Yellow Matter opens with hospitality focus
Yellow Matter Brewing, a venture nearly four years in the making, opened in the Adelaide suburb of Brooklyn Park in late June.
Head brewer Tristan Barlow was heavily involved in the brewery set-up process, having joined the Yellow Matter team in February 2022 following a career spanning several years at Bodriggy Brewing Co.
“I was lucky enough to be involved right at the point of designing and procuring the brewing equipment,” Barlow said.
“We worked quite closely with Bespoke Brewing Solutions to design a compact 850L brewery which we can expand on a little bit to give us more capacity in the future.
“The thought was to build a brewpub brewery that can be completely operated by one person.
“So far that’s been possible, and should be until we start putting beer in cans!”
Barlow was also able to offer his input on the design of the venue. Yellow Matter’s founder and owner, Janie Kammer, said one of the ways she wants to differentiate her brewery is through the venue.
“We just wanted to offer a little more on the venue side of it all,” Kammer said.
“We, of course, take a lot of pride and put in a lot of energy and love into each brew, but we wanted to match that love and energy into the venue itself.”
She worked with an architectural design firm to achieve the right aesthetic in the space.
“We went with a midcentury-modern inspired fit out with a mix of high bars, booths and regular seating both indoors and outdoors.
“The music is mostly a mix of 80s bangers.”
Inclusivity was a priority for Kammer when designing the venue and deciding on the drinks menu.
“The idea was to make every person who comes in feel welcome in this space and to have a big enough offering that we can please everyone,” she said.
“We have ten taps of our own brews and a selection of other independent brews.
“We have a progressive wine list and a bunch of non-alc options.
“We also have hand-stretched pizzas on the menu that are incredible.”
Kammer is the founder of Sonic Yoni Hospitality, a company that owns and operates several venues in Adelaide’s western suburbs, including a café called Karma and Crowe.
The fact that Kammer had an established reputation and existing contacts in the hospitality industry helped her secure the Yellow Matter venue, as well as the space for her next-door restaurant So Long, Marianne.
“I was actually fortunate enough to be offered these two buildings before they reached the public platforms,” Kammer said.
“The landowners were really keen to bring in a hospitality operator to liven up the site.
“They were familiar with Karma and Crow’s success and offered an opportunity that I couldn’t say no to.
“I think the location is perfect; I could not have asked for a better space and a better location.”
Kammer relied primarily on private investors to fund the set-up of the brewery and venue, but she also took out loans and the kitchen equipment was financed.
Long development application process
Like many brewery founders, Kammer found the process she had to go through to get approval for Yellow Matter to be challenging and lengthy.
“The development application was an incredibly slow and frustrating process… [and] it still continues to be as we fight to open nights,” Kammer said.
“In total our application was with the council for 11 months and with external parties collectively for almost 3 years.
“This was not easy and required a lot of regulatory authorities to sign off on different moving parts of the project.
“It often resulted with conflicting information and pathways to move forward.”
However, hiring people with the right expertise paid off for Kammer.
“Liquor licensing was an absolute breeze!
“We have an incredible liquor licensing lawyer who submitted all the works on our behalf and it went through with no issues at all.”
Kammer advises aspiring brewery founders to carefully consider who they need as part of their team and seek guidance from existing brewery owners.
“I was navigating a whole new world and so I really didn’t know where to start or what considerations I needed to map out.
“My advice is to ascertain what external parties you will need to engage throughout the process and work backwards from your ideal open date.
“I would contact another brewery owner and just ask what processes of certification they will need to consider because there are so many steps that came up along the way that in retrospect I could have been more prepared for.
“I would be very happy to offer consulting on this myself.”
Worth the time and effort
Kammer said that it’s important for people wanting to establish a brewery to accept that the journey will be time-consuming and deadlines may not be able to be met.
“There is a lot to consider and ultimately it depends on your intent of scale and service offering, but I think if you’re comfortable and committed to the fact that the process to set up could potentially be a very lengthy one, then you will be absolutely fine,” she said.
“If you have a deadline to meet for opening, you may be rather frustrated.
Despite the difficulties she faced, Kammer said she doesn’t regret her decision to launch Yellow Matter.
“I can say, I worked on this for almost 4 years and I wouldn’t take any of it back.
“The reward is instant.”