Sparkke Change Beverage Company launched two years ago to shake up a male-dominated craft brewing scene. Since then the all-women, socially conscious alcohol company has been sending a message. Slogans such as “Consent Can’t Come After You Do”, “Change the Date” and “Boundless Plains to Share” are plastered across cans of beer, cider, hard lemonade and sparkling white wine (10 per cent of the direct sales from each drink goes to a charity associated with the cause that beverage promotes).
Now the team is transforming the long-dormant, 180-year-old Whitmore Hotel into one of the CBD’s few brewpubs. Sparkke At The Whitmore will preserve the heritage of the historic building while bringing it in line with Sparkke’s key mantras – sustainability and social responsibility.
Troppo Architects has been tapped for the $1.8 million overhaul, which will include major enhancements to water, light, power and access. “They’re celebrated for their sustainable, authentic design approach, which fits really nicely with our approach to business,” Sparkke director Rose Kentish said in a statement.
Some of the upgrades are designed to increase the safety of patrons, such as illuminated walls that light up the laneway behind the pub. The pokies will also go.
The new-look brewhouse will feature a rooftop bar, restaurant, upstairs function area and downstairs beer garden. But the “real theatre of the pub”, adds head brewer Agi Gajic, is the custom-designed nano-brewery – naturally. It will be situated in the centre of the hotel and fully visible from all corners.
“We’ll be making small batch, weird and wonderful brews,” says Gajic. “Most will never be repeated again. It’s a real laboratory for experimentation and pushing the boundaries around craft brewing. We’ll be aiming to produce a number of speciality brews each month.”
An on-site bottle shop will stock growlers, which allows people to take home a litre of the brew of their choice. “You bring them back, they get cleaned on-site, and you take a fresh one home with you,” says Gajijc. Another upside is “you can get specialty brews into homes in an environmentally sustainable way”.
The pub and bottle shop will also stock wines, spirits and brews from other local, and international producers.
Sparkke at the Whitmore is expected to open by the end of the year. Keep an eye on Broadsheet for updates.