Six years on and still more than your average pub
High Street. For the lovely folk of Maitland and visitors to the area, this is where it all happens. It's also home to one of our favourite pubs, The Pourhouse. On the eve of their six year anniversary, we caught up with owners Aaron Rigg and Benn Giles to find out why The Pourhouse is still the place to be.
Publicans Aaron and Benn are like most blokes. They enjoy catching up with their mates over a drink, playing a game of pool and listening to live music. They also have a mighty passion for craft beer. “We love it and we’re discovering new independent brewers all the time”, notes Benn. “There’s a lot to choose from - over 400 across Australia now as well as the imports – it’s exciting!”.
Not surprisingly, the beer selection here is quite phenomenal. On taps in the front bar, you’ll find popular local labels as well as some of the best craft beers Australia has to offer. There’s also the odd brewer from ‘over the ditch’ thrown in for good measure.
Whether you prefer a pale or porter, cider or sour, the brews at The Pourhouse are always fresh. Aaron and Benn regularly try new beers and ciders too, adding new labels and styles to the list and rotating kegs, ensuring what’s on pour tastes good now. “We don’t ever tap the same beer twice” Benn comments.
Fine craft beers aside, if you’ve been to The Pourhouse lately, you’ll know that their evolving beer selection is just one of the reasons the pub continues to be so successful. Benn continues, “We go for a relaxed, unpretentious vibe. Something where anyone from 18 to 80 can come in and have a good time and that extends from purely beer service to all aspects of pub culture – entertainment, great food and a great atmosphere.”
Walking into the pub it’s plain to see that they’ve nailed it. Benn's busy on the taps and the bartender's shaking up some kind of tasty concoction that I can only hope is for us. The atmosphere is chilled and all patrons are looking happy and relaxed, ready for a fun night ahead.
If you like playing pool while enjoying a brew, you’ll be happy to learn that your games ‘on the house’ here. Just another little tick in this pubs box. The Pourhouse also have an old school retro games table that’ll keep you and your mates entertained for a few rounds!
It’s close to 6pm now and with our Salty Birds (rum and Campari cocktails) in hand and twilight setting in, we decide to head out back to the beer garden. There’s plenty of bench seating and a very unique bar, – a fully converted vintage caravan, ready to serve you a cold one or anything else you could possibly want.
Locals will know that The Pourhouse has always been big on live music, with gigs lined up most Friday’s, Saturday’s and the occasional Thursday. Playing in the beer garden tonight is talented local muso, Simon Stewart, whose acoustic melodies are just right. The open air, music and mingling crowd of all ages, really do create a fun and relaxed vibe out here. We could easily (and quite happily) settle in for the night.
Another thing The Pourhouse continues to do extremely well is food. They’ve got a mouth-watering range of share dishes and burgers, (best served with a beer!), as well as your standard pub favourites. Honourable mentions go to the Reuben and Thunderbolt burgers and the sweet chilli ricotta-stuffed Jalapeno Poppers. Delicious!
As we’re enjoying the remnants of our dinner and cocktails, a ‘Taste of Texas’ share platter goes out to a table near us. It’s stacked with BBQ bourbon ribs, crispy pork belly, glazed chorizo, slaw and house beer battered onion rings - enough to make any carnivore’s eyes glaze over. Oh yes, The Pourhouse have got this food thing covered.
With our bellies full and our hearts light, we order one last round and head over to the Whiskey Room. This sweet little spot, is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet drink and a great way to end the night.
Six years on, The Pourhouse are still kicking it - filling schooners with the finest craft beer, mixing amazing cocktails and dishing up quality pub fare and good cheer in equal measure. They really are a destination pub of the highest calibre.
Go ahead and make it your local.