Home' Australian Hotelier : AH SEPTEMBER 2016 Contents 6 | SEPTEMBER 2016 AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER
BREWERS BUY SECOND
The Esplanade Hotel in Queenscliff has been purchased by a consortium which includes the
owners of Otway Brewing, makers of Prickly Moses beer and Forbidden Fruit cider.
In keeping with their focus on beer, The Esplanade Hotel will undergo renovations under
the new ownership, and will be renamed The Queenscliff Brewhouse. This is the second pub
operation from Otway Brewing, who opened The Great Ocean Road Brewhouse in Apollo Bay
in March 2015. That has traded so well that The Queenscliff Brewhouse will follow a similar
model, focusing on craft beer, regional wine and local produce.
"We have big plans for The Queenscliff Brewhouse," stated company director Andrew
Noseda. "There are some things which we hope to achieve before Christmas, like increasing
the number of taps from eight to 20 in the main bar, and other plans which will unfold over the
"As in Apollo Bay, we plan to open a tasting room in Queenscliff where people can try local
beer, wine and produce and experience what the region has to offer."
While the pub will focus on craft beer, Noseda intends to make sure that all drinking
preferences are catered to.
"We want The Queenscliff Brewhouse to be a place where everyone feels welcome. Whilst we
want to showcase local craft beers and regional wines, we will also accommodate drinkers who
prefer a more conventional drop."
The new owners have also ensured that the former Esplanade Hotel staff have been retained.
Fellow company director, Luke Moore, will take over the operations of The Queenscliff
Brewhouse, after six years of managing the Wye Beach Hotel in Wye River.
"Luke will be a fantastic asset to our business and we're extremely pleased to have him on
board with us," stated Noseda.
"We're very excited to be starting this new venture in Queenscliff and we look forward to
welcoming people to the venue when we take over."
Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) has begun
trialling Melbourne Bitter in a few Sydney hotels,
gauging whether the Victorian beer has a place on
the on-premise market in New South Wales.
One such hotel that has been testing the
response to Melbourne Bitter -- along with Tooths
Pale Ale -- is Abbotts Hotel in Waterloo, which has
had both CUB beers on its taps for over a month,
co-branded together to emphasis the retro feel of
"It's been a great result. People are really
enjoying trying different beers," stated Bill Smith,
the publican at Abbotts Hotel. "It's a mainstream
beer, but aimed at that emerging market that's
looking for a slightly different beer."
Questioned on the longevity of Melbourne Bitter
on the Sydney market, Smith believes that it will do
"So far my experience is that both the beers have
got real legs, especially Melbourne Bitter. I think it's
tapping into a new market for the brewer. I've seen
people switching from other traditional mainstream
full-strength beers to try Melbourne Bitter and stay
with it. So it's not cannibalising CUB's own brands,
it's adding to their portfolio."
Abbotts Hotel has traditionally been home to
Victoria Bitters drinkers, but has found that as the
Waterloo area becomes home to younger craft beer
drinkers, Melbourne Bitters and Tooths Pale Ale
have tapped into the patrons looking for different
beers to drink.
"We're delighted. We're really pleased, and it
reflects the changing hotel, and the changes the hotel
needs to make to stay current with our clientele."
A spokesperson for CUB told Australian Hotelier that
the trial in select Sydney hotels has been in response to
inquiries into the beer's availability interstate.
"As you probably know Melbourne Bitter on tap
was released in some venues across Victoria last year.
"More recently, we've had requests from our NSW
customers and consumers for Melbourne Bitter
draught, so whilst we're not sure it has legs in NSW
we have been trialling Melbourne Bitter at a couple
of locations. That's really about working out whether
it might suit some venues in terms of their type of
drinkers, location and the mix of beers they already
have on offer."
(L-R) Andrew Noseda,
Luke Moore and Tony Xerri
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