Qantas Sydney lounge launches Grifter trial

The Grifter Brewing Co. has launched its Pale Ale in the Qantas Club Lounge at Sydney’s Domestic Airport for the month of January, as part of a new trial between the airline and brewery. 

Grifter co-founder and director of sales & marketing Matt King said it was an exciting opportunity for the brewery.

“We’ve been beating down the door for a while to try and get our beer in somewhere down the line,” he said. 

“To be the first independent beer to be available in the lounge is a real honour and we feel it’s a big step in the right direction for our industry.” 

When asked about the origin of this partnership, King said it had been in the works for some time. 

“In many ways really, over many years,” King said. 

“A chance meeting at the dry cleaners is what refuelled it though. You really do never know who is standing next to you.” 

Throughout the industry, similar partnerships have transpired through sporting and stadium contracts. In 2021, Grifter secured a tap at the Sydney Cricket Grounds as part of hospitality group Merivale’s partnership offering. 

Last year, new budget airline Bonza announced its all-Australian menu featuring beers from Your Mates Brewing Co., Spinifex Brewing Co., Ballistic Beer Co. and Heaps Normal.

While brand exposure is an important benefit from these contracts, King explained it also highlights the efforts of smaller breweries moving into spaces previously occupied by big brewers. 

“[It’s] definitely not just a brand awareness thing, but it does help,” King explained. 

“We’re hoping to shine a spotlight on the small brewing industry and more importantly, get people educated on the beer that’s made on Sydney’s doorstep. 

“If they haven’t heard of us and then we can get them into Marrickville, I’m sure it’ll really open up a door to explore other breweries also.”

Initially, the contract will run as a trial for the month of January, with the potential for it to be extended. 

Last week, the brewery announced a similar partnership with Sydney’s Westpac OpenAir, with its Pale Ale being available at the cinema on Sydney’s harbour. 

King said it’s an important step for the brewery, but also wider industry as a whole. 

“I think it speaks volumes on the strides we are making as an industry,” King said. 

“We’ve been at it for nearly 11 years now, so to still be finding these opportunities highlights how far we have come but also how far we have to go. 

“We’re still just scratching the surface of this city.”

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