By Clyde Mooney ? editor Australian Hotelier
The current owners of a top gaming venue in Sydney?s west leased to Australia?s biggest publican have put the property to market.
Fairfield?s Cambridge Tavern is up for sale, boasting amongst other benefits a lease to the hotel operator division of Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group (ALH) until 2058.?
Around 20 per cent of the State?s Top 50 gaming venues fall within the Fairfield City Council municipality and the Cambridge is a mainstay that will likely be hotly contested amongst savvy investors.
?As well as the 5800m² of prime commercial land, the landlord?also?enjoys ownership of the hotel licence and valuable 30 poker machine licences," said Andrew Jolliffe, NSW managing director for Ray White Hotels (RWH), which has been appointed exclusive agent.
Jolliffe previously managed ALH?s record 2012 acquisition of 32 pubs from several Sydney operators, including Laundy Hotel Group.
He told TheShout that owning a pub leased to ALH has proven ?hands-off? appeal, with landlords benefiting from a tenant that consistently injects financial and human capital for sustainable profit.
The Cambridge Tavern last traded in 2007 for approximately $45 million.
The Expressions of Interest campaign closes May 22, 2014.
G'Vine is celebrating the start of G&T season with an online campaign offering bartenders the chance to win a trip to Bordeaux and Cognac.
To enter the Escape to the Grape competition, bartenders simply have to visit the website and post an image or video of an 'escape' that inspires them, and a G'Vine & Tonic twist that it inspired, with bottle in shot or a "g?".
"The variation can be in the recipe, in the garnish, in the theatre or presentation - anything that communicates the escape that inspired it," G'Vine said.
"You are free to use any definition of the word 'tonic' that you choose, but G'Vine must be the main ingredient."
The contest is open now until May 14. Entries will be automatically posted to the competition's Facebook and Twitter pages.
The grand prize is an all-access tour of the Cognac and Bordeaux regions.
"Celebrating both the heritage and the innovation, G?Vine will take you on an all-access tour of the region?s best grape producers, with a couple of surprises along the way," G'Vine said.
Full competition and judging details are available here.
Diageo Australia has announced the top 25 bartenders who are now through to the next round of Diageo Reserve World Class, the industry?s biggest and most prestigious bartending competition.?
Diageo Australia representatives judged signature drinks as well as short videos created by the Top 100 bartenders.?
Entries considered by judges to best display complexity through simplicity, a unique interpretation of community and the garden-to-glass movement made it through to the Top 25.
These bartenders will now travel to Sydney on May 14 and 15 to participate in the inaugural World Class Academy.?
Comprised of a series of workshops and challenges hosted by a panel of industry experts, the Academy is designed to inspire bartenders to excel at their craft and educate them before they head to the final round.
As part of the Academy, the Top 25 bartenders will partake in a rum workshop hosted by Ian Burrell, the global rum ambassador.
Additionally, co-owner and chef at Three Blue Ducks, Darren Robertson, will use his culinary expertise to host a session on sustainability and using the whole ingredient; Luke Ashton will teach bartenders about the art of flavour infusion; and Tim Philips will prepare bartenders for the global finals with a series of on-the-spot challenges.
The winner of this year's Diageo Reserve World Class Australia competition will not only have the chance to follow in the footsteps of Luke Ashton and Tim Philips by representing Australia at the Global Finals, they will also win a once in a lifetime tailor-made experience.?
This experience will see the Australian winner travel to Scotland to learn the art of blending at the Johnnie Walker distillery; master the craft of maturation at the George Dickel distillery in Tennessee; hone their knowledge of rum at the Zacapa rum distillery in Guatemala; and tour the iconic Bundaberg Distilling Company.?
Here the winner will have the opportunity to act as an apprentice master craftsman, and work with the Bundaberg Distilling Company?s Master Distillers to create 100 bottles of their own limited-edition, small batch rum blend.
