simple pleasures.

Given The Barrel Shepherd's co-founder Georg hails from Germany, he's got more reason than most to have a kolsch in his lineup, yet Otto – one of a small number of beers that form as close to a core range as such an operation will ever have – isn't your ordinary kolsch. It's barrel-fermented, a process that means it's picked up some of their house culture's funkier elements.

However, it's also fair to say that Otto is a fine entry point for anyone new to barrel-aged and blended beers as it serves up its goods with a gentle hand. There's a really lovely, restrained Bretty funk woven through the textural creamy-oaky-vanilla-tinged liquid. There's a baseline of doughy kolsch-esque malt too, underpinning what's a very approachable, beautifully constructed farmhouse style beer.

James Smith

The Barrel Shepherd

16a Bellambi Lane
NSW 2518

Open Hours

Friday: 4pm to 8pm
Saturday: midday to 7pm
One Sunday per month: 3pm to 7pm (check socials for Sunday openings)

Gypsy Hub
Obsidian 2024

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