The newest addition to the Saporium market family is The Drink Hive, a bottle shop stocked with boutique brands. Owner Gregoire Bertaud decided to open a store stocking a unique selection when he noticed customers were looking for an alternative to bigger brands.
“The big guys tend to dictate the market in Australia, so consumers don’t ultimately get to decide what they want,” he explains. “But people want something with a story, something you don’t see everywhere.”
“When you buy groceries you think about where things come from, but you don’t know much when you go to a big alcohol chain,” says Bertaud. The demand for authenticity is putting smaller suppliers in the spotlight.
“We’re all about doing what we know and love,” adds Farrell. “Most of the brands we’re working with are run by people we’ve known for years.”
This is the place to find some less-than-expected items, such as Fair vodka, an organic fair-trade variety made with quinoa. And Koval, a single-barrel, single-grain rye whiskey, made in the first distillery to open in Chicago since prohibition. it also stocks a selection of local and imported wines; many of them are from small wineries and are preservative-free.
The selection of wines on tap changes monthly, and customers are encouraged to bring along old bottles to refill. This month’s selection includes a pinot rosè, a blend of pinot noir and pinot gris grapes from the Swinging Bridge winery in the Central Ranges, NSW. Reusing bottles reduces the impact on the environment (Bertaud and Farrell are against plastic bags and wear aprons made from recycled material), but also allows Bertaud to stock varieties that may not be available or affordable when packaged as single bottles.
Craft-beer fans can also fill up their growlers with a Young Henrys or Batch brew.
The Drink Hive
Shop 5, 61 Mentmore Avenue, Rosebery
Mon to Sat 10am–8pm