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Brisbane, Publican -

Some tourists come to Australia and pick up a couple of souvenirs - maybe a cuddly toy koala or a hat with corks on it, or a coat hanger in the shape of the Harbour Bridge. Scottish lass Gillian Letham arrived down under in 2003 and ended up picking up a couple of bars in Brissie, and just never left. We chat to her about The Mill on Constance and the Oxford Taphouse and how having a foreign accent makes you 25% more interesting…

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Newtown, Publican -

Back when we were a young spring chicken of a brewery (OK, we are still a spring chicken, but back when we were an even springier chicken), The Courty were on the receiving end of some of the very first kegs that rolled out our brewery doors. They were also the first place to pour Newtowner. So as we celebrate another trip around the sun, we thought it would make sense to corner Dean Bruce from Newtown stalwart The Courty for a chat. Plus, we were all ready to get the dirt on any doping scandals within their famous crab racing but Dean assures us it’s just good clean fun.

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Perth, Publican -

Get your mind out of the gutter, not THAT kind of shag. This Perth bar is named for the resident cormorants who hang out round the jetty. These birds know what’s up, The Shag occupies one of the most primo waterfront positions in town. Olivia Hosking’s been enjoying the scenery for seven years now but we chose a week where she was really busy overseeing some renovations to give her a Young Henrys grilling. To be fair, it was more of a gentle sauté …

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Enmore, Publican -

On a scale of wheat to chaff, it’s clear which end The Golden Barley sits on. The exterior is a Tooth & Co stunner from 1939, and tucked away behind it is one of the best beer gardens of the Inner West. We met up with publican Penny Hewlett, who runs the GB with her husband Andie, and chatted about what it’s like to actually live at the pub (rather than it just seeming like you live at the pub). When we asked about noise she said, “If I can’t hear anything I’m more worried because there aren’t enough people having a good time.” Instant legend status. 

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Brisbane, Meet, Publican -

Had a beer in Brisbane lately? It’s going off like a cane toad in a sock. Rattle off a list of the game-changers and chances are you’re name-checking one of the venues Jamie Webb has a hand inLefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Sonny’s House of Blues, Seymour’s Cocktails & Oysters, Hope & Anchor—in terms of venue styles, he’s almost gathered the full set. 

Webb cut his hospo chops in NYC, working in bars on the weekend to round out a nine-to-five in the music business. After coming back to Australia, he ran venues in Sydney but took a hit from the GFC, and landed back in hometown Brisbane. Thank the gods of Brissie nightlife he did...

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