4 Pines are adding another venue to their ever-growing portfolio after striking up a partnership with the owners of The Sporting Globe chain of sports bars, Signature Hospitality Group. Together, they're to open a Sporting Globe in Sydney's Darling Harbour.
The new venture is on the site that's also home to All Hands Brewing House, the 2019 winner of Champion Australian Brewpub at The Indies, which Signature acquired in February this year.
Signature's CEO, James Sinclair, told The Crafty Pint partnering with 4 Pines was a natural fit for both companies.
“We were looking for somebody to collaborate with on the brewery, to really bring it to life, and 4 Pines obviously have their roots firmly in New South Wales," he says. "We thought this amazing waterfront location had really good synergy with their brand just a short ferry ride away.”
The acquisition of All Hands Brewing House for $20m was the group's first move into Sydney with the Darling Harbour location.
“We always knew that it would make a fantastic and iconic sporting location," James says. "On top of that it had a huge benefit in the great history of craft brewing and a fantastic facility."
James says All Hands beers will continue to be brewed for the bar, with the decision to work with 4 Pines arising from the brewery's reputation; the new Sporting Globe location sits in a prominent location attracting plenty of foot traffic and tourism (in a post-COVID world anyway).
“The All Hands beer was terrific quality. But the brand itself is obviously nowhere near as strongly known as 4 Pines,” he says.
Following a refit, the new venue will open in December pouring both 4 Pines and All Hands beers throughout a venue set to boast more than 50 screens for watching sport, Darling Harbour's largest beer garden and space for 850 patrons (COVID regulations permitting).
James says they're excited to be combining viewing sport and enjoying craft beer, pointing to how embedded the two are in America.
“Having fresh product brewed on site and going through a tasting of an array of different styles all adds to overall venue experience,” he says. “Bringing sports and craft beer together in this way, we expect to be a great hit."
4 Pines have already installed bars at venues such as the SCG and Melbourne's Marvel Stadium since their acquisition by AB InBev, which now sees them form part of Asahi-owned CUB's broad craft portfolio. They have recently embarked on other joint ventures too, including bars in Coolangatta and Torquay operated with surf gear company Boardriders, and a Brunswick brewpub launched with the owners of Welcome To Thornbury, 100 Burgers Group.
Todd Atkinson, head of marketing at 4 Pines, says once it's open, beer fans can expect to find a mix of both the 4 Pines core range and a regularly changing lineup of beers brewed for the venue.
“Chris Wilcock, who is our head brewer, has been on site and worked with the local team there so they’re really excited to be working together which is cool," Todd says.
As for the space they'll inhabit on Darling Harbour, the summer refit represents the latest in a long line of reinventions. A James Squire Brewhouse was opened on the site in King Street Wharf in 2004 before the Lion Nathan-owned brand separated from the business in 2010. It become the King St Brewhouse and, following a period pouring predominantly Bluetongue beers, was acquired by Red Rock Leisure in 2013.
From 2013, the on-site brewery released beers under the Red Tape name before the venue was closed for a major refit in 2017. It reopened as All Hands Brewing House under the same head brewer, Sam Clayman, and went on to pick up silverware at the 2019 Indies. Back in February, it was sold for $20m to the Signature Group, a move that's led to this latest evolution.