I started my working life in country pubs, and I was lucky to have worked for some really good publicans. From my first boss Jim Burns at the QN Hotel, to ex-Ipswich Jets footballer Ross Williams at the Exchange hotel. During these years, and growing up in a country town, these pubs (and the smart publicans in particular) were full of locals every Friday and Saturday night. These days, they seem to struggle to draw a crowd even on big occasions like Christmas and New Years Eve's.
Pubs have long been a central part of Australian culture. They were places where people would gather to socialise, catch up with friends, and watch the footy. They were also important community hubs, sponsoring local sports teams and hosting events like trivia nights and charity fundraisers. However, over the years, the pub culture in Australia has changed significantly. In many ways, it has effectively died.
One of the biggest factors contributing to the decline of pub culture is the rise of pokies. Pubs used to make most of their money from food and drink sales, but over time, more and more pubs began to install pokie machines. This shift in focus from socialising to gambling has had a significant impact on the pub experience. Many pubs now feel more like casinos than social spaces, and the emphasis is on making money from pokie revenue rather than building a sense of community.
Another factor that has contributed to the decline of pub culture in Australia is the fact that large supermarket chains like Coles and Woolworths have bought up many pubs in recent years. They do this to generate revenue from retail alcohol sales in their bottleshops. While this might make financial sense for these companies, it has had a negative impact on the character of many pubs. They have become more generic and less tied to the local community.
The loss of pub culture is a real shame. Pubs used to be such an important part of Australian life, and it's sad to see them become more focused on generating revenue than building community. But it's not all bad news. There are still some great pubs out there that are bucking the trend. These are the pubs that focus on building a sense of community and providing a welcoming space for people to gather and socialise. They may be few and far between, but they're out there, and they deserve our support.
The decline in pub culture has also led to the rise of small local breweries. The vacuum created from the lack of social character in pubs has, in some part, been filled by small bars and local brewers. The atmosphere of a unique, relaxed family-friendly venue, where you can still enjoy a few pints without a poker machine in sight.
At 4 Brothers Brewing, we believe that pubs should be about bringing people together. That's why we focus on creating a welcoming atmosphere where people can gather and enjoy great beer in good company. We're committed to building a strong sense of community around our brewery, and we hope that we can inspire others to do the same.
And in writing this article, we've decided to dedicate Friday's to bringing back some old-school pub vibes. Friday Knock-Off's will include raffle giveaways from 4pm to 6pm (who doesn't want to win a meat tray for the weekend) and Jag-The-Joker from 6pm to 8pm (weekly jackpots). This is a small way for us to give back to our loyal customers, and we hope to see you down at The Brewhouse on a Friday soon.