Simon Beveridge - Beer Sommelier, Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe and Restaurant, Sydney

Simon Beveridge
'We have a strong emphasis on being true-to-style in all our brews. To achieve that we use the best available ingredients from all over the world as well as the traditional brewing methods of each beer style.'

The Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe and Restaurant in Sydney’s CBD has a strong philosophy about creating true-to-style beers, as well as their own unique styles. They then match the flavours and complexities to their cuisine to guarantee a perfect dining experience.


 

 

What does Redoak do for St Patrick’s Day?

We’ll be releasing new batches of Irish Red Ale and a special batch of Oatmeal Stout. The Irish Red Ale is a mildly-caramelised ale, with a nice bitterness on the back of the mouth and subtle fruity complexities. It’s a beer for autumn and moving into winter. The Irish Dry Stout is a darker style of stout that differs slightly to the famous Guinness Stout. It has a dry, roasted complexity with a dry, bitter-chocolate finish. It’s a winter beer by definition.

What’s distinctive about Irish beer?

Ireland has managed to create very unique beers; whether by accident, culture or their climate. The beers that come out of Ireland are greatly different to ales that are made in England, and even more so to Belgian or German ales. You really can’t get them like that anywhere else in the world.

The most distinctive thing about Irish beers is that they are a cultural phenomenon and the tradition of drinking is a cultural experience within itself. While drinking an Irish Red Ale or a stout, a person can also say that they are indulging in an experience that is uniquely Irish.

How does Redoak recreate those unique styles?

We have a strong emphasis on being true-to-style in all our brews. To achieve that we use the best available ingredients from all over the world as well as the traditional brewing methods of each beer style.

How long does a brew take?

The brews can take months. It’s a process of developing the beer over time that depends on the nature of the beer and how the yeast reacts with the wort. Our brewer, David Hollyoak, may have been brewing these particular beers for three to five months, or ever longer, depending on how the tasting profiles developed. The concept of good ale is not about brewing and fermenting it out in a week – it’s not like a soft drink!

What is the history and philosophy of Redoak?

Redoak is operated by the brother and sister duo of Janet and David Hollyoak. The brewery and cafe opened in 2004 with a range of about a dozen beers. In our first year of opening, we received 18 awards for our beers in the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) – the world’s second-largest beer competition. Since then we’ve won over 150 awards in Australian and international beer awards, including two Gold Medals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show 2008, two Gold Medals at the World Beer Cup 2006 (the world’s largest beer competition) and the Grand Champion Trophy AIBA 2006. We continually push the boundaries on how strong our product can be, and it’s great to be rewarded for that. Redoak beers are now stocked all over Australia in bottle shops, restaurants and hotels; as well as our cafe and restaurant.

What’s the best thing about being a beer sommelier?

It’s very unique – there are not many people in this role around the world. Matching beer to food is a great process, and the matches of good food and beer can be amazing. The opportunity to try and critique many beers from around the world is a strong bonus!




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