The Local Taphouse
Taps: 22 / Bottles: 37
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 13 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by charlesw:
4.08/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
So... "Here come the yanks to trash our beer selection." What's up with that? I guess... Everything in life is relative. Given how few good beers there are readily available in Australia, the selection here is excellent. It's got the best selection I've seen - and I've been looking. Hard! But... I haven't ventured out of the greater Sydney metropolitan area, either (counting Newcastle in that - hope you don't mind my brazenness in this regard). Of course, this gSma encompasses over 4 million people. With over 4 million people you'd think you might find a large selection of beer somewhere. Right? Right???
Anyway, in Sydney I found the Local. I'm not entirely sure how I found it, of course, since both my GPS and google sent me to the wrong place altogether! I think a good first step for them would be to post a nice hand-drawn map that actually shows where they are!
Inside... It's like... It's really hard to describe. Actually, no, it isn't. But it isn't really like a bar. It feels more, to me, like being in Rimsky-Korsakoffee (in PDX). As in, there are a lot of cozy places, couches and rooms in which to lounge about. The difference, I suppose, is that you do that while drinking beer instead of coffee. Only, see, that's not a great comparison in that this has more space, a more uniform design and it also has a very European feel to it. At least, the feel of a lot of places I used to go to drink in, say, Lyons, Orleans, what have you.
The help was helpful and friendly. Seemed knowledgeable but really encouraged me to read "the book" (the document they'd prepared on the different styles). For where I am... For where I am in beer knowledge I guess the book was a bit light on information and it seemed to me to have a few inaccuracies. It certainly didn't cover all of the styles that they had in house the day I was there. Kind of a bummer, really. I don't know what the funky Australian styles are - I'd like to! (I'm reasonably sure that the book doesn't explain what a black wattle is. Well, I'm curious, darn it!)
The selection, as mentioned above, is average. 20 beers on tap. Looks like 13 of those are Australian. Of the 20 there were 4 lagers, 4 wheats, 4 pales (specified "US pale"), several of the weird things (growler? black wattle? hop mother?), a barleywine (Australian!), a leffe, a saison and a few others. Decent. Well, from what I've seen of Australia so far, excellent. But out of that context, just good.
I had some food. The portion size was on the smaller side but it was very artfully presented and it was quite good. About $20 (AUD) for a dish. If the AUD were back at parity, well, that would have been pretty steep. I suppose, well, yeah. For a good meal that seems about typical. Why, outside of a bar, it's probably low for the quality of what you get. But people tend to take things in context.
So, in the context of Australia:
- the beer selection is awesome
- the food is very good and reasonably priced
- the atmosphere is maybe a bit too young hipster for me, but if you're younger than I am (not hard) and hipper (hey! No comments, there!) then you'll probably like it plenty fine
- it's worth going out of your way, if you're in Sydney, to stop by for a bite and a few beers
03-24-2009 10:02:07 | More by charlesw
More User Reviews:
3.98/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
One of my favourite beer destinations in Sydney - a focus on quality beer, with great food to support it.
Tasting paddle is great value with 5 small beers for $15 - I always start with this as there are always new beers on tap I haven't tried.
Always a relaxed place to drink with friends/family, either downstairs or on the rooftop, with a nice atmosphere to allow easy socialising. Could easily spend a lazy few hours or more, drinking, eating, talking and kicking back at this great establishment.
Overall, an excellent beer destination to sought out when in Sydney.
07-11-2013 11:50:56 | More by admiral
3/5 rDev -24.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$
Honestly need to update this review, the original will remain below the update.
Ok once you're no longer a newbie to craft this place holds very little to offer on a day to basis. The vibe is frankly not hugely enjoyable, the location is pretty horrible (on a major road which often requires a frustrating and potentially dangerous crossing due to the lack of lights). The tap list is usually mediocre and the bottles are a bit too overpriced to be viable (also the bottled selection isn't even very impressive these days). On any given day compare the Sydney Taphouse's draught list to that in Melbourne and you'll see that Sydney gets pretty much royally screwed. Melbourne almost invariably has better and more interesting beers on tap. Why, I do not know. Perhaps they just do not care as much about their Sydney location.
Worth going during Takeovers (the Mikkeller one was frankly fantastic and very enjoyable) and perhaps during Makeovers, as long as the advertised beers happen to actually be available on the day! They have announced 43 beers for the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular next May! Oh wait, they will probably only be available in Melbourne because Sydney only has 20 taps.
