The three breweries in the Illawarra are joining forces to serve beer in Crown Street Mall this week.
Illawarra Brewing, Five Barrel and Bulli Brewing will be pouring beers from a caravan as part of the three-day Down the Rabbit Hole event in the mall.
While some people might see the three brewers as competitors, Bulli Brewing’s Michael Peloquin see them as all “on the same team”.
“The people who are our competition are significantly bigger craft brewers, and, more likely people like Tooheys, which is owned by Mitsubishi, and the AB InBev mob [who own brands like VB and Great Northern],” Mr Peloquin said.
“Those two foreign conglomerates have really taken over the Australian beer industry, we’re the sort of David versus the Goliath of those people.”
Illawarra Brewing’s Dave McGrath said Wollongong City Council was considering bringing in Sydney’s Young Henrys, until he suggested they look to the local brewers.
There’s a plan that this event will be the start of more collaboration between the three Illawarra brewers, with regular meetings already planned.
Pouring beers in the mall will be an unusual sight, given it is usually an alcohol-free zone.
But Peloquin said the craft beer drinkers don’t go out with the intention of getting “seriously blind” like patrons at some city pubs.
“I’ve been to a lot of craft beer venues and to be honest I haven’t seen any people I would describe as being hammered,” he said.