CHEERS: PA Hotel general manager Peter Coultas and operations manager Tim Rule celebrate the venue's latest success in the Queensland Hotels Association Awards.
CHEERS: PA Hotel general manager Peter Coultas and operations manager Tim Rule celebrate the venue's latest success in the Queensland Hotels Association Awards. Cordell Richardson

Dynamic approach to slinging beer keeps punters coming back

REFUSING to settle for the status quo and always keeping the patrons returning for something different is the new norm for the hotel industry.

After another successful night at the Queensland Hotels Association awards, Prince Alfred Hotel manager Peter Coultas said expectations had shifted in terms of what the public now expects from their local.

The PA Hotel was nominated for four big awards on Monday night, eventually picking up two gongs: the Rising Star award for junior manager Ben Potter; and the Best Traditional Hotel Bar for the Tap'd bar.

Despite picking up a swag of awards in recent years, it is the first time the PA has won a gong for Tap'd, which opened four years ago.

Mr Coultas said the bar's 72 beer taps were on a constant rotation of different beers - including many locally made - so patrons always had something different to discover.

"For Tap'd to be judged as the best traditional bar tells you the goal posts have really moved in terms of what people expect of a pub these days,” he said.

"The fact is millennials don't drink that much, so bars have had to evolve in order to survive.

"We have been concentrating on the food and keeping the beverage options ever-changing and exciting.”

Gone are the days when you either drank XXXX or VB. The Tap'd Bar serves Silkstone Session Ale and Ipswich Australian Pale Ale - the creations of local brewers Tony Brown and Mal West - among other craft beers.

In fact, the keg rotation at the venue is so vigorous that staff expect to pour their 1000th variety of beer later this year.

The sheer variety on offer makes the PA a favourite haunt of beer connoisseurs from across southeast Queensland, and the venue works with Ipswich Tourism to continue to draw visitors into the city.

Tourism figures continue to improve with international visitors coming into the region up 41.9 per cent, day trippers up 22.1 per cent and domestic overnight stays up 14.7 per cent.

The tourism and hospitality industry employs more than 15,392 people in the Ipswich region and is an important growth sector.

Ipswich cafes and restaurants have been luring people, with eating out and dining showing the fastest growth of top activities reported by visitors to the region.

There was a 27 per cent increase in people listing foodie reasons for their visit.

Tourism Research Australia data shows in the year ending June 2019 there were a total of 1.89 million visitors to the region, placing Ipswich as one of the fastest growing local government areas in southeast Queensland behind only Logan for total visitors, with a 20 per cent increase year on year.



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