Anthony MacFarlane and Alfredo Perez met in Mexico, where Perez owns a successful chicken wing joint called Wing Man. The two became mates while surfing, eating wings and drinking beers together. Then they saw a gap in the Sydney restaurant terrain for a place that specialised in both their favourite cut of chicken and unique craft beers.
“Wings X Tins is the kind of place they would go with their friends,” Bar Manager Laura Gallen says.
Self-described as ‘a dive bar with hot wings, tinnies, loud music and no salad’, The Wings X Tins ethos is fun and a bit cheeky. Not for the fainthearted is a serving of wings bathed in the T-bones Doom Juice Sauce, which is made with the disturbingly named Carolina Reaper Chili, one of the hottest chili varieties in the world. “Anyone who finishes the whole serving is immortalised by getting their name on our WALL OF PAIN” states their menu. “(PS...seriously don't do this, it’s a night ruiner).”
Or customers can try the Russian Roulette challenge, where just one of the wings is the fiery one, but no one knows which. They get to take their pick and find out how lucky - or unlucky - they are.
The other key component of Wings X Tins is of course the wide variety of beers sourced from small breweries. “Who doesn’t love drinking beer?” Laura asks. “The craft beer industry is a pretty exciting one to work in! Because we have so many different suppliers, it can be quite tricky to get to all of them. We stock between 60 and 70 craft beers, we have a few ones that we’ve kept since the beginning.”
“I love keeping on top of the trends and what brewers are bringing out limited releases and all that kind of stuff. One of my favourite parts of the job is getting new, interesting seasonal releases or different styles of beer and just keeping it interesting. We do get a lot of regular customers who come in and say, ‘Alright, well what’s new this week?’ Or ‘Give me something weird!’ I get a lot of questions like that so it's a lot of fun.”
When asked to tip her hat to some of her personal favourite craft beers as well as the ones customers keep coming back for, Laura enthuses, “I love trying the very unusual ones! People are getting super creative with beers. Personally I love an IPA, and there’s been a lot of people doing limited release Hazy IPA’s.”
“One of my favourites is Feral Brewing Co’s Biggie Juice, that’s actually Western Australia-based. It’s such a great beer. Co-Conspirators have The Matriarch, that’s a great NEIPA. Fixation did a limited release lately called Dreamseeker and that was super tropical, hazy hefty hoppy beer, which was definitely a favourite of mine. It’s finished now, that one was super limited, but it was great while it lasted. There’s actually so much to talk about beer once you get into it and once you have the opportunity to taste so many!”
With so many different craft beers on the menu, it could add up to hours of work to contact each rep and order from each individual supplier. Now they have three venues to order for. In addition to their two Wings X Tins locations, the company also opened a sister venue recently called Mrs Palmer Sandwich, on the ground floor of their Darlo building.
Ordering for the two different venues through Kaddy has made things easier. “The [Kaddy] guys were a great help to us when we first opened the new venue. There’s also about 10 or 12 different craft beers there. So we found that the best way to order for both venues is to do it via Kaddy. That way we can limit the delivery costs of having independent breweries deliver to both venues in the same building. If we do it all through Kaddy, it’s just a lot neater.”