O’Carroll’s Freehouse also a bargain house for quality beer

The search for quality beer no longer means a ‘premium lager’ in a green bottle with many places offering craft beer in their fridges or if you’re lucky, on tap. Nestled in the heart of Auckland city and just off the hustle bustle sidewalks of Queen Street lies a little gem of vast value to craft beer drinkers.

O’Carroll’s has recently shaken off its Irish Pub moniker in favour of the ‘Freehouse’ suffix, essentially still targeting a niche market, but one that is growing rapidly around the country. This, I think, is where O’Carroll’s stands out. In amidst cafés, bars and nightclubs and right next to a Belgian Beer cafe, O’Carroll’s offers a great beer list with ten taps (at least 6 of which seem to be revolving) and a good selection by the bottle as well. Their range includes a selection from Epic, Moa, Three Boys and Champion NZ brewer 8 Wired just to name a few. However what I found most impressive is their pricing, I had a hankering for an award winning Indian Pale Ale so decided to go with Epic Armageddon and was pleasantly surprised to be asked only $14 for it! (I would expect to pay $11 at the local supermarket or liquor store). As I perused the rest of their beer list, I found that all their pricing was of a similar vein and quickly volunteered to pay for the first round.

O’Carroll’s food menu was found to be very reasonable as well with very few breaking the $20 mark. O’Carroll’s offer a range of platters to go with your beers too, and I can personally recommend the Pohutukawa smoked duck ($16.50) and Manuka smoked lamb fillet ($16) as full of flavour, tender and as the menu suggests, a good size for a meal for one. Unfortunately, my partner was less than impressed with the chicken parmigiana, which she described as a bit dry and completely lacking the sundried tomato from the salad as indicated but staff were very accommodating and friendly despite having to run up and down the stairs for meals and replace an incorrect side dish.

O’Carroll’s Freehouse is a great spot for a couple of afternoon pints and maybe a shared bite to eat but how long they can keep up their beer pricing with Auckland overheads and New Zealand’s inflation remains to be seen. My suggestion is that we all race in to grab a craft beer and make the most of it and maybe they’ll keep it going a bit longer.

O'Carroll's Freehouse
O'Carroll's Freehouse - my phone photography leaves a lot to be desired

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Email address is required.