That’s Leigh Morgan of Mismatch Brewing Co. He’s talking about Lot 100.
The multipurpose venue – just outside of Nairne in the Adelaide Hills – is a joint home for Mismatch, Adelaide Hills Distillery, Vinteloper, Hills Cider Co and Ashton Valley Fresh. The brewery has been operational for a year, and was joined by the distillery six months ago. Now the next-door cellar door and restaurant are open for business.
“We’re the only ones in South Australia with all of this in one spot,” says Morgan.
At the end of a gravel road, there it is. The “new-age barn”, as Morgan describes it, is unlike anything else in the state. It’s epic. Frame (the designer of Mismatch and Adelaide Hills Distillery’s labels) has nailed the agricultural-meets-industrial brief in a hyperextending side step from its usual graphic-design jobs.
The soaring pitched roof is contoured with timber panelling that extends down the walls. Underfoot is a schmick polished-concrete floor (with heating for winter). There’s a sprawling courtyard at the entrance and a deck out back. Morgan says the venue can fit 500 people comfortably.
Projects of this scale tend not to meet a hard deadline. Lot 100 did. Morgan christened it at his 220-guest wedding a week before the public launch. “I’d say it would’ve got stretched out a lot further if I hadn’t been up here every day,” he says, with a laugh. “Let’s just say we gave it a real good run [at the wedding].”
At the bar there are 40 taps. Twenty-six pour Mismatch, 12 pour Hills Cider Co and four pour cocktails made with Adelaide Hills Distillery spirits.
There’s no shortage of booze here. It’s quite the opposite. But a dedicated tasting-flight menu makes navigating it a little more manageable. Each brand has two or three paddles to choose from. Taste different beer, cider, wine, spirits, or even juice – side by side.
There’ll also be some Lot 100 exclusives. “We’ve gone out of our way to reserve a heap of limited-edition [Mismatch] stuff we’ve made over the past six months,” Morgan says. “[Vinteloper winemaker David Bowley] has a big back-vintage collection he’s going to filter through here, too.”
Anything you can drink here you can take away. It’s already become a local bottle shop for the neighbours. “Some people that live along this road have walked up to grab a few beers or a bottle of gin,” says Morgan.
If you want to get up close and personal with production, book a brewery-and-distillery tour. A mezzanine bar hosts masterclasses, tastings and blend-your-own workshops.
A subtle smokiness lingers in the air when Broadsheet visits. We peek into the kitchen. Meats are being flame-licked over a fire pit burning hot with local red gum.
The “from-the-pit” offering will be a little different every day, but you might get a flank steak, rotisserie-cooked baby chicken or porchetta. Pizzas are fired in a wood oven.
The menu is “Italian-ish”, “rustic as fuck” and “99.9 per cent” local, says chef Shannon Fleming (ex-Orana), who runs the kitchen with Tom Bubner (Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, Chicken & Pig). The pair use Greenslades chicken, Richard Gunner meats and Samtass fish.
There’ll always be a raw-fish dish on the menu – at the moment it’s dressed with wild fennel, in-season cherries and lemon. Antipasti plates are draped with meats from San Jose Smallgoods, and cheese from Woodside Cheese Wrights and Section 28. “I literally pick [the cheese] up on my way to work,” says Fleming. There’s also a great big ball of burrata and a few handmade pastas daily.
“We’re not trying to be the cool kids in the Hills, we’re really trying to welcome everyone in,” says Morgan.
By the sound of it, they’re already ticking a helluva lot of boxes.
68 Chambers Road, Hay Valley
Thu to Sun 11am–5pm