Most Sydneysiders will know Darlinghurst’s favourite beer institution, The Taphouse. The craft beer pub already has a considerable amount of awards under its belt, and now it’s branched out to offer Australia’s first dedicated wild ale and natural wine bar.
With wild and sour beers the hottest trend in the USA right now and predicted to make their mark on our shores in the near future, Taphouse owners James and Josh Thorpe decided to completely reinvent the middle-level of their pub to become a hub for all things natural made and wild fermented.
Named Odd Culture, the new bar offers a rotating menu of twenty beers on tap, twelve wines by the glass and a 100-strong bottle list of wild ales and sour beers – the largest in Australia.
To create the drinks menu, the Thorpe brothers brought in the experts. Bar manager Jordan Blackman (ex-Chin Chin and Ananas) has curated the wine list, drawing from his extensive knowledge of natural wines, while beverage manager and well known ‘beer nerd’ Tom Evans (ex-Royal Albert and Wayward) has selected the beers.
The aim of the collaboration is to showcase a diverse range of local and international natural wines, made with minimal intervention, and wild ales, brewed through wild fermentation.
The first beers on tap are Wildflower Brewing and Blending’s ‘St. Thomas’ (a wild ale re-fermented with cherries), Belgian brewer Rodenbach’s ‘Alexander’ Flanders Red Ale, Boatrocker Brewer’s ‘Double Barrel Aged Brett’ Berliner Weisse, La Sirène Brewing’s ‘Saisonette’, Two Metre Tall’s ‘Wild Cider’ and Garage Project’s ‘Dinky Pinky Rhubarb & Strawberry Barrel Aged Sour’. On the wine list, Australian producers, such as Konpira Maru and Chevre Wines, are side-by-side with international winemakers like Pheasant’s Tears from Kakheti, Georgia and Anne Sophie Dubois from Beaujoulais, France.
If you’re looking for a bite to eat with your wild brew, guests can build their own platter of natural cheeses, cured meats and tinned seafood. Choose from cheeses such as taleggio, gorgonzola picante, maffra cheddar and Barossa wash rind reblochon; tins of squid in ink, octopus and sardines; and cured meats sliced to order, including wagyu belosa, prosciutto, fennel and garlic salami and ‘nduja tartufo truffle. Rob Paget, Taphouse’s head chef, has also whipped up a small menu of snacks, burgers and toasted sandwiches.
The décor is inspired by old-style European farmhouses, with rustic wooden finishings and sketches of country life covering the walls. The wallpaper has been peeled back to reveal the range of different colours the space has previously been painted, from deep reds, purples and blues to a soft green-grey hue by the bar. Angeline Drinan, head of scenic art at Opera Australia, designed the mural behind the bar – a scene looking out over the crop fields of hops and malt.
Along with the opening of the bar, Odd Culture announced it will be hosting a series of fortnightly ‘meet the winemaker/brewer’ sessions. The first such event, the Ale Stars X Odd Culture Showcase, will take place on the 15th of August and feature special guests Alastair Reed from Konpira Maru Wine Company and James Dittko, head brewer at Mayday Hills and Bridge Road Brewers. Tickets are $45 and include tastings of the wild beers paired with a two-course meal, as well as trivia and a chat with the makers. Tickets can be purchased here.
Address: Level 2, The Taphouse
122 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst
Monday – Wednesday: 5pm – midnight
Thursday: 5pm – 1am
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 1pm
Sunday: 12pm – 11pm