By James Atkinson
Chris and Penny Hodges have announced that their lease of the Great Britain Hotel in Richmond will end on June 30 this year, with a major pub group set to take control of the venue.
Chris Hodges told TheShout that the decision to exit the craft beer-focused, live music venue unfortunately did not lie with himself and Penny.
“There’s been a new landlord in the last couple of years and the new landlord has gone with a new tenant, so we weren’t involved in the process,” he said.
Hodges said the duo will seek future opportunities in pub management as well as focusing on their East Brunswick wine bar, Eydie’s.
He said he believes The Open Door Pub Co, operator of 15 pubs in Victoria, will be taking over the lease of the pub.
The Open Door Pub Co did not respond to a request for comment.
Writing on Facebook, Mountain Goat Beer founder Dave Bonighton paid tribute to the Great Britain’s crucial role in the history of his brewery.
“The Great Britain Hotel under Chris and Penny's watch was the first place Hightail Ale, our first beer, was ever tapped,” Bonighton said.
“We mark our official birthday (Oct 4th, 1997) after this day, and we've been on tap there ever since. It's true to say that we wouldn't be the brewery we are without the Great Britain.”
Bonighton told TheShout that the Hodges should be recognised for their trailblazing support of craft beer.
“Back in 1997 there weren’t that many venues that were prepared to give a couple of guys like us a crack,” Bonighton said.