Venues and events

Not much choice

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When the North Wollongong outlet of First Choice Liquor opened its doors last year, I got very excited.

So excited that I went there the day it opened its doors. Why? Well because it sold beer. And, based on what I’d seen from its Shellharbour shop, I knew it’d likely have some beers that the local Dan Murphy’s didn’t stock.

And that was true – they had a beer from Prickly Moses and another from Holgate and some weird beer under cork called Cobra. But they were new to Wollongong and I got excited.

Since that day I’ve been back on a semi-regular basis and been disappointed every single time. Yes, they still have those beers but, no, they don’t have anything else. Well, anything else new. The range of beers is identical to what I saw on that first day. One great thing about Uncle Dan’s is the chain brings in new beers – some of them from the parent company’s own brewery.

What this does is give a beer geek like me a reason to keep coming back, especially when they start stocking things like Rogue from the US and Japan’s Baird Brewing.

I don’t get the First Choice approach, especially when Dan Murphy’s has plans to build an outlet almost right next-door. They just keep stocking the same-old same old, while I can go into Dan’s and usually find something new.
Beyond the thrill of the new, the regular craft beer range is much, much better at Dan’s than First Choice.

Which makes their very name ironic. Because for me, they’ve become the Last Choice when it comes to craft beer.

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4 replies »

  1. Hehehe, I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve been inside a First Choice… While Dan’s is the “big guy”, they’ve done a very good job of recognising the craft beer market and stocking their shelves accordingly. And, as you’ve mentioned, rotating their stock somewhat. I’m in Melbourne, so there’s plenty of smaller outlets that have a better selection and hard to find stuff, but I’ve found Dan Murphy’s will have something tasty, often something I haven’t tried, and it’s often convenient.

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