The Barrelhouse Group has made its first foray into the off-premise, opening its namesake bottle shop, Barrelhouse Cellars, in Sydney’s The Rocks.

Barrelhouse Cellars is a bottle shop, outdoor tasting space, and deli on George Street, serving locals and visitors alike, with spirits, wine and beers at all price points.

This unique, welcoming, neighbourhood bottle shop complements The Rocks’ historic terrace that’s already home to Frank Mac’s, Doss House, Orient Hotel and Mrs. Jones.

Barrelhouse Group founders Julian Train and Mikey Enright, the team behind The Barber Shop and The Duke of Clarence, are breathing new life into the historic harbourside precinct, with Barrelhouse Cellars opening just a hop, skip and a jump from the Group’s distillery, Hickson House.

Hickson Rd Gin sits proudly on the shelves of the store alongside a carefully curated range of Australian spirits, wines, and beers, that aim to be accessible to everybody.

Speaking to National Liquor News, Enright said that while the store has a bespoke feel and high-end fittings, the product range was designed to have a broad appeal, targeting the business crowd for their Friday afternoon drinks, right through to tradies knocking off after a hard day’s work, or tourists visiting The Rocks.

“We’ve got a big Australian focus and showcase some great local distilleries, but we’ve also got some good Aussie beers in the fridges. We’re really trying to appeal to everybody.

“We’re getting in some bottled cocktails from leading local bars, and we also have blocked ice, which is $12 for six blocks, and they’re perfectly cut. We’ve already had people come in and grab a couple of Old Fashioneds and some blocks of ice and they go back to sit and enjoy them,” said Enright.

The store also offers cocktail garnishes, alongside artisanal cheeses, pates, and charcuterie. They can carefully pack all bottles for nationwide delivery, or same day in Sydney, via the Barrelhouse Cellars website.

Store Manager and industry veteran Nick Minogue has secured a previously cellared private wine collection, and his team has hunted for spirits to complement the award-winning Hickson Rd Gins that take pride of place, ensuring Barrelhouse Cellars is well-stocked at all price points.

He told National Liquor News: “You can walk into some bottle shops and there are $200-$300 bottles everywhere and that can be daunting to some people. We wanted to have a few $20-$30 bottles and then go up from there, so there’s something for everyone.”

Out the back of Barrelhouse Cellars is an historic paved courtyard, backing onto the ever-evolving Kendall Lane, where the team will offer individual tastings and themed flights, such as Australian gins and New World whiskies. The tasting table will see regular meet-the-maker sessions for members of Barrelhouse Club, the Cellars loyalty program.

“We’ll be setting up a calendar throughout the year for sessions with winemakers, distillers, and brewers. And we’ll have a wine club where people will be able to collect points, and we’ll have tiers for VIP customers to offer them exclusive wines and spirits throughout the year. So, we’re excited to do a few different things here at the store,” Minogue told National Liquor News.

Enright and Train said that Barrelhouse Cellars is the next stage of their longer-term vision for The Rocks.

“We wanted to create an accessible, inviting, local bottle shop; drawing on our hospitality experience to add a few features we couldn’t find elsewhere. The paved tasting courtyard is particularly special. Come down soon to grab a sip and a bottle,” they said.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *