It’s not a stretch to say Yellow Matter might be the most anticipated opening of the year so far. After all, it’s been a long time coming. When Broadsheet spoke to Janie, the director of hospitality group Sonic Yoni, back in 2019, she had plans to open a neighbourhood wine bar out the front of her much-loved Richmond cafe Karma & Crow. Four years on, that concept has morphed into a much larger project – a microbrewery and a neighbouring restaurant and bar on a much larger site in Brooklyn Park.
After a long and winding journey stalled by Covid and inflation costs (which led to a crowd-funding campaign to get the build finished) the brewery finally opened in late-June in the former West Torrens Council Chambers, which has been given a bright, beautiful, mid-century-style makeover (with lots of gorgeous curves and arches) by Studio-Gram and Build Inc.
“We never could have anticipated all the challenges we’ve faced,” says Janie. “So many people have supported us and been part of this long journey. We can hardly believe we finally get to open those big glass doors and welcome everyone in.”
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
The brewery – named Yellow Matter, after a Beatles tribute supergroup – will operate from 3pm to late on Wednesday to Friday and from midday to late over the weekend, serving house-brewed beers (starting with eight on tap) and a completely vegetarian menu of pizzas and sides. Adelaide-bred, former head brewer at Melbourne’s popular Bodgriggy Brewing Co Tristan Barlow is behind the beers, which range from a “really bright and summery Berliner Weisse through to a super smooth and chocolatey stout,” says Janie. “All our beer offerings are approachable but interesting, designed to be enjoyed with the food coming from our kitchen. There will be a few mainstays, but just like our food menu, our beers will change seasonally,” she says.
Back to the food, you can expect a selection of pizzas with non-traditional toppings (a peek at Yellow Matter’s Instagram hints at flavours like shio koji mushroom and buffalo mozzarella, and beetroot, rocket, pomegranate molasses, and vegan mozzarella) plus some “fun and modern” sides – all of which are vegetarian and can be made gluten-free (and almost everything can be made vegan).
“We haven't set out to market Yellow Matter as a vegetarian venue,” says Janie. “We just wanted to offer great food that lots of people can enjoy together.”
There’ll also be a tight cocktail menu, new-wave wines and an extensive non-alcoholic list, plus a pool table and dog-friendly setting that add to the convivial community vibes.
“We've designed Yellow Matter to be a relaxed and inclusive venue that's welcoming for all,” says Janie. “We want anyone to be able to walk in and feel like it's somewhere they can hang with their mates and feel at ease. When we secured this heritage building, we knew we had the bare bones needed to create something really special.”
The team plans to walk the talk of inclusivity with brewing traineeships offered to women and gender minorities down the track. “Our hospitality group is female-led, and we're always looking for ways to promote the development of female and gender minority people in business,” says Janie. “Breweries are often male-dominated spaces, but we're confident this is changing and keen to be a part of shifting the gender balance within the industry.”
Next up, the team will be busy putting the finishing touches on So Long, Marianne – a plant-based bar and restaurant with no menu that’ll open next to the brewery in the second half of the year.
108 Marion Road, Brooklyn Park
Wed to Fri 3pm–late
Sat & Sun midday-late