Bartenders through to the top 25:
Alan Raythorn, Black Pearl (VIC);
Alex Archibald, Walrus Club (QLD);
Alex Dickson, Neighbourhood (NSW);
Alexander Boon, Fourth Wall (QLD);
Andrew Bennett, The Classroom (WA);
Andy Griffiths, The Rum Diary Bar (VIC);
Ben Blair, The Crossing (NSW);
Charles Ainsbury, EDV (NSW);
Christopher Amon, Woods of Windsor (VIC);
Dominic Xavier, Cobbler (QLD);
Fred Siggins, Black Pearl (VIC);
Geoff Fewell, Lui Bar (VIC);
Gorge Camorra, Cloud9 (VIC);
Jack Krzywdzinski, Mrs Hyde (VIC);
Jenna Hemsworth, Thomas Olive (VIC);
Jonothan Carr, MOJO Record Bar (NSW);
Lewis Hall, Black Pearl (VIC);
Matthew O'Sullivan, Kerbside (QLD);
Nick Selvadurai, Cookie (VIC);
Nikita Ward, Hazy Rose (NSW);
Oscar Eastman, 1806 (VIC);
Rinna Kato, Black Bird (QLD);
Rodrigo Vega, Ananas (NSW);
Simon Toohey, The Crossing (NSW);
Taka Shino, Magazin (NSW).?
By Clyde Mooney ? editor Australian Hotelier
The Australian Hotels Association (NSW) has reiterated its advice on dealing with armed robbery, in the wake of several recent incidents in Sydney. ??
Following on from last year?s collaboration with Clubs NSW and NSW Police to launch the ?Armed Robbery Prevention Kit?, AHA NSW director of policing John Green reminded operators to be prepared.?
?After a quiet period for hotels in the Sydney area, AHA NSW is concerned by an apparent recent spike in robberies and attempted armed robberies,? said Green, referring to police reports of incidents at Marrickville?s The Henson and a hotel/motel on the Hume Hwy at Bass Hill.?
"Given the recent hold-ups, it is timely for licensees and their staff to be reminded about what to do in the event of a holdup ? remembering that their safety is paramount.?
The Henson owner Ray Reilly told TheShout that in the recent incident at his venue, a would-be bandit was unable to enter as managers had fulfilled the policy of immediately locking all doors at closing, which was 10.30pm due to it being a public holiday.?
The armed offender was unable to enter, and subsequently attempted to kick in the door of the bottleshop.?
?He caused a fair bit of damage to the frame of the door, but wasn?t able to get in. I?ve got a chippie here fixing it now,? said Reilly.?
The AHA?s literature on the subject includes information on prevention strategies and what to do during and after the robbery. It is available from the AHA NSW offices, or by clicking here.
The advice incorporates the following basic principles:
Follow the offender?s instructions at all times;
Don?t initiate conversation with the offender;
Stay calm and quiet and avoid any sudden or unexpected movements;
Don?t attempt to retaliate or attack the offender;
Avoid eye contact and show your hands; and
Don?t activate alarm system unless it is safe to do so.
Former cop takes NSW liquor portfolio as Souris axed
By James Atkinson
New South Wales Hospitality Minister George Souris has been shown the door by incoming Premier Mike Baird, who has handed the equivalent portfolio to Dubbo MP Troy Grant?(pictured), a former police officer of 22 years.
In the latest fallout from Premier Barry O?Farrell?s resignation over the forgotten Penfolds Grange affair, his successor Baird this week installed the NSW Nationals? Grant as Minister for Hospitality, Gaming and Racing, and Minister for the Arts, a portfolio stripped back from that of Grant?s predecessor George Souris, who also had responsibility for Tourism and Major Events.
Little is known about Grant?s stance on liquor and hospitality matters, but his appointment may be cautiously welcomed by the industry, given the job has been hard-earned off the back of real world experience, rather than a cushy advisory background.
The former cop received two Commissioner?s Commendations for Courage in his long policing career, in which he reached the rank of Inspector of Police before resigning when elected to NSW Parliament in March 2011.
In his inaugural speech to Parliament in June 2011, Grant said he ?did not take a carpet ride to the rank of inspector of police during my service?.?
?I am proud to say that I have walked and worked some of the toughest streets in our state. In that time I witnessed the very best and the very worst in people,? he said.
?I owe my life to Senior Constable Jason Williams. His courage when we were attacked and I was stabbed early one December morning in 1993, risking his safety to give me the chance to fight for my life, without fear of further harm to himself, bonds us for life and is a debt I cannot properly repay.?
