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Female-led brewery buys Adelaide hotel

By Craig Hawtin-Butcher, Australian Hotelier

Sparkke Change Beverage Company will take on The Whitmore Hotel.

The Sparkke Change Beverage Company (Sparkke) have bought The Whitmore Hotel, an 180-year-old heritage pub in the south-west corner of Adelaide’s CBD. Sparkke, founded by a group of women from Adelaide less than two years ago, will look to be one of Adelaide’s first CBD-based brewpubs as they bring brewing operations into the venue.

Head brewer Agi Gajic (credit: Daniel Marks)

The purchase was made with the support of a small group of professional investors and supporters. The hotel is due to undergo a $1.8 million renovation in conjunction with design partners Troppo Architects. It will reopen as Sparkke At The Whitmore, with a soft launch likely in December 2018. The brewery, which has a strong focus on social change, ultimately intends to have a brewpub in every major Australian city.

Retaining the heritage elements, Sparkke will look to bring the venue in line with Sparkke’s twin business mantras – sustainability and social responsibility. Environmental enhancements will be made to all areas, including water, light, power and access. The renovation includes plans for a rooftop bar, a restaurant celebrating local produce, an upstairs function area and a downstairs beer garden. Sparkke will also install a custom-designed nanobrewery in the centre of the hotel and fully visible from all corners.

Sparkke’s head brewer, Agi Gajic, formerly of Gage Roads and Young Henry’s, will deliver small runs of unique, limited edition craft brews.

“The real theatre of the pub is the brewhouse,” says Agi. “We’ll be making small batch, weird and wonderful brews – most will never be repeated again. It’s a real laboratory for experimentation and pushing the boundaries around craft brewing.

“We’ll be aiming to produce a number of speciality brews each month. There will always be something new, fresh and local to try. We see the brewery as a really important part of our business model because you can get specialty brews into homes in an environmentally sustainable way.”

Sparkke At The Whitmore will also feature craft talent from Australia and around the world in wines, spirits and other brews. The boutique craft bottle shop will stock one-litre take-away growlers.

Photo credit: Paul Scott

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