While Dubbo may be a long way from the craft beer scene of Melbourne, two local bars are continuing to make their mark on the industry.
The Monkey Bar and the Old Bank Restaurant and Bar have both been named in the top 15 'best regional venues' in the Beer and Brewer Magazine awards.
They were judged by an esteemed industry-led panel of judges who put forward their favourite venues.
Both venues are favourites among Dubbo locals and have been moving with the ever changing industry.
Old Bank Restaurant and Bar licensee Ryan Mackintosh said he and the staff were very honoured and proud to be recognised and have always aimed to bring something unique to Dubbo.
"For people to back us for this mention is a tick in the box for what people like," he said.
After taking over the Monkey Bar three years ago, owners Tim and Cass Smith always dreamt of bringing something different to the town.
Since 2018 they have run the popular Beers to the Bush Festival, which has given hundreds of beer and cider lovers from across the region, the chance to soak up products normally found in metropolitan venues.
For people to back us for this mention is a tick in the box for what people like.Ryan Mackintosh, Old Bank Bar and Restaurant
This is the second consecutive year that the Monkey Bar has been named as one of the top 15 regional craft beer venues across Australia.
Mr Smith said they were left "pinching ourselves" to have made the cut again.
"It's an honour to be recognised for what we are trying to do with the bar and it speaks volumes of the support we are getting both locally from the Dubbo community and from the wider beer industry that we have involved ourselves with," he said.
"It's also unreal to be listed alongside some of these other venues, especially those that we have been regular patrons and supporters of when we were living on the coast.
"I think the magazine's award is a source of pride not only for us, but for Dubbo. It's pretty cool to have one of the country's best venues in your home town."
Both venues had to completely change their operations after the government announced strict rules for venues in March to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
During those eight weeks, the Monkey Bar and Old Bank moved to being takeaway only, but since the announcement of easing restrictions patrons they slowly welcoming back customers.
From June, 1 not only will regional travel across NSW be allowed, but pubs, clubs and cafes will be allowed to sit up to 50 patrons.
I think the magazine's award is a source of pride not only for us, but for Dubbo.Tim Smith, The Monkey Bar
Mr Smith said he was looking forward to seeing the Dubbo community return to a higher level of normalcy.
"With this will come the tourism and travellers that come to check the bar out, but at the crux of it, it's the Dubbo community and its support of what we're all about that has gotten us here and it's this community that we place as our most important asset for continuing this journey once the restrictions lift," he said.
Mr Mackintosh thanked everyone who supported them during those two months and was looking forward to welcoming back more customers from June 1.
"We can't wait to welcome back everyone.... we appreciate their support and we're looking forward to seeing them," he said.
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