The streamlined portfolio better places Grant to take a more active role on liquor and hospitality concerns than that of his predecessor Souris, who alongside his broader ministerial responsibilities also oversaw one of the biggest electorates in the state as Upper Hunter MP.
Grant?s appointment follows the recent announcement that former NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing director of compliance, Paul Newson, had become its new executive director.
By James Atkinson
Mountain Goat Beer and Mornington Peninsula Brewery have both released beers in cans in recent weeks.
Following the successful release of its Summer Ale in 375ml cans, Mountain Goat has released Fancy Pants, a supercharged version of its flagship Hightail Ale, in the same format.
"Fancy Pants takes our Hightail as a base and steps it up a level in terms of hop character, ABV and mouthfeel," Mountain Goat co-founder Cam Hines told TheShout.
"We released it a year or so back in our Rare Breed 640ml bottle format and it went really well, so we thought, 'why not bring it back in a can?'"?
Hines said the Summer Ale in 375ml cans will return as a permanent line in September.
"Sales far exceeded our expectation this summer just gone," he said.?
Elsewhere in Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Brewery has installed a canning line and recently celebrated the release of its Pale Ale in the new container.
"In terms of distribution, they will be going to all good bottleshops in Melbourne and have made their way to a couple of shops each in Queensland, WA and NSW," national sales coordinator Michael Chaffe told TheShout.
Also?this month, Sydney's Australian Brewery concluded the latest stage of its Canbassador promotion, which aimed to raise awareness of its range of canned products.
Cans have become the format of choice for many of North America's leading craft breweries, a trend their Australian counterparts look set to follow.
By Sacha Delfosse ? editor bars&clubs
Gruppo Campari has announced that it has signed an agreement to fully acquire Fratelli Averna S.p.A, owner of the Italian amaro brand, Averna.
The Fratelli Averna S.p.A portfolio is also home to the Braulio, Limoncetta and Grappa Frattina brands, on top of Averna, which is the second best-selling bitter in Italy. The total purchase price is €103.75 million with the transaction expected to be completed by June 3.
The move is expected to further strengthen Gruppo Campari position in the Italian spirits market, and make the company the leading supplier of premium Italian bitters and liqueurs. Gruppo Campari said the purchase will also create growth potential for the company in various key markets.
?With the acquisition of Averna Group, we continue to strengthen our portfolio of premium offerings and consolidate our position as the leading purveyor of premium Italian liqueur and bitter specialties worldwide. Adding a portfolio of brands with high quality, high margin and strong cash generation capability, this acquisition represents a great opportunity for us to leverage our international route-to-market for profitable growth, in line with our acquisition strategy,? said Gruppo Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz.
?Other than in Italy, we will increase our critical mass in key Central European markets, particularly in Germany. Moreover, thanks to our strong distribution network in North America, we are very well positioned to benefit from the market?s growth potential, particularly in the US, where mixologists and local consumers are showing growing interest in Italian bitters and liqueurs in the on-premise channel. In this core market, with Averna, we will further enrich our existing offering of Italian specialities, including Campari, Frangelico, Cynar and Aperol.?
By James Atkinson
The relocation of fifth generation Coors family member, David Coors?(pictured) to Australia demonstrates Molson Coors' strong commitment to its new distribution partnership with Coca-Cola Amatil, according to the US company's senior executives.?
David Coors moved to Sydney earlier this month and has become general manager of Molson Coors' Australasian operations.
He was joined last week by his father, Molson Coors chairman Pete Coors, the company's president Kandy Anard and chief commercial officer Brett Vye on a roadshow to meet with some of CCA's Australian customers.
"That shows the commitment of the family, this is truly an important market and an important partnership for us," Anard told TheShout.
Pete Coors said he had been impressed with CCA's execution in the Australian accounts he had visited.
"Both the on-trade and off-trade have been well merchandised, they've done a great job of bringing awareness to the brand," he said.
"But we're not yet everywhere we'd like to be. We need to expand our retail base."
Coors said son David was the ideal candidate for the Australian job, detailing his impressive CV that includes an undergraduate degree in Engineering at Ivy League school Cornell University, an MBA plus a masters in Manufacturing Management and extensive experience both inside the Coors business and outside, in the oil and gas industry.
