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Well, hasn’t 2020 been a year.

From devastating bushfires to global pandemics, they’ve affected every aspect of our lives and their impact will be felt for a long time to come.

To get straight to the point and answer the plethora of requests we’ve received in the past two weeks, unfortunately the current state means that Sydney Whisky Fair 2020 will not take place in its usual time slot of the last week of August.

We will continue to monitor the situation towards the end of the year, but at this stage do not have a proposed date for a physical event of that scale to take place.

We will mark the Sydney Whisky Fair week of celebrations August 24-29 in a different manner, which will be announced soon.

There are a few reasons for this, with the safety of our customers, exhibitors and staff members the top one:

  • Preparations for Whisky Fair start the day after the previous one finishes and while we were planning big things for 2020 right up until the lockdown period, that three months pause has meant that we don’t feel 100 percent confident that we can deliver an event up to the standard of Australia’s favourite whisky festival.
  • We feel like that cut-off, point-of-no-return for preparations to have kicked back into gear was a couple of weeks ago and there is still no absolute stability on what the next weeks and months will look like. The recent second wave in Victoria is an example of that.
  • Interstate travel is still an unknown and even if all borders are open and flights operating, we don’t want to pressure our star exhibitors into travelling when they’re not comfortable. A big part of what makes Fair so special is the gathering of distillers from around Australia and the world and it wouldn’t be the same without them.
  • The situation around Australia and the world is continually evolving. We don’t feel 100 percent confident that measures for social distancing and overall capacity today or next week would still be suitable for the last week of August. We’d hate to find ourselves in a position of having to refund tickets and disappoint people for things that are potentially out of our control.

As disappointing as it is to not hold an 11th annual Sydney Whisky Fair – particularly after the joyous success of the 10th anniversary last year – we’ve still got some tricks up our sleeves.

In times of great disruption there is also opportunity and we’ve loved the various virtual tastings we’ve shared with you. We’re currently investigating some new ideas for events – physical, virtual and both – that we hope to be able to announce soon.

Physical in-store tastings will absolutely come back this year, and we expect that to happen on a small scale from August. We will be looking towards quality over quantity.

One thing is for sure, whatever we do it will be up to The Oak Barrel and Sydney Whisky Fair standard. Expert hosts, rare and unique whiskies, and rooms full of knowledge.

We will be marking the Whisky Fair Week – August 24-29 – in some respect, with details of that to come soon.

While we are working what the end of the year looks like, we’d also encourage you to consider visiting your local bar and taking a trip to one of the many excellent destinations in regional NSW.

As much as no Whisky Fair sucks for us, it has been a far tougher year for those who put food on our table and drinks in our glasses.

– Here’s to sharing the spirit with the OB Team soon.

UPCOMING EVENTS

VIEW LATEST WHISKIES & SPIRITS


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All three sessions for Sydney whisky Fair 2019 have now sold out – thank you.

We here at The Oak Barrel are incredibly appreciative of your ongoing support and passion for whisky, not only in 2019 but in all of the previous years of Sydney Whisky Fair and generally throughout the year. 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of Whisky Fair and we’re excited to share a host of new and rare whiskies during our event in a few weeks.

To keep up to date with the drams that will be on showcase, head over to our Confirmed Whiskies page for distillery names before we reveal the full line-up of drams closer to the event.

 


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The final allocation of tickets to Sydney Whisky Fair are now on sale and open to the general public.

The Oak Barrel member pre-sales have now been completed, you are now able to purchase both Members and Guest tickets – and you can now purchase tickets for friends and family as well.

GET TICKETS HERE

Oak Barrel members will need to log in to their account on the Oak Barrel website in order to purchase tickets at members’ prices.

There is a limit of one members’ ticket per paid-up Oak Barrel membership. So if you want to come with a group of friends (and they’re not already members) please be aware that they require guest tickets!

This is the last allocation of tickets to the 2019 Sydney Whisky Fair, the 10th Anniversary celebration.


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The final allocation of tickets to Sydney Whisky Fair are now on sale, with tickets available to Oak Barrel members for 24-hours.

During the 24-hour pre-sale members will be able to purchase one ticket each, meaning each member must log in individually. We do this to ensure that every member gets a fair and ample chance to access tickets to Australia’s most in-demand whisky event.

