Resch’s Draught is picking up coveted tap points at some of Sydney’s coolest bars, but owner Carlton & United Breweries is coy on a possible revival for the brand.
Opened in mid-2013, Earl’s Juke Joint in Newtown is the current Time Out Sydney Bar of the Year, while owner Pasan Wijesena is its reigning Best Bartender. His choice for the bar’s only permanent tap point? Resch’s.
“We’ve had it since day one. Prior to that, I went through a whole bunch of different beers; local craft beers, imported craft beers, trying to find what I wanted,” he told Australian Brews News.
“I figured, if you’re going to have one beer on tap, it’s got to be pretty accessible – cheap, easygoing, but still credible.
“Resch’s was the only one I gravitated towards. Honestly, it’s just a beer that I like to drink.”
Earl’s has an extensive list of bottled craft beers, but Resch’s is the only product it sources from CUB, which likely has other brands in its portfolio that strongly desire cachet with Wijesena and his crowd.
“We sell four or five kegs a week sometimes, which is pretty good for a small venue like this, considering we’re mainly cocktail-focused,” he said.
“As a result, it seems like a really interesting mix of locals are coming in: Really old Newtown locals that just love their Resch’s, young dudes that just want to drink an easygoing lager – it ticks a lot of boxes.”
“And it’s got that nice brand heritage as well – it’s got some good imagery.”
In the last couple of years, Resch’s Draught has also emerged at much-hyped Newtown burger joint Mary’s as well as The Bearded Tit, a creative hangout in Redfern.
And current Sommelier of the Year James Hird this week told Australian Brews News it is easily his favourite beer.
Pockets of strength
However, a CUB spokeswoman was quick to hose down talk of a Resch’s revival, revealing its current performance is “in line with the Classic Beer category”, which – as is well documented – has been in steady decline for the last 50 years.
“Resch’s is currently pouring in around 950 venues in NSW, this is slightly down versus five years ago,” she told Australian Brews News.
The spokeswoman said the brand nevertheless remains one of the CUB’s top selling in NSW.
“The Inner West and Eastern Suburbs would be the stronghold areas for Resch’s with seven out of the Top 10 Resch’s Draught venues located in these areas,” she said.
“We don’t actively promote the Resch’s brand so we think its success is very much driven by loyalty of drinkers and our customers… and that we think it’s a great beer.”
Asked to name some of its Resch’s hero venues, the CUB team provided the following list and commentary:
- Town Hall Hotel – Right in the heart of Newtown, renowned for its Thursday night music trivia contest.
- Marlborough Hotel – The Marly is a monster pub in Newtown, with live music Thursday through Saturday.
- Bankstown District Sports Club – Bankstown Sports is a destination on its own, with eight restaurants and seven bars hosting over 65,000 members.
- Steyne Hotel – Located across the road from Manly Beach on the Corso, The Steyne has transformed itself in recent years with revamped bars and a fresh new bistro.
- Courthouse Hotel – Described as the nucleus of the Newtown community, sporting a huge beer garden and a quality feed.
- Vic On The Park Hotel – Based in Marrickville this refurbished old pub has been given a second lease on life including a fantastic outdoor area.
- Coogee Legion Ex-Service Club – Boasting spectacular views of Coogee Beach, fine dining and top hospitality, the club is a popular with people of all ages.
- Bondi Junction Waverley RSL Club – Popular RSL club in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, offering quality food, drinks and entertainment.
- Shakespeare Hotel – Cheap and tasty pub food and a quality beer selection are trademarks of this Surry Hills institution.
- Teagardens Hotel – Located at Bondi Junction, the Tea Gardens is the Eastern Suburbs’ premier venue for good times.