Social change beverage company to open its first brewpub

Female led social change beverage company Sparkke, announced on Wednesday its plans to build its first brewpub.

Sparkke has purchased the 180-year-old Whitmore Hotel in Adelaide’s CBD, which will undergo a $1.8 million renovation in keeping with the company’s business mantras – sustainability and social responsibility.

The two-year-old company was co-founded by Rose Kentish, who was the first female Australian Winemaker of the Year and marketer Kari Allen.

The Adelaide-based team of nine women is now solidifying its position in the Australian beverage market with a venue of its own. For Sparkke, the Brewpub is about activating its community through a physical space. The Adelaide brewpub is the first of many, in a national plan to house Sparkke pubs in all major Australian cities.

Partnerships and Media Manager Jamie Bucirde described Sparkke as a “female-lead social enterprise alcohol company in Adelaide, that puts social messages on its cans to kickstart important conversations about social issues in Australia”.

Jamie said that the Whitmore Hotel will act as safe space for all people.

“We want to collaborate with our future and current cause partners to promote equality,” Jamie said.

“I think that a lot of women are just starting to speak up a lot more about how important it is for venues to promote the safety of women and everyone.”

“We want people to feel safe in our pub and we want that to be at the forefront of who we are.”

“That’s a really important part of our business structure.”

“The safety of women is definitely an important part of the hospitality industry, and we’re really hoping that this starts a domino effect for other venues to do the same thing as us.”

Sparkke Head Brewer Agi Gajic, formerly of Gage Roads and Young Henry’s, said that construction and demolition has begun at the venue and underground work will begin next week.

With major environmental enhancements to be made to all areas of the Hotel, the heritage building’s cobblestones and brickwork will be preserved.The venue will also encompass a bottle shop, where patrons can takeaway tapped products in growlers.

With environmentally passive design and safety at the forefront of this venue, Agi said that the Hotel will be focused on the safety of women and other members of the community.

In the centre of the Hotel and fully-visible from all sides, will be Agi’s custom-designed nanobrewery. The 8hl two vessel Brewtique brewhouse is to be Agi’s laboratory, where she wants to create more “specialty” and “weird and wonderful” beers.

“There will be several different products available, both beer and non-beer on tap,” Agi said.

“We’re focusing on local, natural and independent.”

Her core range products include the infamous Consent Can’t Come After You Do (a national award-winning Apple Cider), What’s Planet B? (a multi bronze-medal-winning New England Pale Ale in support of action on climate change), Say I Do’ (a sparkling white wine in support of marriage equality), Change The Date (a Pilsner pushing for a new national day of celebration), Nipples Are Nipples (a hard lemonade supporting gender equality), and Boundless Plains To Share (a ginger beer in favour of humane asylum-seeking policies and practices).

Jamie said that in the face of alcohol being such a big part of the Australian culture, Sparkke wanted to create a medium for people to talk about alcohol-related issues.

“We want to promote responsible drinking, we want to create really high quality products that have a lower alcohol content, so we are not enforcing things like binge drinking,” Jamie said.

“We’re creating a safe platform to drink.”

“As an alcohol company, we’re about drinking responsibly and thinking responsibly.”

The company allocates 10 per cent of direct sales revenue to charities aligned with the social messages each Sparkke product promotes. The new brewpub will launch “fingers crossed” in December.

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