Following the 24-hour pre-sale period, tickets remaining from the first release will be opened up to the general public – 11am Thursday 20 June.

FIND TICKETS

Oak Barrel members will need to log in to their account on the Oak Barrel website in order to purchase members tickets.

There is a limit of one members’ ticket per paid-up Oak Barrel membership. So if you want to come with a group of friends (and they’re not already members) please be aware that they require guest tickets!

This is the last allocation of tickets to the 2019 Sydney Whisky Fair, the 10th Anniversary celebration.


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The historic Australian Hall will be the location for the tenth anniversary of The Oak Barrel’s Sydney Whisky Fair 2019.

With the first release of tickets promptly selling out earlier this week, we are delighted to confirm that the event will return to the Hall – located directly above The Oak Barrel – for the Friday 30-Saturday 31 August event.

FIND WHISKY FAIR TICKETS HERE

It will be the third time that Whisky Fair will have been held in this largely unknown piece of Sydney history, with the 2014 and 2017 events being held there. Not always available, due to tenants, repairs etc., Australia Hall gives us the opportunity to present a more open, spacious event. While we love the intimate, house party nature of the Cellar Room and Warehouse space, the ability to also allow more exhibitors in to showcase is a deciding factor.

Capacity for the event will subsequently be increased, although the strict ratio of attendees-to-whisky stalls will be kept intact. We’re passionate about making Whisky Fair as user-friendly as possible, so that you can ask the questions to want to ask and spend the time with distillers you want to spend.

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Australia Hall is in the same building as The Oak Barrel and entry and exit to the event will still be through The Oak Barrel bottle store.

Located at 150-152 Elizabeth St, the structure in which The Oak Barrel (ground floor) is located was built in the early 1910s, with Australia Hall added in the 1920s. An important building in Sydney’s history, it has long been a meeting place for diverse groups of Sydney’s communities – from indigenous Australians to German migrants, Christian societies and Greek Cypriots clubs. The indigenous community have a strong association to the building as the site of the Day of Mourning. It was added to the Australia Heritage Database in 2008.

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Tickets to Sydney Whisky Fair’s tenth anniversary event are on sale now.

Whisky Fair 2019 Sessions

Session 1: Friday 30 August, 5pm-8pm
Session 2: Saturday 31 August, 1pm-4pm
Session 3: Saturday 31 August, 5.30pm-8.30pm


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The first release of tickets to Sydney Whisky Fair 2019 have sold out, 24 hours after tickets were released to the general public.

The second and final release of tickets will be issued Wednesday 19 June at 11am. Once again, Oak Barrel members will receive a 24-hour pre-sale window before any remaining tickets are released to the general public Thursday 20 June at 11am.

Tickets sold at record speed in 2019, particularly in the first hour of the pre-sale with 25% of the event’s overall capacity snapped up almost instantaneously. This is despite a slightly increased capacity from last year, thanks to an increased number of whisky exhibitors.

Further details on the event, including confirmed exhibitors, will be released in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to WhiskyFair.com.au.

TICKET DETAILS HERE


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The first release of tickets to Sydney Whisky Fair 2019 are on sale now, with the general public release now live.

The Oak Barrel members’ pre-sale began 11am Tuesday 11 June, with the general release beginning 11am Wednesday 12 June.

FIND TICKETS HERE


UPDATES

11/06/19 11.52am: Sydney Whisky Fair tickets have sold at record speed again in 2019, with approximately 25% of the entire event capacity selling within the first hour of pre-sale. What makes that even more noteworthy is that during this members’ pre-sale, tickets were limited to one-per-member in an attempt to slow down sales.

12/06/19 10.17am: More than half of the allocation for the first release has sold during the members’ pre-sale ahead of the general release at 11am.


During the 24-hour pre-sale, Oak Barrel members must log into their account at OakBarrel.com.au to access the tickets. If you are not logged in under your active members account, you will not be able to view the tickets. Pre-sale tickets are limited to one-per-member. Therefore, each member must log in individually to secure their ticket. This is to ensure that all members can a fair opportunity to secure tickets to the Fair, which has sold out for the past seven years.

