Award-winning craft-beer bar The Local Taphouse is up for sale.
Since opening in 2009, the venue has featured almost 2000 beers across its 60 taps, as well as being the precursor to the popular festival the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular (GABS).
Melbourne-based co-founders Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone say the dual successes of their Melbourne brewpub Stomping Ground, and the expanding GABS festivals, played a role in their decision. Jeffares calls the decision a reluctant one.
“Stomping Ground has grown much faster than we expected so we are fast-tracking some of our expansion plans and that requires more of our focus,” he says. “We are certainly developing GABS and other beer event concepts for other cities in Australia and overseas.”
Even though they are letting go, Jeffares says they would prefer the venue remained beer-focused, and the Local Taphouse moniker may be up for negotiation to the right buyer.
“After the love that we’ve poured into the venue, we want to give it every chance to continue to shine under new ownership and we are certainly hoping to sell it to someone passionate about better beer,” he says.
The three-level pub includes a rooftop beer garden and regularly hosts events, including their monthly Ale Stars tastings, which feature top brewers from around Australia and the world.
Sydney will still play host to this year’s GABS festival, at the Sydney Showground in May. The event moves from the Australian Technology Park, where it was held in previous years, to accommodate a bigger festival – even though the number of sessions has been reduced from four to two.
“The two sessions this year could be the biggest in GABS history due to the much bigger venue. We can also fit the giant ferris wheel into The Dome at Homebush.”
Jeffares says the people are “the common denominator” in his favourite memories of the Local Taphouse. "There have been so many staff, members, brewers, industry folk and beer fans who have invested love into the business over the years," he says.
The sale is being managed by Ray White Hotels.