There’s something brewing on an (almost) exclusively industrial strip in Regency Park – just down the road from Coopers. And it’s worth seeking out.
“To get a brewery up and running in six months is quite an achievement,” says Dane Adkins. He’s done just that. The owner of Semaphore’s Sweet Amber Brew Cafe has opted out of contract brewing and opened his own brew-pub under the Sweet Amber banner.
“We’re looking at 1000 litres a week,” says Adkins, who’s taken on head-brewing duties. It’s about as small-scale as it gets for a commercial brewery. But sticking to direct-to-public sales (through the brew pub and cafe), the goal is to keep it small and – perhaps more importantly for Adkins – local.
Beer pours straight from Brite tanks in the cool room (where it’s stored after fermentation and filtering so it can further mature, clarify and carbonate). “That’s as fresh as you’re ‘gonna get,” Adkins assures us.
Of eight taps, half are dedicated to “core” beers Adkins has brewed before: there’s a bitter amber ale; a blonde ale; an IPA; and a coffee stout. The other half will be seasonal, though Adkins is tight-lipped about those. You won’t have to wait too long though – one will be released at Beer & Barbeque Festival in April.
Takeaways – or “roadies” as they’re calling them – come in one- or two-litre bottles and are poured to order. “The beer purges with CO2 … and fills the bottle from the outside up so there’s no foam,” Adkins says. It’s good for a month in the fridge.
A redbrick bar, greenery and a line of timber-topped bar tables warm up what’s essentially a shed. In the absence of structured tours, one of the team members is always around to talk beer.
There’s scope for functions, live music and food trucks (which have already started popping up in the carpark).
Sweet Amber Brewing Co.
Unit 5 21–23 Naweena Road, Regency Park