When Coca-Cola bought out Adelaide’s Mojo Kombucha, it made sense for smaller producers to worry they’d be muscled out. Instead, local kombucha company Scull saw a spike in sales as cafes switched out the newly multinational brand for a more local product.
Owners Damian Foo and Sharon Lam only moved to Adelaide from Sydney last year but they’ve ensconced themselves pretty quickly. In February the pair started selling kombucha at local markets and soon developed a strong rapport with other stallholders. With the help of Renew Adelaide, a not-for-profit that facilitates creative enterprise in vacant spaces, they moved into a property in the CBD’s south-west corner, and their new friends helped kit it out.
The taphouse features a polished-concrete bench by Love Concrete atop a bar made from reclaimed wood. Behind are six taps Foo installed himself.
Kombucha is essentially fermented tea. Foo started out with a Cooper’s home-brew kit, but has since graduated to a much more serious set-up. Now he brews in 400-litre batches. The taproom is a place for him to experiment with flavours.
Six taps pour a range of core offerings from the sweet elderberry, ginger and turmeric, to the more savoury hojicha (a roasted green tea that Foo describes as “a little nutty, a little caramel-y”). These will sit alongside a couple of seasonal offerings that make heavy use of market produce. Previous brews include nectarine, spiced fig, and strawberry and mint.
All the brews start with a Japanese-style green tea sourced from Victoria (it’s not grown in SA). Green tea is more delicate than black and allows the other ingredients to shine, though there is one blend of green and black tea called “noir”.