Valley club wins right to sell bottled beer ( admin posted on June 13th, 2018 )

Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, where The Family nighclub is located.Popular Fortitude Valley nightclub The Family has won the right to serve beer in glass bottles after it argued it was losing $12,000 a week because it was only allowed to use toughened glasses.

The Family nightclub was ordered to stop serving beer in bottles by the Liquor and Gaming Commission after 12 alcohol related ‘‘incidents’’ between April, 2010 and October, 2011 but the ban did not come into effect until this year.

Family Qld Pty Ltd, which runs six venues in Brisbane including The Family nightclub, took the LGC to court to have the ban suspended until the LGC have completed a review of the decision.

Family Qld Pty Ltd director Raphael Bickle argued the nightclub had seen a huge drop in orders of bottled beer and a rise in the amount of spirits being served.

The club still had bottled beer behind the bar but had to decant it into a glass to serve to a patron.

Mr Bickle told the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal the nightclub had seen a 75 per cent drop in the sales of Coronas and a 50 per cent drop in other bottled beers.

He said once customers realise that the beer must be decanted many chose to drink something else and he believed the choice of certain bottled beers was ‘‘image related’’.

‘‘If it cannot be purchased in its bottle, it no longer holds the same attraction for patrons,’’ Mr Bickle argued according to the judgment.

Corresponding with the drop in beer sales, there has been a ‘‘marked’’ increase in  the sale of spirits, especially vodka.

Mr Bickle said The Family had hired extra staff so bottled beer could be decanted quickly and he believed men were coming to the nightclub later to drink spirits after having enjoyed bottled beer at another venue.

He argued these factors had contributed to a loss of income of about $12,000 a week to the nightclub.

Mr Bickle said The Family nightclub’s reputation had suffered because being banned from serving beer in glass bottles indicated to the rest of the industry the company could not run their business properly.

He argued there had only been one incident in the nightclub involving a bottle in the past two years when a woman tried to hit another woman with a Smirnoff Black bottle and the nightclub had stopped serving drinks in glass off their own volition.

In her decision, Acting Senior Member Michelle Howard, noted the lack of dangerous or violent incidents involving a beer bottle.She suspended the decision to ban The Family from serving alcohol in glass bottles until their appeal process with the LGC has been exhausted.

‘‘I am satisfied that the balance of convenience favours granting the stay application and that it is desirable to do so to preserve the interests of Family pending determination of the review application,’’ she said.

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