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The Six States of Beer at the Oaks Hotel

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by GiGi GMV (subscribe)
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Published October 17th 2014
Eat and drink your way around Australia with The Oaks' Six States of Beer events
Degustation tasting menus used to be reserved for the posh and the rich and consisted of matching wines. However, in recent years craft beer has become so popular that hotels and restaurants are now offering food and beer matching menus to get closer to the average Australians and to overturn the notion that Tasting Menus are too fussy and pretentious than your humble meat pie and steaks.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
Delicious Tasting Menu with Matching Beer


The Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay is hosting a series of events to showcase the best craft beers and produce from around Australia.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
The lovely beer garden at The Oaks, Neutral Bay

'The Six States of Beer' is a bi-monthly event and it offers a series of six dinners. Each dinner will consist of creative Tasting Menus which specifically match locally produced craft beers that best reflect each state.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
6 States of Beer - Queensland Beer & Seafood


This is the fifth instalment of its Six States of Beer series and the spotlight is on Queensland's selected boutique craft beers and their best seafood produce.

Acclaimed Oaks chef Danny Russo will be dishing up four tantalising seafood courses to best match some of Queensland's carefully curated craft brews. Our hostess for the evening, Kirrily Waldhorn, an experienced Craft Beer connoisseur, will be taking us through some beer education with humour and style.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
Beer Diva Kirrily Waldhorn and Chef Danny Russo delivering a delightful 4-course Tasting Menu


The ticket is reasonably priced at $65 per person for an indulgent four-course meal with five different beers tasting experience.

Upon arrival, we were offered a starter beer - Bighead from Burleigh Brewing Company. The beer was full of flavour and it was very easy to drink. The best thing about it was the ZERO carb!

Six States of Beer, Bighead, Burleigh Brewing Co, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
Burleigh Brewing Co - Bighead


Our lovely host, Kirrily started off the evening with a light trivia and really got us thinking about flavors and beer brewing. Her extensive beer knowledge added depth and appreciation to the whole dining experience.

Six States of Beer, Sliders, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
1st Course: Crab Cake & Oaks Slaw Sliders


Our first matched course featured two adorable crab cake sliders with Oaks slaw. Chef Russo did not use thick doughy crab cake patties. It was pleasing to see the sliders were filled with generous fresh Queensland crab meats.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
Burleigh Brewing Co - HEF


The pairing beer for the crab sliders was the HEF from Burleigh Brewing Company. This was my favourite beer of the night.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
Matching Pair


The HEF boasted the classic German wheat beer and it embodied a refreshing taste with a smooth creamy finish. The sweet flavours of banana and clove matched well with the slightly salty crab sliders.

Our second course was the moreish flash-fried squid and school prawns served with squid ink aioli. These were crispy and totally addictive. The school prawns provided a satisfying crunch; while the squid is perfectly moist and tender. The squid ink aioli added a tangy creaminess to the fried dish.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
2nd Course: Crispy Flash Fried Squid & School Prawns. Served wit Squid ink Aioli


The beer pairing for this dish was the Pale Ale from Four Hearts Brewing Company. This American Pale Ale tasted like passionfruit at first and then you can taste the bitterness. We were informed the bitterness is average for style. It was not the easiest-drinking beer for the ladies, but the gents gave it a good-reception.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
Four Hearts Brewing Co - Pale Ale


The third course was the Whole Baked Snapper with Thai Flavours, Asian greens and Rice. To say the serving was generous was an understatement. The snapper was gigantic in size and it was served in Thai green curry style. The fish was aromatic with a hint of spice and chili.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
3rd Course: Whole Baked Snappy with Thai Green Curry


The staff quickly served a glass of Anzus Ipa from the Fortitude Brewing Company and it was very much welcomed to diminish the heat level. This beer has a huge hop aroma and it tasted earthy with a hint of fruity note. A clean solid finish placed it nicely alongside the spiced curry snapper.

To finish off the beer matched dinner was the sweet dessert of white chocolate mousse with raspberries & sea salt snow. It was paired with the last beer of the night - the White Chocolate & Raspberry Pilsner from Bacchus Brewing.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
Dessert: White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries & Sea Salt Snow


I almost mistaken it for a cocktail with the vibrant rose colour. This spicy Czech Pilsner has a fruity and chocolate flavour. The lovely raspberry finish was unmistakable. It was an amazing beer taste sensation.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
Bacchus Brewing - White Chocolate & Raspberry Pilsener


What surprised us even further was when Chef Russo confessed that he incorporated Queensland scallops into the white chocolate mousse and anchovy in the sea salt snow after we finished. It was a confronting mix of sweet and seafood. Not surprisingly, no one picked up on the hint of seafood ingenuity in their dessert.



This was a great interactive beer and food experience.

The theme for the next and final event of the Six States of Beer series is: Beer vs Wine from SA on Wednesday 10 December 2014. An event not to be missed out if you are a beer or wine connoisseurs yourself.

Six States of Beer, Craft Beer, Seafood, Tasting Menu, Snapper, The Oaks, White Chocolate, GMV, Sliders, Crab, Squid, Prawns, Raspberry
The Oaks at night
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Why? Great tasting menu, boutique craft beers & a fun night out
When: 7pm - 9.30pm
Phone: (02) 9953 5515
Where: 118 Military Rd, Neutral Bay NSW 2089
Cost: $65 per person
Your Comment
The courses look very big for a degustation meal.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12075) 1488 days ago
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