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Behind the Bar

The old ways of running a pub are rapidly disappearing. In this series of podcasts, some of Australia’s most respected publicans recall “the way things used to be”. It’s unedited and often politically incorrect. Stories include a dynamic matriarch who ran illegal bookies and paid off the police, hotels doubling as prisons and morgues, the day beer ran out on Christmas Day, memories of the “six o’clock swill” and previously untold stories of political intrigue. Brought to you by the AHA|SA.

Greg Fahey: The Water Carrier

“I do everything from the heart,” says publican Greg Fahey, as he recalls the ‘rags to riches’ story that led to his induction into the hallowed AHA National Hall of Fame.

14 Jun, 2022

Karen Milesi: A Proud Tradition Of Women In Hotels

Hall of Fame publican Karen Milesi tells the stories of four generations of female publicans, including her entrepreneurial great grandmother who ran an illegal SP bookmaking operation, paid off police and relied on local delinquents to keep the peace. She tells of  100-hour weeks running a pub and raising two young children, as well as the time when hordes of love-starved US sailors descended on her pub with their ‘girlfriends’, wanting to rent rooms by the hour.

17 Dec, 2021

Guy Matthews: A Deep Dive Into Hotel History

AHA|SA Life Member Guy Matthews takes us back to the days of timber kegs, steamship deliveries and hotels doubling as prisons and morgues.  He tells stories of beer rationing during WWII - and the contrast of having 60 pints of beer ready on a bar for thirsty workers in the generation that followed. We hear about police stings and being prosecuted by the AHA, the whirlwind first day of the world’s first drive-in bottle shop and Guy answers the burning question: is he the only person in the world to have lost money on an AC/DC gig?

16 Dec, 2021

Peter Hurley: Behind Closed Doors

Long-serving state and national AHA President, Peter Hurley, has been one of the most influential hotel figures in the last 100 years. He has worked behind closed doors with Prime Ministers and Treasurers to solve seemingly intractable problems, and worked against political threats to the industry, including the ‘Xenophon Years’. This podcast is a very special insight into the issues that have defined hotel, liquor and gaming in our lifetime.

15 Dec, 2021

Peter Brien: Issues That Shaped The AHA|SA (Part 1)

In the first of two interviews, former AHA|SA Vice President Peter Brien tells the inside story of the many serious issues that the AHA|SA has had to negotiate. That includes getting gaming through the South Australian parliament, Sunday trading, the MANCO deal to buy 104 brewery hotels, the threat of standalone bottleshops, his time as Chairman of Sip ‘n’ Save, and how the association managed the introduction of smoking bans. He also gives his opinion on many of the AHA’s Presidents and CEOs.

14 Dec, 2021

Peter Brien: Politically Incorrect Tales From The Front Bar (Part 2)

In his second interview, AHA|SA Peter Brien regales us with stories of purple dye in slops trays, wine dots, local women peeling vegetables for the evening meal while they enjoyed a pint of stout in the Ladies Lounge each afternoon. Memories of children being used to hold illegal betting slips, the ‘lost plantation’ on Port Road, the infamous six o clock swill and running out of beer on Christmas Day. This one is sure to make you laugh!

13 Dec, 2021