How far would you travel to get a good brew?

Cloncurry Bowls Club plans to collect Betoota Bitter from Sydney


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PLANNING A ROAD TRIP: Cloncurry Bowls Club treasurer-secretary Richard Norris considers driving a ute to Sydney to pick up beer for the club's C150 celebrations in September. Photo: Chris Burns.

PLANNING A ROAD TRIP: Cloncurry Bowls Club treasurer-secretary Richard Norris considers driving a ute to Sydney to pick up beer for the club's C150 celebrations in September. Photo: Chris Burns.

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It's a proposed 4500 kilometre road trip just to collect some beer for the bowls club.

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CLONCURRY Bowls Club’s treasurer-secretary aims to take a road trip to Sydney to pick up a supply of Betoota Bitter in a ute.

It’s a 4500 kilometre round trip, assuming Richard Norris travels inland, to collect the special booze for the club’s ‘grand opening’ of its disability ramp. 

Mr Norris wants to attract a younger crowd to the club’s barefoot bowls event timed with Cloncurry’s 150 year celebrations in September. The cost of freighting the alcohol from the Sydney brewery is $700 and more than the club can afford. 

“I contacted the brewery that makes Betoota Bitter and they said, ‘we can happily sell you some but the freight to get it...would be out of control,’” Mr Norris said. “I said, ‘I could probably drive down and pick it up, ha ha’. 

“And then the more I thought about it, and talked to some mates about it, I thought, ‘why don’t we do that?” 

It’s difficult to tell what is the truth of Betoota Bitter’s origins by checking the website, as it is under the brand of satirical fake news website Betoota Advocate, but its initial Facebook posts were in early March.

It’s because the beer is under the Betoota Advocate brand and an alcohol yet to reach a North West Queensland market that attracts Mr Norris to the idea of supplying it. 

Mr Norris, who works in public relations at local mine Ernest Henry, believes the supply of the drink at the barefoot bowls event will tap into the region’s young professionals. 

“We want to try and get the Betoota boys out here. The Betoota boys love Bob Katter so we would try to get Bob Katter to come out here,” Mr Norris said. 

“We’ll have this occur in C150 when everyone should be here anyway, and try and see if we can get the Cloncurry Bowls Club on the map twice in one year.” 

The bowls club reached national fame in January when its manager at the time, Shayne Barwick, bowled a record 73 hours

Barwick had decided to do this to raise money for a disability ramp. At the time the struggling sporting club needed $60,000 to construct it. 

Glencore funded $36,000 through its community benefit fund and Barwick’s efforts raised a further $10,000. 

Yet a combined generosity from other businesses enabled the ramp’s construction to happen. 

Barwick was telling Mr Norris over a beer that a Brisbane based company Delta Panels offered the materials for the roofing. The catch was that the club would need to transport the materials. 

“We were thinking, ‘s—t, we got no money. How are we going to ship these panels from Brisbane?” Mr Norris said. 

“A Barminco representative walked in on this Wednesday afternoon as we’re having this conversation and said ‘we heard what you are doing. Me and the boys from Barminco would like to donate this check of $1000 because we think it’s cool, and you’re doing the right thing for the community.’

“And then he said, ‘by the way, these panels you’re talking about. We get a truck up every week. I can put them on our truck.’ 

“So we got the cash for the construction work, the roof panels donated, the transport donated,” Mr Norris said. “It’s an example of why Cloncurry’s such a cool town.” 

The story How far would you travel to get a good brew? first appeared on North Queensland Register.

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