I finally managed to get out and drink some beer on Friday night. In the craziness that has been the last few weeks I have had little time to drink beer let alone write about it. The destination was Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe on Clarence Street. I arrived a little ahead of my mates and had a swift half of the Organic Pale Ale (4.5% abv) which was good but hardly spectacular. I followed this by a half of their Belgian Pale Ale that was even better although didn’t taste anything like any beer I had encountered in Belgium! I suppose it was trying to be a take on something like Kwak, but it kind of misses the mark. Friday also saw the arrival of a new member to the Redoak lineup, an IPA which one the ‘World’s Best IPA’ at the World Beer Awards, UK (31 July 09). The beer was good, weighing in at 6.5% abv but was overly sweet and not really to style. As I have never heard about these particular awards before, I’m not sure if its genuine or just marketing spin. Anyhow the price of this beer is ridiculous and a pint set me back $13.50, which is about twice the price an equivalent beer would cost in London. Anyhow after the IPA I moved on to a couple of other venues and had some Little Creatures and Coopers Pale Ale and got pretty smashed before returning to Redoak for a (OK, I had two) nightcaps of their Robust Porter (6.5%). Overall I like Redoak as the beer is exceptional, however their prices are ridiculous. Given their location is at the fringe of the financial district – paying a premium is to be expected, but $13.50 a pint is taking the piss. But while the punters are willing to pay, I can’t blame them for overcharging – the place was rammed.
“Australia’s most awarded boutique beer café opened its doors in Sydney in mid 2004 and serves a range of boutique premium beers accompanied by a menu of exquisite cuisine. Redoak Brewery has had outstanding successes at the 2004 -2008 Australian International Beer Awards and has been Australia’s most awarded brewery for the third consecutive year in 2007 and won ‘Champion International Small Brewery’ at AIBA 2008.
David started brewing beer at the age of 14 when he created his first ginger beer. He developed a passion for brewing beer in his teens and always dreamed of brewing a range of premium beers for the Australian market.
Over the years he developed his own unique methods of brewing specialty beers and has used these, along with some more traditional methods, to create the range available in the Redoak Boutique Beer Café.
Redoak’s unique beer styles
Redoak’s signature beer is the Framboise Froment, which is brewed in Belgian style with fresh raspberries infused resulting in intense flavours and aroma. This beer took home Gold and Best in Class medals at the 2004 awards and is proving highly popular with both men and women.
Another favourite is the Redoak Belgium Chocolate Stout, which is Australia’s first fully Belgian chocolate beer made by infusing Redoak’s Oatmeal Stout with the finest dark Belgian chocolate. David has also created another Australian first in the Redoak Belgium Choc-Cherry Stout, in which fresh cherries are used to create a luxurious sweet sensation.
Complementing the exotic premium range is the Redoak Organic Pale Ale, which was created using some traditional English brewing methods and only certified organic grown malt and hops. Redoak is the first brewery in New South Wales to create organic beers and the first in Australia to brew organic pale ale.
The Redoak Brewery currently brews over 40 premium beers, of which 20 are available at any one time at the Redoak Boutique Beer Café. Redoak was the first brewery in Australia to brew more than 10 of its own beers and has subsequently extended it’s range of beers considerably.
All beers are created using only the highest quality ingredients, contain no additives, preservatives or added sugars. Redoak beers are not pasteurised and are served fresh.
Redoak matches premium beer with fine cuisine
In addition to premium quality beers, Janet and David offer a menu of exquisite gourmet cuisine, developed together with Head Chef Chris Beard as the perfect accompaniment to the Redoak beer range.
Diners at the Redoak Boutique Beer Café can choose from a selection of tempting dishes made with quality ingredients. Redoak has specially combined food and beer to create a unique experience for the customer. Janet Hollyoak said, “Each dish uses carefully selected premium Australian produce and is complimented with a unique beer style to provide the diner with a unique tasting experience.”
Redoak has created a beer appreciation course to take customers through the brewery history, process and special qualities and characteristics that define a premium beer. Customers can then enjoy the fine cuisine complimented by a Redoak beer, while being taken through the individual flavour and aroma profiles of different beer styles.
The Café also offers unique Tasting Boards – the first of their kind in Australia. The Tasting Boards each hold four canapé style dishes that are matched with four different Redoak premium beers. The boards are designed to enable diners to experience the unique cuisine and premium beers. The tastes and flavours of the dishes and beer are enhanced as the diners palate develops when they move across the board.
Janet and David have created a stylish boutique beer café which is uniquely different in many ways to any other drinking or eating establishment in Sydney or across Australia. Every aspect has been put together with the upmost detail. For example, the bar tops are made from 700 year old jarrah timber sourced from West Australia’s famous Fremantle Wool Store and decorated with Italian mosaic tiling.“