“We had a soft-launch at a beer and wine festival, and people initially thought we were the ‘[promo] girls’… we were like, ‘actually this is the brewer’.”
For the team behind Adelaide-based brewers Sparkke Change Beverage Co., you couldn’t ask for a starker proof-of-concept. Tired of an alcohol industry wedded to regressively gendered marketing and a male-dominated craft-brewing scene, it’s turning the tinny on its head.
“Our head brewer is just a really badarse babe,” co-owner Sarah Barrable-Tishauer says of Agi Gajic; the chief brewer, whose CV includes experience with Sydney brewers Young Henrys. “She’s killing it in her field, one of the few young female brewers in the country.”
Brewed out of Vale Brewing’s Willunga space (in Adelaide), Sparkke Change’s initial range includes hard ginger beer, apple cider, pilsner and hard lemonade. It’s all made with an emphasis on sustainable practices, and everything but the ginger beer is gluten free and vegan.
The brewer’s social conscience isn’t limited to production – progressive messages are proudly plastered right there on the label, covering issues such as sexual consent, first peoples’ rights and immigration. Ice-breaking slogans such as “Consent Can’t Come After You Do” have arrived just in time for summer barbeque season with Trump-loving uncles and laddish high-school acquaintances.
“Sexual consent issues happen a great deal in spaces where people are consuming alcohol at festivals or parties, and we want to have those conversations in those spaces instead of trying to keep them apart,” Barrable-Tishauer says.
The Sparkke Change team aims to pre-sell 10,000 cases through a Pozible campaign before being rolled out across Australia. Ten per cent of each sale will be given to an organisation aligned with the cause on the can.
So if you’ve got a thirst for delicious brews that’s matched only by your appetite for change, this is probably your new summer drink.