What do you do if your local doesn't serve good beer? You could travel a bit further and hunt down a bar that does. Or you could do what Kris and Caroline Miles did: take over said local and make it awesome.
The local in question is The Winston in North Hobart, the pub just around the corner from where they lived that was just plodding along, minding its own and not many other people's business - a far cry from the thriving, craft beer-pouring venue that it is today. The couple took it over early in 2013 and set about reinvigorating it. A new, 12-tap beer system was installed and began pouring top drops from Australia and abroad, with a heavy dose of US imports. The fridges were stocked with even more excellent beers, a broad range of frequently malty spirits appeared behind the bar and Kris' beer cocktails, which he'd first introduced when working at Melbourne's Beer Deluxe, reappeared.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, so did the punters, with this vast improvement in what The Winston was offering soon drawing crowds, mostly drawn from the local area but increasingly from across the city as a whole and also tourists who'd heard there was something special going on. Awaiting them is more than just quality booze. Kris and Caroline are foodies too and have brought many of their favourite US-inspired recipes from home, including seriously awesome hot wings and buffalo chicken burgers. There's a pool table, pinball and live music too, as well as special beer and whisky events, such as long lunches and vertical tastings featuring guest brewers.
Kris also likes to brew and, once the pub was running smoothly, decided to add another string to his bow. The Winston Brewing Company was set up between the pub and Hobart's CBD where, on a kit at the smaller end of the microbrewery scale, Kris has been knocking out a wide range of well-received beers and collaborations that now take up a number of taps at the pub.
Early in 2020, The Winston name took on yet another dimension, when Kris and Caroline took over the neighbouring bottleshop to launch Winston Cellars, which stocks hundreds of beers, along with wines, spirits, merch and bottles of housemade hot sauce.
Hobart punches well above its weight for craft beer venues these days and The Winston is one of the venues leading the way.