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BYO License and Beer

Posted by on June 8, 2011

Dear Restaurant Owner,

I have a bone to pick with  you. Why do you not allow me to bring my own beer when  you have a BYO license?

Sure you might stock the usual range of mass produce horsepiss in a bottle created by the likes of CUB or Lion Nathan, or that slightly better, but not by much, mass produced crap under license from so called premium “overseas” breweries… But I, and many others, don’t want to drink that crap.

Sure your best wine is a great vintage chateau cardboard, so you offer BYO wine,  because you know.. Those wine drinkers are so discerning that you cant possibly offer the best wine to these people so you must allow them to bring in an alternative.

So I ask again, why not offer the same  for beer?

From my understanding of the Victorian BYO permit, there is no limitation on what BYO is. All it states is:

“A BYO Permit authorises the consumption, possession and control of liquor in a restaurant or club that does not hold a liquor licence.”

So I ask again, why not beer?

Australian’s drink approx 104.7 litres of beer per capita per  year vs wine at 22.9 litres, and the craft beer sales are growing while mass produced swill sales are dropping.

I’ve personally drunk over 200 different Australian beers alone. Two hundred, and yet most restaurants will offer 4 or 5 CUB products, all lagers without any real thought of style or food pairings.

Oh yeah.. you CAN pair food and beer. Who would of thunk it?

But back to BYO.

I would happily pay “bottle cappage” or whatever you would want to call it for the privilege of you opening my beer, just like you charge corkage for wine.

Like any discerning wine drinker, I realise that it is unrealistic for you to always stock my favourite brew. Hell, I know the realities of business. I know I cant expect anyone to keep bottles of Nogne-o Sweet Horizon in stock just on the off chance someone is willing to come in and spend $50 on a bottle. Your storage is precious. Your money is precious, and taking big risks on a  diverse range  of beer may not be the best business decision…

BUT! Allowing beer drinkers to bring their own beer, allows those of us with taste the opportunity to enjoy our time at  your resturant more. You still make something on “beer cappage”. You have more happy customers, and it really costs you little to nothing to do.

BYO Equal opportunity. That’s all I’m asking for.

4 Responses to BYO License and Beer

  1. Chipsy

    Very well said!

  2. Mcsimmo

    I’ve been complaining about this for a while myself. This is a major issue of our times. How did the BYO wine thing come about? Is it, as you say, that wine drinkers were deemed more discerning? In which case it’s a lack of understanding about craft beer and the growing number of discerning beer drinkers. Are they afraid of slabs of VB being brought in by unruly types? Maybe the ‘Cappage’ charge would stop that but still allow for ‘good beer’ drinkers to choose a suitable dinner companion.

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