By James Atkinson

A Sydney pub has increased its volume of beer sold by more than 10 per cent since devoting half its taps to craft beer.

James Henty, owner of the Woolpack Hotel in Redfern, told TheShout that the pub cut its Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) tap contract back to a 50/50 arrangement in November last year.

The remainder of the taps were opened up to small craft breweries like Two Birds, Balmain Brewing, 4 Pines and Young Henrys.

The early signs are positive. In a two-week period shortly after the introduction of craft, the pub sold 1830 litres of beer, as compared 1660 litres in a two-week period in August – a 10.24 per cent increase in volume.

Woolpack general manager Matt Cooper (left) and owner James Henty

"Some of the volume still comes from CUB – Carlton Draught and Victoria Bitter are our big sellers – but we've got the best of both worlds now," said the pub's general manager, Matt Cooper.

"We've got flexibility, but we still get the rebates."

Henty said revenue from food has also increased as the pub attracts new patrons through its doors as a result of the change in direction. 

"The people that are drinking craft, they're buying better wines as well. And instead of eating a $10 schnitzel, they're ordering a rib eye."

He said the craft beers come with their own audience of the brewers and their friends.  

"You put in one of their beers, they'll come and support it," he said.

"And it makes it more interesting for your staff, they get more involved in the purchase process."

On Saturday February 16 the Woolpack will continue its rapid embrace of craft beer with a beer degustation hosted by Dan the Beer Snob.

The Shout Team

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

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