44%

MISSING THE BOAT????
According to the Internet. 44% of the population of Sydney is in the”Greater West and that number will increase to over 50% by 2030. So it seems to me that the Craft Beer movement in the west is not keeping pace with the population growth.
I can get to quite a few venues in an around Sydney by train and or bus, however a trip from my place to the city is a big effort. I recently spent nearly seven hours travelling to attend a Flat Rock Brew Cafe event. Yes, it was my decision to go and my choice to live west of Katoomba, and I will choose to go to similar events in the future.

There are practically no venues making more than a token effort in the market west of Parramatta. Especially ones easily reachable by public transport, and you have to use it if you having a bit of a session on the beer, True, there are a couple of micro or nano breweries in the mountains, a couple of pubs may occasionally have one or two non main stream beers on tap, maybe one good and one not bad bottle shop out of the sixteen bit grog shops, if I counted correctly between Leura and Mt Victoria.
Apart from the Australian Brewery at Rouse Hill which is very out of the way, and those mentioned above I don’t know of a single place that has any commitment to craft beer. I can’t comment on the Liverpool or Campbelltown regions as that area is well out of my reach as a rule
Sure, Brewers can open breweries in the area of their choice and pubs and bottle shops can sell or not sell what they want to, but where are the craft beer bars?  I can’t help thinking that there is a boat being missed here. Maybe not enough of the 1.2 million people in the Greater West interested in craft beer or it is not worth the effort to introduce them to the product.
Perhaps there is an argument  for a mini Craft Beer Festival at Penrith or Blacktown or some such place, preferably within cooee of a railway/bus station. There was a beer festival at Leura a few years ago but I gather there where a few issues with that, high event costs to the exhibitors being one of them.

I was in a pub recently, it doesn’t really matter which pub it could have been any one of hundreds of pubs. This particular pub was one of the Woolworths group f pubs. I know this because there was a sign stating it. A main stream pub dispensing the usual mainstream beers. The nearest thing to a micro brewery”Craft” beer was a beer from a Qld Brewery. I had a quick look at the bottles in the small fridge behind the bar and from what I could see there was only a very small selection of beers, with no sign or board suggestion what might be an alternative to the beers on tap.

So getting closer to my point, Why   do large busy pubs not have beers that cater to the odd non main stream beer drinkers who unwittingly wander into these places

I would have thought that it would be easy to have a small fridge stocked with something other than mainstream beers . Most of these pubs have bottle shops attached. Some pubs such as this one are part of a group that actually owns a chain  of bottle shops. This group I think also has some interest in craft breweries. Nor would I have thought that it would be a crippling cost to these pubs. After all, if not sold the bottles can go back to the shelf. And bottle shops do sell discounted beer.

When ever I discuss this with others I am usually told that it is a wild of the wall opinion as these pubs have no interest in catering for the small group of drinkers I am talking about. Well! I know that otherwise there would be no discussion . To me it makes as much sense as if a fruit shop stated they where not going to sell veg’s because they where a fruit shop. There are some bars with less taps than these  big pubs promote the fact that they have a large ( up to fifty in one instance) selection of bottled craft beer to appeal to just about every beer drinkers tastes, If a bar small in comparison to the pubs, can offer this then there is no reason other than complete indifference for pubs not to provide a Beer Nerd Fridge could cater for the taste of the more adventurous beer drinking community.

Just thought I would put down a few wandering thoughts that might strike a chord with someone. I will have to try and find an image and stick it on instagram

@TheCraftyPint @AustCraftBeer   

(who else should I include)

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