When The Crafty Pint first met with Sean and Melanie Cogan at their Cromer Cellars store in 2013, it was heartening to hear how, with just a small space and a what might be considered a relatively modest range, they’d created such enthusiasm for good beer in their community and helped to transform the tastes of many drinkers.
It was even more heartening when they mentioned that things were going so well they’d eyed up another store in a nearby suburb and were planning to give it the same treatment. Fast forward to the end of 2014 and their new store, North Curl Curl Cellars, was up, running and on the road towards creating another crafty community.
The way they chose to do it was, more or less, by following the formula they’d applied successfully at Cromer. They took over a space in a small group of shops (in this case, of all things to find in a beach community, a former speaker store), filled the shelves with things you wouldn’t find at other stores in the area and started winning people over one by one with their enthusiasm. The main difference is that the North Curly store is bigger than its Cromer cousin so there’s more to be enthusiastic about.
You’ll find the selection here strongly favours beer from small Australian producers. There are a few imports slotted in but, by and large, choice is mainly contained within these shores and special attention is given to the most local of locals, an area in which they’re becoming rather spoiled. In recent years the Northern Beaches area has changed from beer desert to oasis and North Curl Curl Cellars has found itself amidst all the action; 4 Pines’ Brookvale brewery is barely a kilometre away and Nomad a few hundred metres more, Gang of Four and Dad & Daves have breweries planned in the area while Modus Operandi is a relative hop, skip and a jump along the A8. The Northern Beaches beer scene is thriving and, as residents of the area, Sean and Mel take pride in being able to talk up the growing number of local brews.
It’s working too. Being located within a bustling little bundle of shops, they’ve managed to pull in plenty of converts to the crafty cause (it should be said, the BYO Mexican restaurant next door does its part too, in particular having caused a surge in demand for Two Birds’ Taco beer). They’ve catered for curious consumers by having a good selection of single bottles to choose from while those up to date with the goings-on in the beer world will be well satisfied with the frequently changing range of limited and seasonal releases.
When we wrote about Cromer Cellars we said that if every little suburb had a liquor store like it, the beer world would be a much better place. For the residents of North Curl Curl, it is.