Pioneering craft beer venue The Local Taphouse Darlinghurst has been placed on the market.
The three-level venue has hosted dozens of local and international beer identities since opening in 2009, as well as rotating almost 2000 different beers through its 60 beer taps, according to current owners, Guy Greenstone and Steve Jeffares.
The Melbourne-based team also count sister venue The Local Taphouse St Kilda within their stable, alongside the GABS Beer, Cider & Food Festival and Stomping Ground Brewing Co in Collingwood.
“Our Stomping Ground brewery and venue has taken off much faster than we expected and it requires a lot of focus and capital so we are reluctantly letting the Sydney Taphouse go to concentrate on those plans,” says co-owner Steve Jeffares.
Committed to St Kilda
Jeffares said he and Greenstone will certainly be retaining The Local Taphouse St Kilda, their first venue.
“Melbourne is our home town and much easier to manage,” he told Australian Brews News.
Whether Darlinghurst’s new owner could continue trading under the Taphouse name would be a matter for discussion, Jeffares said.
“That would be something we would negotiate with interested parties. We would certainly prefer to find an owner with a genuine passion for beer and keen to continue to run it as a venue showcasing great beer,” he said.
Tyranny of distance
The lockout laws introduced to Sydney in February 2014 have made life difficult for all venues in the vicinity of the affected precinct, given the knock-on impact of less people coming into the city overall.
But Jeffares said these changed trading conditions had only influenced their decision “to a small extent”.
“It was not the driving factor. The rapid growth of Stomping Ground is the main reason as we are keen to free up capital to facilitate our plans for expansion of the brewery,” he said.
“With young families, along with our growing Melbourne-based businesses, we have definitely found it harder to get to Sydney as often as we liked. The tyranny of distance has been an increasing challenge.”
Taplist as at February 26, 2009
Plenty has changed in the Australian beer scene in the eight years since Jeffares and Greenstone founded Taphouse Darlinghurst, as the venue’s opening tap list illustrates.
Barely any of the many small breweries now dotted across inner Sydney were in existence, making for a list largely dominated by beers from interstate and overseas.
One of the Australian breweries featured went out of business long ago, with two others now under new ownership.
James Squire Pilsner (NSW)
Murrays Pilsner (NSW)
Trumer German Pilsner (Austria)
Hofbrau Munich Helles (Germany)
Kostritzer Munich Dunkel (Germany)
Coopers Sparkling Ale (SA)
Matilda Bay Fat Yak APA (VIC)
Wicked Elf APA (NSW)
Barons Black Wattle Ale (NSW)
5 Islands Spangled Wheat (NSW)
Wig & Pen ‘Kamberra’ Kölsch (ACT)
Mountain Goat Hightail English Pale Ale (VIC)
Feral Razorback Barley Wine (WA)
Little Creatures U.S Pale Ale (WA)
Leffe Blonde (Belgium)
James Squire Amber Ale (NSW)
Hoegaarden Wit (Belgium)
Franziskaner Hefeweizen (Germany)
Bridge Road ‘Chevalier Saison’ (VIC)
Jamieson ‘Beast IPA’ (VIC)
2 Brothers ‘Growler’ Brown Ale (VIC)