"I don't let the kids come back to the business straight away," Coors said. [continues below]
L-R: Molson Coors' Pete Coors, Kandy Anard, David Coors and Brett Vye
The chairman acknowledged the Australian beer market has its challenges, which he is confident of overcoming given the positioning of the Coors and Blue Moon brands.
"It's very similar to other highly developed markets - US, Canada, the UK. People seem to be drinking a little less beer. Part of it seems to be this craft beer revolution, where people like drinking craft beer but they don't drink as much volumetrically as they used to," he said.
Still in talks with Woolies: David Coors
The Molson Coors brands have benefited from strong initial distribution through independent and Coles retail outlets, David Coors told TheShout.
"Coles accepted new product in December, which is not something they usually do, so we had instant distribution across all the 1st Choice stores, which was a great way for us to get a bit of awareness," he said.?
"We're still having discussions with Woolworths."
Coors said Australian consumers are receiving the beer very well, with an uplift in sales through certain stores.
"Initially it was retailers saying 'I'll take a couple of cases because I don't know if this will sell'," he said.
"Well their next order is five cases, their next order is 20 cases, so we've seen growth across the country with both brands, Coors and Blue Moon."
In the on-premise, Coors said the brands are in 500-plus venues.
"Without Coors being on draught it's a bit tough in the on-premise, so we're hoping to have that further down the road this year," he said.
"We're strictly trying to get bucket promotions so that people are aware - five Coors for $20."
?By Clyde Mooney ? editor Australian Hotelier
A Bondi Junction pub has been listed for sale, continuing a watershed quarter for Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.
Adjacent to Westfields and Myers in Bondi Junction, the Tea Gardens hotel is considered a prime asset enjoying heritage status and earnings in line with the best in the area.
Ray White Hotels?(RWH) has secured exclusive representation for ALG (Australian Leisure Group) for the landmark hotel, having previously managed assets for the company in New South Wales and Queensland.??
RWH NSW managing director Andrew Jolliffe said the rarity of such a blue-chip listing and its potential in a densely populated foodie district will attract a lot of interest.
"The Tea Gardens enjoys its position in the top echelon of freehold hotels nationally. The annual profit, delivered regularly, puts it firmly in the A-Grade asset class, irrespective of category, which means it enjoys similar status to the Coogee Bay Hotel, the Golden Sheaf in Double Bay, the Newport Arms and Watsons Bay hotels," he said.
Sydney?s Eastern Suburbs has seen a?flurry of pub transactions in recent months, with major operators entering the area for the first time and stalwart properties changing hands for the first time in decades.
Some of the new and sophisticated investment groups that recently have been strategically building portfolios in key areas are likely to be very interested in the Tea Gardens ? particularly given its status and the barriers to competition locally.
"The revenue profile of the Tea Gardens is such that no one revenue stream is dominant, so the blend of trade is exceptional,? Jolliffe said.
"Assets like [this] are iconic for a reason. The number of hotels in the broader area is comparatively low to others, and the sheer volume of people in and around the hotel is the very reason assets of this grade are seldom traded."
The hotel boasts over 800 square metres over two levels, with a balcony, large kitchen and 30 gaming machines. It enjoyed a significant jump to #88 in the latest list of top-performing gaming venues in NSW.?
Jolliffe could not comment on the vendors except to say they are an ?interstate investment group? that has owned the property for the ?typical investment cycle? of seven years.
By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News
New Zealand?s Squealing Pig has released its latest vintage Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir with carboNZero certification.?
The internationally recognised carboNZero program was established in 2001 by Landcare Research New Zealand Limited, one of New Zealand's leading Crown Research Institutes, and is based on over a decade of research on climate change, greenhouse gas measurement and carbon monitoring.?
To achieve certification, an organisation must undergo an independent verification to ensure they meet strict international standards that ensure the ongoing credibility of the program and brand.?
The carboNZero program is fast becoming the New Zealand wine company carbon certification of choice, and as other New Zealand wineries move certified brands into export markets the logo will become better known and associated with New Zealand wines.?
The 2013 Squealing Pig Pinot Gris, with an RRP of $21.99, and the 2012 Squealing Pig Pinot Noir (pictured), with an RRP of $25.99, are the first wines from the Squealing Pig portfolio to wear the carboNZero certification on its label and are available in Australian now. ??