On the positive side...um the food's still pretty nice.
Used to go here whenever I could drag friends out but now I just don't bother unless there's a special event. Even the Mikkeller one left a bad taste in the mouth as they tapped a keg of Mikkeller 10 (not available in the original Takeover) a few months after the event, and it tasted stale and crap.
Excellent place, probably the best to try new releases in Sydney. As well as getting a bunch of new beers they also mix it up quite a lot, tapping some European pilseners, English/US beers, Australian classics and of course a lot of Australian micros.
Sure they might serve a few duds but generally there's a lot of good stuff on offer there, with many viable choices from their tap list. If you stray into bottles though it can get very pricey.
Food is of a high quality and well priced. Perhaps a little more variation in their menu would be desirable but I really appreciate the fact they give you large servings of good food at decent prices.
The atmosphere is good and generally very relaxed and cordial.
The people behind the bar are generally relatively knowledgeable and very friendly.
12-13-2011 11:07:19 | More by danieelol
3.15/5 rDev -20.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$$
A-- European feel with Australian touches. Wood,iron, dark, noisy, small tables, uncomfortable chairs. Smaller than it appears from outside but a good outside deck and some cool small places to hide away and have a beer.
Q-- Can be hit or miss. Generally beers are a bit on the cold side, even with the sign that says beers are warmer than usual. Sometimes have to be a bit patient with bigger beers to warm up to proper drinking temps.
S-- Average at best. Staff does not know the beers or the flavor characters of the beers they serve. Very transactional, even in the tasting flights. Knowledge is also lacking. Ask a server about an event that they were hosting and could not tell me more than one beer they were serving the next night. Just that they were big beers for an extreme beer event. Thanks for the info.
S-- Australian wise quite good. See some harder to find beers in Australia on tap. Had Murray's Wild Thing on tap and usually see several offerings from Feral on a consistent basis. Then again get a James Squire. Lacks the selection that St. Kilda gets and that is quite frustrating and in a lot of ways a turn off. Bottle selection is small and rather dull. Then again when you have 20 taps to choose from why get a bottle.
F-- Food is always good and well priced. Burgers are quite good.
V-- Imports are way overpriced and really offer no value at all. Bottles are very overpriced as well. Not paying near $11 for a Scrimshaw Pils or near $10 for Sam Adams. Go for the tap beers and you will find some value and some good things. I can find enough LCPA and Squire for cheaper at other venues.
When they do tap takeovers or special events it is worth going.
If you live in Eastern Sydney, work in the CBD, or at an event at the SFS or at Fox studios it is a god send. if you are in Western Sydney it is a challenge as very little parking and not close to a decent rail station. The money and time I spend to go and buy stuff from there really offers no value. More frustrating is seeing what St. Kilda offers as opposed to the Sydney location. Almost better off buying a plane ticket to Melbourne and hitting that location. Special events are the ticket for that location only.
10-24-2011 12:59:17 | More by mulder1010
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I've been here three times now, and my overall feeling of the place remains consistent.
This is, for Sydney, a beacon in the wilderness. I haven't sampled its older brother down south, but understand that's even better.... So St Kilda must be as close to heaven as a beer drinker can get.
As for Darlinghurst, I love the comfy, dimly lit, cozy feel about the place. The Royston in Richmond, Victoria has a similar homely warmth about it. Upstairs, and there are rooms galore, including a small, wooden-panelled bar area, which was an ideal escape for us once the band came on downstairs.
Heygeebee pretty much summed up the place in his review below. I was with him on that trip, and again on my most recent. He has an eye for detail that I don't.... where was the TwR UAG ?
But my eye was elsewhere. Lindemans Gueuze on tap ? Fantastic. BrewDogs Citra (IPA is Dead) - outstanding. An Aussie pilsner that tastes like a European (Hix) - brilliant.... at last.
Food is a good mix. On both occasions I have elected a burger. Good value, good quality, and filling.
It's a great joint. I wish I lived closer, but thankfully have an arrangement that will see me make the pilgrimage every 3 months or so.
07-08-2011 06:23:17 | More by vancurly
4.18/5 rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
A seemingly legendary venue, at least in beer-pov Sydney. Could it live up to the hype on a first visit?
Well, mucho planning was undertaken to get there. An hour on the train from the suburbs, plus distance enough from Central to mean that a staging venue was called for (Schwartz Brewery) and after that a walk up the Hills that Surry is well named after, meant that the hype was almost tangible when I arrived.
