It's been a long time coming, but Adelaide's only city-based microbrewery will open its doors this week to offer a complete food and drink experience that is all built around an intense love of beer.
First look: Lady Burra Brewhhouse
Lady Burra Brewhouse owner Nick Murphy is aware that his project is ambitious.
“We’re trying to do something that is normally done in a big commercial manufacturing facility in a converted office building,” he says of the city brewery, which will open to the public this weekend.
Lady Burra opens to the public this Saturday, June 13. Visit them at 4 Topham Mall, Adelaide.
Located in the slowly transforming Topham Mall, and despite its existing challenges, Lady Burra has actually grown in scope since Nick first conceived of it as a brewery with a bar attached several years ago.
He was convinced to incorporate a thorough food offering as well when he met experienced front of house manager Miguel Sa and his Mum – successful chef Rosa Dantas.
“When we met Miguel and his Mum it just gave us some confidence to do more,” says Nick.
As a result, when Lady Burra opens its doors on Saturday it will not only be a functional brewery where you can drink the fresh-made beers, but also a full service cocktail bar and breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant serving Portuguese food.
While the concept may have expanded, the idea at its heart has never strayed away from the simple celebration of beer.
Each drink and dish served in the restaurant will be an homage to Lady Burra’s brews.
“Every dish we make uses the Lady Burra beer. Everything is marinated, or beer battered or has the beer in the sauce,” says Miguel.
“I’ve also built a cocktail list that has beer in it and we’re going to have sangria with beer in it too. Everything is built around the fact that we’re a brewery.”
As well as being made with beer, the food sounds like just the sort of thing that is perfect to eat whilst drinking beer. Two wood ovens stand to the side of Rosa’s kitchen – one will be used to make bread and slow roast meats while the other will churn out pizzas that will sit next to more traditional portuguese fare like petiscos (similar to tapas) on the menu.
Head brewer Taylor Cox is starting out with a roster of four regular beers – a pale ale, Irish red ale, dark beer and pilsener, and will also be making one-off beers in the brewery tucked behind the glass wall at the back of the venue.
The space is designed to make Taylor and his brewery part of the Lady Burra experience, and takes industrial aesthetic cues from the stainless steel vats dominating the back area. With help from SMA Design and Crafty for the graphics, engineer Nick (who is keeping his day job in the field) has created a space that brings together the disparate areas of the ex-office building with cohesion. A recycled material palette – including the bar made of sleepers from the Moonta Bay jetty – warm the industrial design features and create ambience.
It was likely Nick’s skills as an engineer that made something as complex as Lady Burra possible, but it is the desire of him, Miguel, Rosa and Taylor to create a welcoming and engaging experience that will make it popular.
“The big thing for me was just seeing microbreweries in other cities and seeing the culture it created. It’s just something that I thought would really fit with Adelaide,” says Nick.