The Local Taphouse, St Kilda has been awarded the Best Beer List at the second annual Time Out Melbourne Pub Awards.
The awards were held at Beer DeLuxe in Federation Square, the official hub of Good Beer Week.
“We’re absolutely thrilled! There are so many fantastic venues around now that specialise in beer so it’s pretty cool to still be recognised in such company,” said The Local Taphouse co-founder Steve Jeffares on winning the award.
The Local Taphouses (Sydney and Melbourne) have led the way in educating their staff, with all front-of-house staff now accredited as Cicerone Beer Servers, a level of the Cicerone Certificate Program, which is the world’s leading beer training program. The venues implemented the program late last year, a first for Australian craft beer venues.
As for tips on how to design an award-winning craft beer list, it seems bigger isn’t always better.
“We rotate through about 450 beers through our taps each year but, regardless of whether you have a few taps or dozens, or whether you rotate through different beers or don’t, it’s important to have a list with a variety of styles that range from the easier drinking beers to the more complex,” said Jeffares.
“There is so much more beer to choose from than when we first opened in 2008, and venues should be selective about what they sell and not get something just because it is new or has a great name or story. With so much choice, I also feel we (the industry) all need to get better at helping consumers navigate through it all with better cues and information. If we don’t, they are likely to be more risk averse and wary of trying new beer experiences.
“And bigger isn’t necessarily better. Venues should only have enough beers on tap and in bottles that they can turn over in a reasonable timeframe (and depending on style). We started out with 70-90 bottle beers but these days have only about 25, although we rotate them often.”
Another big winner on the night was The Last Jar, located on Elizabeth Street in Melbourne’s CBD, which won Pub of the Year and Best Pub Food.
“The pubs of Melbourne are as integral to our culture as good coffee, bad weather and AFL. The best among them support live music, good food, craft beer and a positive drinking culture. It’s a real pleasure to have the opportunity to recognise such an important part of what makes Melbourne awesome,” said Time Out Melbourne Pubs Editor, Fred Siggins.
The full list of winners are…
PUB OF THE YEAR
BEST PUB FOOD
The Railway, Windsor
BEST BEER LIST
Beer DeLuxe, Hawthorn
BEST SPORTS PUB
The Palace Hotel, South Melbourne
College Lawn Hotel
BEST LIVE MUSIC PUB
PUB REVIVAL AWARD
Cherry Tree Hotel
PUBLICAN OF THE YEAR
Kieran Yewdall + Michael Shaughnessy, The Catfish
Siobhan Dooley, The Drunken Poet
OLD SCHOOL PUB AWARD
Railway Hotel, South Melbourne