It’s no secret punters Australia-wide have been missing the pub and all that comes with popping down to your local on a Friday afternoon. But from the scramble to secure to a spot at one of Canberra’s most popular watering holes, it’s clear just how much people have been thirsting for a cold one straight from the taps.
Capital Brewing Co in Fyshwick has adapted to the 10 patrons at a time rule, offering pre-booked, two-hour sessions for people to grab a bite and a beer. The sessions have proved extremely popular with pub-enthusiasts; the first two weekends sold out in under 30 minutes, and the next release in about an hour.
“We always thought people would want to come back in,” says Capital’s assistant venue manager, Steve Smith.
“I think a lot of the public’s obviously missing the feel of going to the pub.
“Obviously it’s not the same atmosphere but [there is] the thrill of a tap beer which a lot of people have missed in this country, probably the world.”
He says the team had an inkling that the sessions would be seriously in demand, but were surprised at how quickly locals jumped at the chance to get in the door.
“We always assumed we’d get a pretty good response, but [to sell out] as quick as we did? Probably not.”
The sessions are $45 per head, and include a Capital Brewing Co tasting paddle as well chicken wings, mac and cheese balls and bar snacks from Brodburger. Of course, there’s also the option to order a burger and more beers.
Steve says the first weekend of sessions was a success, with groups young and old coming together to celebrate the easing of restrictions.
“They were stoked,” he says. The word is that one group even offered the group coming in after them $1,000 for their spot!
“We had people that had obviously just turned 18 and not even really had a proper experience of the pub, and they get to get it before a lot of other people,” says Steve.
“We haven’t had the thrill of [ID-ing someone for the first time] for a while.”
If you’ve missed out on a seat at the (very exclusive) table, fear not! Capital is still operating as a takeaway bottle shop, where you can grab one-litre cans of your favourites, as well as operating their online shop, with same day delivery for ACT orders. Bookings for future sessions are pending further announcements about restrictions but keep an eye out – any openings will last about as long as that first post-lockdown beer.