Once the pre-sale has elapsed, you will be able to purchase multiple tickets during the general release from Wednesday 12 June. Members should still log-in to receive their discounted ticket price.

For further details head to the tickets page or contact us.


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With tickets to Sydney Whisky Fair 2019 set to go on sale next week, we thought we’d reveal a few more exhibitors for the 10th anniversary event.

It’s a veritable Tasmanian invasion in this announcement with some familiar names and Whisky Fair firstcomers from the apple isle. Having sampled their wares in recent visits down south, we’re happy to welcome Hobart Distillery and Spring Bay to Fair for their visits. We’ll also have the current distillers from Lark, Overeem and Nant on board and the always-welcome Belgrove with some innovative rye creations.

Further distilleries, from Australia and the world, will be announced over the coming weeks. Make sure you’re ready for when tickets go on sale.

Second Distillery Announcement

Belgrove (TAS, new releases)
Hobart (TAS, first appearance)
Lark
(TAS, new releases)
Nant
(TAS, first appearance for five years)
Overeem
(TAS, new releases)
Spring Bay
(TAS, first appearance)

They join the previously announced Australian distillers:

Corowa (NSW, first appearance)
Fleurieu (SA, 2019 Australian Champion Whisky)
Iniquity (SA, new releases)
Joadja (NSW, first appearance)
Timboon (VIC, new releases)


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The first release of tickets to Sydney Whisky Fair 10th Anniversary 2019 will go on sale at 11am Tuesday 11 June.

As per tradition, the first 24 hours will be an exclusive pre-sale to Oak Barrel members.

During the 24-hour pre-sale members will be able to purchase one ticket each, meaning each member must log in individually. We do this to ensure that every member gets a fair and ample chance to access tickets to Australia’s most in-demand whisky event.

Following the 24-hour pre-sale period, tickets remaining from the first release will be opened up to the general public.

Please note, tickets are not available in-store or over the phone, they will be sold online only.

The 2019 Sydney Whisky Fair Sessions are as follows:

Session 1: Friday 30 August, 5pm-8pm
Session 2: Saturday 31 August, 1pm-4pm
Session 3: Saturday 31 August, 5.30pm-8.30pm

Members Tickets: $100
Guest Tickets: $120

Ticket links will go live here when the first release launches.

We are an independent, family owned bottle store with a CBD location and a small staff that regularly give the impression of a much bigger company. We love what we do and are mindful that it’s not possible without the support of our customers and members, who support us throughout the year in store and at our weekly tastings.

A 24-hour pre-sale window for our biggest event of the year is a small way to say thanks for 63 years of The Oak Barrel.

I’m A Member, How Do I Access The Pre-Sale?

To access tickets as a member, you need to log into to your account at oakbarrel.com.au and access the ticket page here.

Please note, Oak Barrel membership involves registering an account and paying the $25 fee. Membership grants you 10% off the store all year round (both online and in the physical store), discounts to events, exclusive products and pre-sales to things like Whisky Fair.

If you are not sure whether your membership is activated or are having trouble logging in, please contact us for clarification.

We strongly advise making sure you can log into your account before tickets go on sale, as there may be delays in responding to requests during the high traffic periods.

Can I Buy Tickets For My Mates?

Sydney Whisky Fair has been selling out in record time each year, so to make it as fair as possible we only allow one ticket per person during the first 24 hours.

Once the members’ pre-sale has concluded, we open it up so you can buy multiple tickets at guest prices.

I’m Not A Member, When Can I Buy Tickets?

Guests and members of the general public will get access tickets at 11am, Wednesday 12 June.

When Does The First Release Of Tickets End?

There is a set number of tickets allocated for the first release, once they are exhausted in each session the release will halt and details of the second release be announced.

I Have Another Question

Feel free to get in contact.


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The 2019 Sydney Whisky Fair will take place on its traditional weekend – the last in August.

That means that you need to pencil in Friday 30 and Saturday 31 August, 2019.

Don’t book holidays, postpone your wedding, cancel all birthdays. The 2019 edition – and the tenth anniversary celebrations – is going to be quite special.

Top picture featuring Starward’s David Vitale and AWH’s Bill Lark at the 2018 edition. Pic by May Lawrence.