Welcome to our first instalment of Local Legends; where we chat to a few of our favourite characters in the craft beer world and find out a little more about them and their businesses.
In today’s post we chat to Chris Dally, owner and founder of Beer 360 – a must-visit craft beer establishment based in Richmond, Victoria selling all things craft beer, drink-in or take-away.
Tell us a bit about Beer 360 and how it came to be.
G'day Hugo & thanks for the chat.Well my journey really started a little over 10 years ago, with Sarah buying me a book called '1001 beers to try before you die', which she thought would be a great coffee table type reference book. However, I saw it as a challenge to taste all the beers in the book!This really expanded my palate with all the different types of beer available around the world & through my journey, visiting lots of venues & events, I kept on noticing & enjoying the company of the type of people that craft beer attracts. The little seed was sown, and eventually became Beer 360 where people of any beer experience are welcome to come along and enjoy/expand their palates! BTW, I still have 485 beers to go to complete the book.
If anyone can get through them all it’s yu mate! Every time I come in there seems to be more and more beers in your store. How many do you have currently?
We had reached over 800, but are now a little below that. There are so many new beers coming and going it's hard to keep track.
What’s the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in setting up and running Beer 360?
Challenges? How long have you got? No seriously, that running your own business is not a 9 to 5 thing. Just because the door is closed, doesn't mean that work isn't being done. But if you are passionate, work is not a chore!
I was hoping this interview wasn’t a chore so thanks for that! Now a big part of what you do is fostering a community (by running regular tastings, events etc), what has been the highlight from these events over the last 18 months?
Thanks for noticing, it is something we are really proud of. Our philosophy is pretty simple, if we are having fun, hopefully our customer base is also having fun. There are probably 2 events which stand out - our first birthday celebration, where we closed the bar & enjoyed having a few beers with people who had been part of our journey in the first 12 months. The amazing part of that event was that there was not one person there that we knew previous to Beer 360 opening. We have formed some great friendships that I am sure will continue for many years to come. The other event is getting a photo last Xmas day from 4 couples that live locally in Richmond, who had all met at Beer 360 & then enjoyed Christmas day together as friends. That was special!
Working in sales yourself and seeing dozens of beer reps coming to you weekly, what advice can you give to those starting out in sales?
Pretty simple here, listen to your customer. Every business is slightly different & have their own little nuances and needs, so therefore tailor your solution/product to that specific business. Many run through their spiel ad nauseam & then blame the customer.
Do you find it hard to say no to stocking every new beer you come across?
Yes, yes and yes! I want them all, but need to strike a balance across the different styles.
Well you do a pretty good job. What have been a couple of your favourite beers of late?
I love my hops, so it is hard to go past the recent Mr Banks release - Idaho Feels.
So fluffy! There is also a trend back to traditional non hazy IPA's & Little Bang's Road Tripper was fantastic for that West Coast style. If only I could get A Local beer of that style...
Haha watch this space Chris. Watch this space…
And our final 'Mystery Question'! Who was your first celebrity crush growing up?
Daphne on Scooby Doo, but there was also something about that Velma! Ha Ha!
I thought you were going to say Shaggy. But seriously thanks for your time Chris.
You can come say ‘Hi' to Chris, Sarah and sometimes Jed at Beer 360- 468 Bridge Rd. Richmond to get all your craft beer needs fulfilled. Alternatively, check them out online at www.beer360.com.au.