Located on the second floor of The Taphouse in Darlinghurst, Odd Culture is a super-specialised venture from the pub’s owners, brothers James and Josh Thorpe. While The Taphouse is known for its primo selection of local and independent craft beers, Odd Culture delves a little deeper into the artisanal booze scene. The Odd Culture crew are pouring only natural wine and what could be described as its counterpart in the beer world: wild ale or wild fermented beer
You'll find a constantly rotating, handpicked selection of 20 beers on tap and 12 natural wines, as well as a 100-strong bottle beer list of wild ale—that's the largest selection in all of Australia.
While most modern beer is typically fermented using a yeast culture made in a lab to ensure taste consistency in the final product, a wild ale is a little more, well, wild. Brewers will open up their brewing tanks and allow yeast cultures traveling in the wind to blow in. "Those wild yeast cultures sour the beer in freeform, varying ways that you can’t really ever replicate, so every beer is completely different," co-owner James explains.
Because, like wine, wild ale pairs swimmingly with cheese, the bar serves an ever-changing menu of natural cheeses. Try DIY mixed plates, where you can mix and match cured meats and schmancy tinned seafood with gorgonzola picante, Barossa wash rind Reblochon, and Maffra cheddar. For heartier meals, you'll find a selection of snacks and burgers, including a toastie with chilli infused spreadable salami and cheddar reverse toasted on thick sourdough.
As for the look and feel, Odd Culture is candle-lit and cozy. Inspired by beer and wine farmhouses, brick walls have a distressed finish made from peeling back existing paint to reveal cherry-pink and soft violet hues. Select wines hover above the bar and a custom, hand-painted mural by Angeline Drinan (Head of Scenic Art at Opera Australia).
Image credit: Supplied.