For a number of years this correspondent has driven past a complex of grand facades on Pittwater Road at Collaroy on Sydney’s Northern Beachs. Occasionally when A Hog’s Breath occupied the Northern facade, we’d stop in, but I never frequented the pub and wasn’t even aware of the Club that occupied the rest of the buildings. Today that changed as I took advantage of large gaps between my daughter’s IRB races to sample both, and effectively completed the Collaroy pub crawl.
The Beach Club, which is actually the Collaroy Services Beach Club, can be easy to miss from the street as there is a single entry door. One signs in, walks through a short corridor and then in to a quite large area that opens out a little Alice-in-Wonderland like. There’s a substantial upstairs function area and outdoor seating area as well. Downstairs punters are well catered for with a screened off pokies area and an excellent TAB facility with the right number of screens to lose money with all the knowledge you could ask for. The big surprise is the treat for serious beer drinkers.
Being an RSL, I was fully expecting a line-up of Hahn Super Dry, Tooheys, VB, Carlton Draught etc and that is what one rack had – but the second wouldn’t be out of place in a fine Melbourne craft beer establishment. The second rack carried Murray’s Whale Ale, Little Creatures Marzen, Mt Kosciuszko Pale Coopers Pale and Matilda Bay Dogbolter. Only the presence of XXXX Gold stopped it from acquiring legendary tap status. There was a separate tap rack devoted to James Squires and the Big Helga was in the fridge. With such excellent punting facilities and fine beers – this has to be revisited.
The Collaroy Beach Hotel is more mainstream, though the boys from Longboard Brewing Co have done a fine job in getting a significant amount of their promotional material adorning the walls. Again, punters are well catered for and there are plenty of big screens with all the sport on. There’s a dancefloor upstairs and a good outdoor area with sight of the ocean. The Beach Club has a greater amount of outdoor space and its tap rack means it wins hands down. You could end up in worse venues, though, than the Collaroy Beach Hotel. Quick, but worthwhile and rewarding pub crawl.