By Triana O'Keefe, editor Australian Hotelier

It’s that time of year again. Your average Wednesday nights are about to be transformed into an occasion when it’s perfectly acceptable to manhandle beer and yell at mates simply for being born on the wrong side of the NSW/QLD border. 

As the night of nights for Australian Rugby League, the State of Origin presents venues with an opportunity to take advantage of the large crowds and festive atmosphere.

According to Keystone’s Anthony Prior, chief operating officer – hotels and bars, there is a definite checklist to ensuring your venue is a fighting contender.

“For many of our venues, State of Origin is one of the biggest nights of the year. It’s a great tradition for Aussies to go to a pub to watch the game and ultimately we just want to maximise the enjoyment of our guests,” he said.

 “Of course, the most important thing is visibility,” he said.

For this reason four Keystone venues show the games live on a big projector screen and also bring in additional screens so everyone gets a clear view.

Sound is also key to a great night, so Cargo Bar, Bungalow 8, Newtown Hotel and Sugarmill always play the games with sound for the ultimate fans.

“Offering good food and beverages is something we do all the time but on Origin nights, all of our venues try to offer something fitting of a sports game,” Prior said.

“$10 steaks at Cargo go down a treat, and outdoor BBQ’s are also a favourite of ours.”

Newtown Hotel is renowned for Happy Hour from 4-7pm so getting in early to enjoy a few drinks before kick-off is a great idea.

“Making use of interesting drinking vessels away from the standard jugs of beer such as the Beer Tower at Cargo Bar and the Cider Tower at Newtown Hotel is a great way for guests to enjoy a drink with their mates,” he said.

“Themeing is also a great way to get into the spirit and we’re all about the Blues (sorry Maroon fans!) so expect to see some festive themeing to add to the night.”

2015 State of Origin Dates:

Game 1: ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Wednesday, 27th May 2015
Game 2: MCG, Melbourne. Wednesday, 17th June 2015
Game 3: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Wednesday, 8th July 2015

For the complete article click here, or see the latest edition of Australian Hotelier.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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