You’ll find Stockade Barrel Room a stone’s throw from Marrickville institutions like the bowlo and the Red Rattler. It’s a refreshingly polished venue compared to its deeply industrial surrounds. Walls of wooden barrels break the room into sections and double as a warm contrast to the clean white subway tiles that line the tasting bar. Throw in a few indoor plants and a cinema board for a menu, and you’ve got the perfect industrial-chic setting to enjoy a beer directly from the source.
The brainchild of three out of four Szpitalaks brothers of strong brewing pedigree, Stockade boasts a set-up as impressive as its brews. As part of the Tribe Breweries collective – a beer co-op of sorts often utilised by independent breweries to keep up with demand – Stockade is the creative black sheep of the family, branching out to express themselves in some weird and wonderful ways. That said, the core range here is extremely approachable and familiar, with a mid-strength lager, a tried and tested pale ale, and the modern classic, an IPA all in the mix.
Where Stockade stands out, however, are the limited-run beers, often exclusive to the tasting bar. The Mountie Maple Stout, for instance, is an absolute cracker, taking home the People’s Choice award at the 2017 Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (or GABS) awards. It’s sticky and sweet with a slightly woody finish and worth going out of your way for. For a more delicate touch, the Grapefruit XPA is something you could easily sit with all day. Hoppy and citrusy with a very slight pithy bitter finish, it’s the perfect foil for a greasy burger. Which is awfully convenient because all week you’ll find locally famous food truck Baby Rey’s serving up intense burgers like the ‘Cheesegasm’, hot dogs with the lot, and towering plates of crips. They also host a special steak night every Thursday if you’re feeling so inclined.
Not in the mood for a beer? Stockade have you covered. They’ve got a small list of house wines, as well as a handful of cocktails like espresso Martinis, the Marrickville Mules and mulled cider when the weather turns. A tasting paddle sets you back $15 for house beers, or $20 for limited runs and you can walk in from Wednesday through to Sunday, which gives you ample time to wet the whistle.