The mother of all pub crawls

Putting most pub crawls to shame, four friends have finally completed their long crawl home.

Catching up with mates over a drink at the local pub is something of an Australian tradition. Taking this tradition to the next level, four friends set out to conquer the ultimate pub crawl.

Not wishing for their friendship to drift after college, teachers Stuart McArthur, Llewella Bates, Tim Dorgan and Mick Stevens decided to set themselves a challenge of working their way through every Melbourne pub listed in the 1983 Yellow Pages, which, at the time, came to a total of 476.

To be included in the pub crawl, the pub had to have a bottle shop attached and seating inside for drinkers, and be open to the public. And for their liver’s sake, the four friends were only to have one drink at each pub, with the bar staff signing off to verify the visit.

Armed with their extensive list of establishments, the friends kicked off the crawl on 15 October 1983, at the Cricketers Arms in Port Melbourne.

Six years later, in 1989, as the foursome reached the outer suburbs, the group began to drift apart. Tim dropped out after 195 pubs, and Llewella gave up after 350. But Mick and Stuart kept going and got to 468, just eight shy of their original goal. But, then the crawl came to a halt, with the endeavour and its accompanying 70-page-hand-written-records set aside. For 26 years.

It was only when Stuart’s son said he was doing a pub crawl, one that only included a measly two or three places, the four friends decided to tick off the final eight pubs on the list, all conveniently located in Carlton.

And, so, the four founding friends, accompanied by a trail of supporters, completed their epic crawl at The Clyde in Carlton.

Read the full story at The Age.





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