In a decisive win for everyone who loves cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground and full-strength craft beer, Matilda Bay Brewing Co. is set to take up six taps at the revamped SCG this summer. The introduction of Matilda Bay’s brews to the SCG is part of a major overhaul of the food and beverages available for cricket fans, in an attempt to entice people back to the ground to watch matches live.
The SCG Trust has sunk $197 million into the massive redevelopment of the MA Noble, Don Bradman and Dally Messenger stands, and hasn’t spared the pennies when it came to getting decent food and beverages into the hands of the 13,000-plus spectators expected to fill the seats each day.
Alongside food outlets from master chef George Fouskarinis and Sydney institution Doyle’s Seafood, Level 2 of the Don Bradman Stand will house the Matilda Bay Brewers Pavilion and sports bar.
It’s a significant turnaround in policy from the SCG Trust, which put a total ban on the sale of full strength beer at the SCG in 2006. The ban was very quietly rescinded for recent Twenty20 matches, and looks set to be completely reversed once the Matilda Bay taps come on-stream this summer. The craft brews will be joined by Victoria Bitter and Carlton Mid.
Celebrating 30 years of craft brewing, Matilda Bay’s history is reflected in the Brewers Pavilion design, which features a mammoth model copper kettle bar-backdrop. Matilda Bay General Manager Craig Maclean said, “The team at Matilda Bay love sport almost as much as we love our craft beer. As Australia’s original craft brewer, we wanted to bring to the incredible new grandstand an unrivalled craft beer experience, where cricket lovers can enjoy a craft beer.”
The beers available throughout the Ashes will include Fat Yak, the North American style pale ale, Minimum Chips, Matilda Bay’s new golden lager, Ruby Tuesday, an amber ale and Itchy Green Pants (I.G.P.), alongside the Dirty Granny cider. The sixth beer is a celebratory brew.
“Along with five of our core range our brewers have specially brewed a sparkling lager in honour of the bar’s first Ashes Test and we’re asking the SCG Trust Members to come up with a name,” Craig said. “The winning name will remain for the rest of the cricket summer.”
Tasting paddles – shaped like little cricket bats, of course – will be on offer for punters who want to sample the range.