The Oak Barrel

Liked This Place
3.82 w/ 4 ratings

Type: Store

152 Elizabeth St
Sydney, NSW 2000

+61 2 9264 3022 | map

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Added by MrKennedy on 09-10-2012

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Ratings: 4 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by SmashPants:
Photo of SmashPants
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

From the outside, The Oak Barrel just looks like your average bottle shop. Despite the small floor space, there are quite a number of craft and unique beers on offer. Nicely presented as well, with plenty of wood-grain and dark brick.

On the majority of my visits to this store, the staff were very pleasant and intent on making sure I found what I was looking for. When discussing getting into reviewing and different beer styles, they seemed genuinely interested and offered plenty of advice.

The prices are not particularly brilliant for standard beers, but pretty standard for the craft brews, particularly since they are a small operation.

Overall a great little place for trying new craft brews, but I would certainly not bother to make it a regular spot to buy a case.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of stevoj
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

skip the coolers and head to the back. Much more eclectic selection here than initially presented by the front coolers. Lots of locals as well as decent selections of imports.

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Photo of Timothdd
4.28/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Checked out this place on a trip to Sydney - I didn't purchase any beer due to my travel plans and the lack of ability to carry any with me but the place seemed to have a really good selection of Australian and New Zealand beer but as someone who knows nothing about beer from that region. The staff was amazingly helpful in suggesting some great places to hit up around the city to sample the regions craft beers. If in the area, I would stop by again just to grab a beer for the day or to see what else is good in the area.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.09/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

A place better known for its comprehensive wine selection as well as bourbon and scotch. It has only recently started to move into stocking a wider range of better beer...though previously it was about the first place in Sydney that stocked Meantime about 4 years ago. It proudly boasts on a couple of signs that 261 different beers are in store.

Very slick store, wood everywhere which goes with the name. Plenty of expensive wine is in the back part of the store, with the front mostly where the whisky and whiskey is kept. About 3 fridges for beer and a new section around the corner where most of the better stuff is kept ambient. You'll need to walk around a bit to find it, but it is worthwhile once you do.

Service is poor. Every time i've been in there, the staff are very pre-occupied with their computer screens and not interested in engaging with their customers. The people are polite and pleasant but like to sit down and click the mouse rather than trying to build up any loyal client following.

The selection is solid, good to find things like Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Old Rasputin, Moon Dog, Moo Brew, Hitachino and others right in the city. Certainly you should always be able to find something that is either very good or very interesting and hopefully both.

Prices are steep. Black Chocolate Stout is $40 a 4 pack, so about $10 more expensive than the next place. iStout at $22 is about $5 or more overpriced. Generally most lines are 20% more than other places around. There is the occasional decently priced beer (relative to other stockists) like Moo Brew Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, but expect to pay quite a bit for what you get, even for Australia or Sydney prices. The only consolation is that while the markups on the beer are huge, they still seem better than some of the prices on things like Bourbons and Scotch.

A good place for tourists to check out given its city location. Handy for those in the city looking to grab something for the night or on the way home. The selection is improving which is always a good sign. Would really love to see some of the hoppier beers going in the fridge though. Better than the average shop and on the way up, but pricey as they come and just remember that as a customer, expect to play second fiddle to the computer screen in the eyes of the staff.

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The Oak Barrel in Sydney, Australia
Place rating: 0 out of 100 with 4 ratings
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