Slow Lane Brewing Hop Barn & Oaty

Hoppy Farmhouse Ale & Oatmeal Stout
Both 5.4%

If you placed a glass of Hop Barn and a glass of pineapple juice in front of me right now, I reckon I would not immediately be able to tell which one is the beer. Granted, it would only take several seconds before I figured it out but still. When written down it occurs to me this seems very unimpressive, but this beer is genuinely the closest I’ve experienced to drinking actual fruit juice where no fruit was involved in the process. I’m sure Slow Lane didn’t set out to create pineapple juice but goddamn if they didn’t come close.

From looks alone, the comparison is striking. Hazy light straw from which emanates sour pineapple aroma. There’s just a smidge of mango from the Mosaic hopping but the ripe, slightly dusty pineapple from the Brettanomyces fermentation is on full display. I don’t know if I’ve gone on about this on Crafty before, but to me the word juicy is used a bit too liberally for my liking in the beer world. To me juicy implies the liquid is fruity, lightly tart and, to put it bluntly, it gets you literally salivating.

Hop Barn is the juiciest non juice or fruited sour I’ve ever had. Lightly sour pineapple balanced with a prickly spice from the primary saison ferment and a moderate bitterness. Of course, as with anything that’s been fermented with saison and Brett, there’s absolutely no sweetness to speak of and she finishes dry as a bone. I’ve had to be extremely conscious of not ladling gushing praise on all the Slow Lane beers over the last year so I’ll just finish with: this is a nice beer.

Who doesn’t love a bloody good oatmeal stout? A bit of roast, bit of dark malt, bit of malt sweetness and a bit of bitterness. A big full, silky body with a pleasing, if not dry finish. It’s a style of that almost perfectly encapsulates the necessity for balance in a well made beer. A classically made oatmeal stout also demonstrates how a filling and complex stout doesn’t need to be 8 percent ABV or more. In fact, most are around 5.

Oaty is Slow Lane’s first foray into stout and it’s a 5.4 percent ABV belter. As deep a brown as you can get without being black, with a luscious and long-lasting tan head. First impression is that this is a very English beer. From the EKG hops to the yeast and malt profile, this is an oatmeal stout straight out of category 16B of the BJCP.

Roast malts and milk chocolate on the nose with some mild esters out of the glass. Huge oat and malt body with hits of coffee, chocolate sweetness and dark malt offset with a sturdy bitterness. Simultaneously drinks like a much bigger beer while being delightfully moreish. Practically begging for a sunny winter lunch or afternoon pint. This is also a nice beer.

Judd Owen

Published May 22, 2021

Slow Lane Brewing

30 Byrnes Street
NSW 2019

(02) 9121 6279
Open Hours

Friday: 5pm to 9pm
Saturday: midday to 9pm
Sunday: midday to 7pm

CBCo Goldy

More from Slow Lane Brewing

Slow Lane Pivotal & Check in the Dark
Czech Pale Dark Lagers
4.0% & 5.0%
Slow Lane Jagged Little Pils, Leann Dearg, Golden Valley & Forest Rabbit
Various Styles As Indicated
5.0% & 4.5% & 6.5% & 10.5%
Slow Lane Grain of Salt Peach & Guava & Classic Haze Nelson Sauvin
Fruited Gose & Hoppy Hef
3.5% & 7.0%
Slow Lane Brewing Reunion
Oaked-Aged Christmas Ale
Slow Lane Hold Your Horses & Free Radicals
Brett Saison & Barrel-Aged Dubbel with Plums
Slow Lane Days Gone By, Here and Now & Supersaturated
Festbiers & IPA
6.0% & 6.0% & 6.7%
Slow Lane Conditioned, Whiter Shade of Ale & Black As Night
Hazy Pale, Witbier & Belgian Stout
5.4% & 4.5% & 7.5%
Slow Lane To the Fruit Farm, Hop Detective & Ton of Bricks
Various Styles As Indicated
6.5% & 6.5% & 11.5%
Slow Lane A Mars a Day, Attention Seeker & Family Ties
Bière de Mars, Hoppy Hefe & Hazy IPA
5.0% & 6.5% & 6.5%
Slow Lane Like A Chimney, Timeless Pieces & Merry Merry
Lichtenhainer, Oaked IPA & Christmas Red Ale
4.0% & 6.5% & 12.0%
Slow Lane Rye Sense Of Humour & Simple Living
Roggenbier & Kellerbier
4.5% & 5.0%
Slow Lane Grain of Salt & Woodchip
Gose & Oaked Table Beer
3.2% & 3.5%
Slow Lane Barreljuice, Same But Different & The Time Is Rye
Barrel-Aged Brett IPA, Hazy IPA & Barrel-Aged Dark Rye Sour
6.5% & & 8.5%
Slow Lane's June 2022 Quartet
Various Styles As Indicated
6.0% & 3.5% & 3.5% & 9.5%
Slow Lane's May 2022 Quartet
Various Styles As Indicated
7.0% & 7.5% & 6.5% & 11.5%
Slow Lane's March 2022 Trio
Hazy Pale, Belgian Quad & Golden Sour
5.8% & 10.5% & 5.5%
Slow Lane Simplicity, Melody, Botany Weisse Peach & Rise Up
Helles, Vienna Lager, Berliner Weisse & Delicious Thing
5.0% & 5.0% & 3.5% & 6.5%
Slow Lane Oktoberfest Trio Pt 2
Märzen, Kolsch & Altbier
6.0% & 5.0% & 5.0%
Slow Lane Brewing Classic Dark Haze, Liquid Bread & Return Walker
Dunkelweizen, Doppelbock & Hazy Pale
5.6% & 8.5% & 4.0%
Slow Lane Entirety & Cellar Worthy 2021
Russian Imperial Stouts & Barleywines
Big & Boozy