175 beer taps for Australia’s largest pub
The Camfield is the largest pub in Australia. In fact, it’s referred to as a ‘mega-pub’, with five bars, an onsite microbrewery and a colossal beer garden. It also has 175 beer taps. That’s where Barons Beverage Services came in.
Securing the biggest pub in the nation
The Camfield found Barons by word of mouth from The Revelley, The Stables Bar and The Globe Bar & Eatery. Our previous work went a long way for us in winning The Camfield, a brand-new venue capable of servicing 2000+ patrons.
The purpose was pretty clear from the start – without a facility of this size event-goers heading to-and-from Optus Stadium would be unlikely to stick around. Public transport would strain under he weight of a mass exodus, so the Camfield needed to be something really special. From the very beginning, Barons had the big picture in mind.
Avoiding breakdown at all costs
The key points for Barons were high quality, reliability and serviceability. It was crucial the new Camfield look inviting, pour cold beer quickly and avoid break down at all cost due to extremely heavy use.
The new section of the pub was to house 11 stations each composed of 10 beer taps running from one central cool room. There would be an additional six cocktail taps in this area in the future. The total at that point came to 116 taps – the biggest setup ever pulled off in Australia.
In the existing part of the venue, 30 beer taps had to be installed to service the function room, which needed to operate from its own cool room (as opposed to the main cool room) in order to reduce line length, minimise wastage and uphold top-tier beer quality.
Beer lines were going to have to run through the roof instead of underground where there were too many existing services. Additionally, the owners required the design and install of a staff-friendly, 22-tap container bar system for the beer garden.
Barons allocated both install teams to this project to work alongside a project manager and in between PACT project construction teams. We tackled the job as three projects in one – the new building, the existing building, and the container bar.
Identical solutions to serve the masses
The Baron’s solution was geared toward game day service of the masses. We understood there would be no point getting patrons through the door if The Camfield couldn’t serve them a cold beer, and quickly. Some of the ways we tackled this problem:
- Creating identical service stations. Anything absent from one station would always be available at the neighbouring station, which minimized the distance staff needed to move in order to serve and reduced the number of different stock holdings required for the venue.
- Designing a scalable venue to reduce operating costs on standard non-event days. Being able to avoid opening the entire venue at quiet times dramatically reduced overheads in staff and running costs. We managed this by splitting the chiller capability into four zones for the main cool room so that venue staff could simply open up another zone and turn the chiller on every time the patron level escalated.
- Planning for the future. Barons were tasked with adding wine-on-tap during the Camfield project but had to delay this until after the venue opened to assess demand. The ability to reduce wastage from half-empty bottles of wine at the end of the night was a major need for the client, and therefore moving to keg wine was a must. Shortly after opening we added another 12 taps throughout the venue for cocktails, which brought the venue total to 172 taps.
- Preparing for wear and tear. We opted for two large chillers in the main cool room in order to zone the venue and mitigate the chance of a breakdown affecting service. We designed the system so that each brand of beer had two distribution points from the cool room, meaning when a keg emptied the tap on the next station across was still functioning.
- Implementing wastage control. All three systems we installed in the venue were beer pump systems, which meant the venue would see an 80-90% reduction in gas use compared to traditional beer dispense systems. We also made it possible to adjust pour speed based on the ability of staff behind the bar.
Zoned beer dispensing: the ultimate venue strategy
In the end, Baron’s ensured The Camfield was pouring beer for the opening of the stadium next door. The innovative zoned beer dispense system has given the venue the ability to turn off beer stations and shut off glycol chilling during quiet times, which has cut their running costs down by 75%.
We also made it possible for the venue to implement what we call ‘trading out’ by pushing beer in the lines out of the taps using gas rather than more beer. This has cut wastage during line clean operations from anywhere between 30-90% depending on the number of zones traded out. Additionally, with the installation of a beer pumps system in every cool room Barons managed to reduce the ongoing gas bill for beer dispense in the venue by up to 90%.
Today, Barons continues to work with The Camfield under a maintenance contract on both beer system dispensing and commercial refrigeration maintenance. We handle the quarterly servicing of all of their draught beer dispense equipment plus routine maintenance on all fridges, freezers, cool rooms and ice machines. The Camfield is always hosting events and still reach out to Barons for draught beer solutions and venue activation strategies – whether it’s for our industry-leading mobile bars or custom setups for branded events.