The beer-loving trio behind Black Hops is back it again with a tastebud tingling new addition to the family – it’s called AWOL and it’s Queensland’s first dedicated barrel-aged beer taproom. What exactly is barrel-aged beer? Glad you asked! It’s a brewing technique whereby fermented beers are transferred to oak barrels that have previously housed red and white wine as well as spirits. The barrel is then left for a period of time – it could be three months, it could be three years – who knows? But that’s part of the fun of it! No two barrels will ever taste the same because the beer absorbs the flavours, living cultures and aromas of the oak, adding a delicious new dimension to your brew. AWOL’s entrance is next door to Common Ground on Hibiscus Haven and is a separate entity to Black Hops, although they are joined at the back. The space, a former meat factory, has been reimagined to deliver a multi-sensory experience by integrating rustic components inspired by the oak barrels together with a modern design aesthetic. So far, AWOL has amassed over 100 white wine, red wine, gin, bourbon and whiskey barrels, each filled with beers in various stages of fermentation – so suffice to say there’s some exciting things coming! For now, there are eight different brews to sip including the easy-drinking Haven Sour – a blonde ale that’s aged in 2,000 litre French-oak fermenters and infused with sour cherries and hibiscus flowers, a nod to the venue’s location. AWOL officially launches on Saturday April 10 and for the first month, AWOL will only be accessible via two pre-paid tour sessions on Saturday afternoons. After that time, it’s hoped AWOL will open from Friday through to Sunday but it all depends on the beer. After all, good things take time.