First up, its a pub. Don't even think about calling it a bar. It's a PUB. It's also very small, which is a good thing in Sydney, where most bars are of a size that could be loaned out to Qantas to house some of their fleet whilst in for repairs. It's a slim triangle in shape, with stools around the edges, and comfy, well-beaten leather sofas in the middle. Nice to recline on after a day of the usual corporate rubbish. Fit-out almost looks 'original' which must be kudos to the guys, to re-create such a retro-vibe. Thursday night is quiet around the post-working day times, but livens up as the evening progresses. Candles on the table are a nice touch later. It's also noisy! Buses idling in standstill traffic outside the door don't help, and are a distraction. The crowd is decidedly non-office. Three levels are:- Ground level - the bar. On the first is an eatery (not sampled) but dead-nice looking, and on the second floor is the roof-top area, which has high walls around and quite frankly looks odd, as the only way you know you are outside is to see the stars, the walls are that high.
Second, the beer changes regularly. And I mean regularly. I had done my homework on the Tuesday, and a lot of the beers I had planned to sample were already 'off' by the Thursday. Never mind. I won't bang on about the beers, save to say the serving temperature is just right, all beers (we ordered in threes) were poured identically, and the staff knew exactly what they were on about. I believe samples in small glasses were also offered, but don't quote me on that. The funny-looking vertical tube on the bar is a Randall, and some beers can be put though it. Oh boy, be careful, as it hops your beer beyond belief.
Third, the prices are Ok, but it's gonna be an expensive evening, trust me. Around $11 for a pint. Up to $10 for a small pour of the strong beers. food is good, we had burgers, and $16.50 didn't break the bank. Bottled beers are a different matter, price wise...
Other things to note? Well, there are OHS posters to tell you how to sit on a bar stool. (!) Elbows in by your sides, not sticking out - that kind of thing. Personally I suspect they should note your right elbow is normally to be found in the classic 'upturned position' while sculling the last drops. I am also sure that the letters on the wall
TwR UAG z
mean something... but I am not sure what
A good pub, but I am unsure if it is a great pub. Is it legendary? No. Is it out of the way for those taking public transport from the burbs? Yes. We went on a Thursday, where it was quieter than I thought it would be. I'd have to defer ultimate 'vibe' judgment once I have been on a Friday or Saturday.
What I am certain of is that Sydney needs more of this style venue.
Ok - I have been on a Saturday night now - what a transformation from mid-week. We got there at 5:45 and the place was already packed. And it wasn't full of beer-drinkers, either. Bottles of wine everyhwere in ice-buckets. Quite a change. Trendy, bubbly, lively. You name it.
Vibe score revisited, as is service, which was better from staff who were run off ther feet, than when they were quieter.
Quote from 16-y/o son 'these are the best chips I have ever had'.
03-28-2011 22:21:10 | More by heygeebee
4.1/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
The Local Taphouse Darlinghurst is the second outlet from the guys behind the Local St Kilda. The beers are all high quality local craft or imports with a good number of limited releases cycling their way through the taps. The atmosphere is a bit shabbier than Melbourne and it just isn't as comfortable. Likewise, I find the staff here a bit more abrupt and less friendly than those in St Kilda. Again, there is a great selection of 20 taps here all served well and at the appropriate temperature. If one thing lets The Local down it is that prices are a little high but they aren't awful for Sydney.
10-30-2010 13:11:42 | More by dgilks
4.44/5 rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Being a regular at the Melbourne Local Taphouse, I just had to check out the Sydney version.
I rocked up around 7ish on a Tuesday night and had a look downstairs, it was like Deja Vu.
Basically the same theme/style/fitout as the Melbourne one. But that's fine, there needs to be a common link apart from the beer.
Speaking of beer it was "Little Creatures" night with a guest visit from Alex, the head brewer.
Along with Alex as a guest the new single batch Little Creatures IPA was on tap, along with 19 others from small, new micros such as The Rocks Brewing Company & 4 pines to the classics like Trumer Pils.
It was quite busy for a Tuesday night, so I can see where people are coming from when they say Friday & Saturdays are packed. Also similar crowd to Melbourne, quite a mixed bunch of people drinking there.
Had a brief look at the food menu but decided not to eat. Some same/similar items as Melbourne but a few others. All the meals coming out looked pretty tasty.
I've been to most Sydney beer venues now and this is one of the better ones, well worth checking out.
03-28-2010 01:55:51 | More by brendan13
The Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst, Australia
90 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.