Aarleks (11) Sydney, Australia | September 16, 2004| Updated September 14, 2005
Some of the beers here are well worth going for. Unfortunately they are all served at ~1C. I found the food to be excellent but way overpriced, so that aspect gets a lower rating than it should (8). Beer is also overpriced ($10 for 500ml Hefe). Other than those points it’s a nice place with some beer worth trying. Re-rate: These guys are really improving. Their selection is widening, and they are engaged in some good experimentation. A must on any visit to Sydney.
On a side-street in the business district, pretty generic brewpub ambiance for a place calling itself a Boutique beer cafe. I was the only customer for a weekday lunch on my visit. The beer on offer is a bit more ambitious than most other places in town including some sours, barrel aged and german styles. Not bad.
Service was friendly, but distracted. I was the only person in the place (later they had three more customers) and I really felt like I was an inconvenience / disruption to their day. But when they did engage they were friendly enough. Food was average at best and the beer - well I just don’t get Redoak. They seem to be all about the marketing and not about the beer. Style over substance. I’m yet to have one of their beers that match the description and some of them are so far off it is ridiculous. If they described them accurately then you might find more to like than being disappointed ordering a high malt beer and getting something slightly hoppy and bitter.
Average ambience and feel (might be better on a busy night) and shows potential - but let down by the all important beer.
Upscale bar right near Darling Harbour with 10-12 house beers on tap. You can do flights of 4 for $12, which is a decent deal for the city. Service was extremely friendly, which certainly made our experience. Expansive interior with tons of seating. Worth the drop.
First time October 2015, did not eat. Nice beer selection, also had an offer for one free beer if you check in/like on the selection social media platforms. Staff seems to be both knowledgeable and service minded. Has sample paddles.
Not sure I’d call this a brewpub since they don’t brew on premise, more of a taproom or cellar door.
Latest visit on Thursday evening October 8, 2015. Got there around 10 pm with my brother, just before last drinks, so we only stayed for one beer each. They do seem to to serve sample paddles of 4 for $12 now. Lots of new beers compared to my last visit 2 odd years ago.
Visited again around 9-10 pm Tue Oct 13, 2015. Had two tasting paddles or 4 beers each, $12 each. Fairly small servings, but plenty enough for a rating/taste of the beers. 12 taps on, a selection of bottles, that can range fairly expensive. Nice service. Small outdoors area available.
Visited a few times (at least 3) in July 2013, first and second were 10 and 11 July, third was the 16th. First visit asked for a sample paddle or similar, but they only served samples with food and since I got there at night the kitchen was closed when I arrived. Very nice and helpful staff though, talked to them a bit on my travel plans and wanting to sample as many local craft beers as possible, then they agreed to let me have samples of all the beers they currently had on tap for a payment of what they saw fit, I like it! In the end paid $18 for 10 samples, awesome! Nice place with bar seating, tables seating or outdoors seating. No wifi available, some music playing. On my second and third visits had a guy behind the bar that was very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable about the beers. I wouldn’t really say this is a brewpub, more a cellar door for the brewery that’s actually not located in the same building at all. Plenty of their own bottles, including vintages, available as well. Bottles could be a bit expensive, but most of them not too bad. Didn’t eat on any of my visits. Located on Clarence St. in between King St. and Market St. On the west side of the street, so on your left if walking up from Market St. Vintage bottles available. On my third visit got asked if I was "Sydney Banks" or something?
We stopped in here for dinner and drinks but the kitchen closes real early and at 9pm we were limited to a couple pizzas. The pizzas were quite tasty, but we had hoped for more of a meal than that. Oh well. Just be aware that the kitchen does close a touch early. Decent sized space that is sort of segmented into two rooms/spaces. The bar area and a more dining room type space. The location in the CBD makes it a bit classier than many brewpubs. Fairly sparse in the way of decorations. The barkeepers seemed to enough about the beers but were very disinterested at the same time. I was hoping they’d have some of their Baltic Porter available but to no avail. However, when I had inquired about it the barkeeper figured it was time to up-sell the tourist and started showing me all these "amazing" beers (at $75 or more per bottle). No thanks. When I told him I’d just have something off draught he definitely got a little snooty about it. Not horrible or too off-putting, but annoying just the same. Anyhow, the beer is pretty good, though not great. The APA and the Paddy’s Craic were my favorites of the night. The organic pale ale was pretty bad, IMO. I’d stop in again for a pint of something but I don’t think this is a must visit if you are touring through Sydney.