Melbourne Bitter is now on tap at a curious selection of venues in Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Darwin after news broke of its draught launch in May.
The move has met with adulation from the 1600 members of a Facebook group that have been calling for it since 2011, in a similar phenomenon to Pabst Blue Ribbon’s revival as the hipster’s beer of choice in the US, where it more than doubled its sales in the past decade.
Melbourne Bitter’s tap debut was not accompanied with the usual press release and fanfare that would typically herald such a momentous development for a beer that has only ever been available in cans and bottles since its inception in 1936.
This suggests that Carlton & United Breweries recognises that the brand’s appeal lies in the fact that it has flown under the radar for many years and drinkers are comfortable in having embraced it without the influence of a major marketing campaign.
“At this stage it’s in around 40 venues, and we are working with our customers to make sure it’s the right beer for a venue, its drinkers and existing brands,” a Carlton & United Breweries spokeswoman said.
She said Melbourne Bitter had stayed steady in its performance over recent years. “It’s still in our top 12 brands, but it remains a fairly niche brew.”
CUB declined to name the full list of venues now pouring Melbourne Bitter, but here are a few:
The Fox Hotel Collingwood
Lucky Coq Windsor
Bimbo Deluxe Fitzroy
Northcote Social Club
Naked for Satan
Hotel Wright St