Here’s cheers to the beer with no pub

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - AMY HAR­RIS

IT’S the very op­po­site of the Slim Dusty song — a small coun­try town that has beer with no pub.

For the past six years a small but de­voted group of Eu­gowra lo­cals have gath­ered for a beer at their beloved pub The Fat Lamb — the one prob­lem is the pub no longer ex­ists.

A mys­te­ri­ous fire in 2012 de­stroyed the coun­try ho­tel and its four own­ers are di­vided over whether to re­build the site or sell up. The long stale­mate has sub­se­quently di­vided the town’s tiny pop­u­la­tion of just 780 and given rise to a com­mit­ted clan of diehard drinkers who, rather than pa­tro­n­ise the ri­val Cen­tral Ho­tel on the east­ern side of town, choose to re­main where the Fat Lamb once stood.

Ben Mul­ley is one of the two own­ers in favour of re­build­ing the pub. “This place was the lifeblood of this town and it might have been burnt to bits but we just weren’t pre­pared to let it go,” he said.

“If you un­der­stand Eu­gowra you know that the town is split into east and west and di­vided by the Mandagery Creek

“We are in the west and there’s just no way we would drink on the other side of town. And the other side of town doesn’t come over here. So we plan on stay­ing here and hav­ing a drink and a yarn un­til the place is re­built.”

How­ever, the ho­tel’s two other own­ers, Gor­don Hurry and Dan Bit­teren are lob­by­ing to sell the site.

Mr Hurry said he has made sev­eral of­fers to buy out Mr Mul­ley and fel­low part-owner John Au­gustin but had been un­able to set­tle the dis­pute.

Pic­ture: Sam Rut­tyn

Arthur Brown, Wayne Cheney, Nigel Slaven, Ben Mul­ley, John Agustin and Craig O'Con­nor out­side the Fat Lamb Ho­tel Eu­gowra.

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