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November 19, 2018
Habits

Introducing Scullery: Adelaide’s first kombucha taproom

After nine months building their brand in Adelaide produce markets, kombucha label Scull is launching the city's first kombucha brewhouse taproom.

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  • Words and pictures: Johnny von Einem

Sharon Lam and Damian Foo moved to Adelaide from Sydney in December of last year and wasted no time entering into the city’s food and beverage scene.

By February they had founded and brought to market their kombucha business, Scull (initially launched as Booch), which was the seed of an idea that had sat dormant in Damian’s mind since finding interest in tea and kombucha around six years ago.

Remarks

Scullery

14 Collins Street, Adelaide.

Opening officially from 10am on Friday, 23 November.

Opening hours:
Tues – Sat: 10am-7pm
Sunday: 10am-5pm

Damian has a history in fermentation – he has owned a vinegar business in Sydney since 2006 – and so it’s only natural he would be drawn to fermenting tea. With five years of home brewing and experimentation under his belt, Damian began to realise the kombucha he was producing had a strong point of difference to what was available on supermarket shelves.

It wasn’t until the couple moved to Adelaide, though, that they found the time to convert Damian’s craft into a business.

Recently, after nine months building their brand and a customer base in Adelaide’s market scene, Scull’s production began to outgrow the confines of Sharon and Damian’s Bowden apartment.

“There’s not even a garage,” Sharon laughs. “The demand outstripped the supply, and we realised we had to make a decision. We decided to dive into it.”

After scouting the city for a space, the couple found a small roller-door warehouse at 14 Collins Street, through Renew Adelaide, and set up camp. The space officially launches as SCullery on Thursday, 22 November, and will be Adelaide’s first kombucha taproom.

Remarks

Scull will also be at Bowerbird Design Market from 23-25 November. See some other exhibitors here, and read about how Bowerbird is incubating Adelaide’s design scene here.

“It’s going to be a test bed where I can try new flavours and put them on tap and get consumer feedback,” Damian says.

“So I want people to come through and test new flavours and give me feedback so I can refine it.”

Kombucha fans can stop by and taste the full Scull range – Noir (a black tea base), Blanc (a black and white tea mix), Hojicha (a roasted green tea, grown in Victoria), Ginger Turmeric (ginger beer-like flavour profile, best for first-time kombucha drinkers), Elderflower (a sweeter flavour profile), and Shincha (early harvest green tea, also grown in Victoria) – as well as new products Damian is tinkering with, and bring in empty bottles for refills, much like a growler system at a brewery taproom.

Scull’s branding was designed by Dialogic Studios and features illustrations by Grace Lee.

 

Kombucha has enjoyed a recent spate of coverage in local media, following the purchase of Willunga-based Mojo by international giant Coca-Cola Amatil.

Despite the beverage industry at large seeing dollar signs beneath the SCOBY, in Damian and Sharon’s experience, consumers are still not fully aware of exactly what kombucha is.

“I would say 50/50 people don’t know what it is when we go to markets,” Damian says.

“I would describe the kombucha market as quite young, in that there’s still a lot of room for growth,” Sharon continues.

Remarks

As well as at the Scullery taproom and in markets, you can also find Scull at a select group of cafés. See the list here.

“The people who know kombucha, they really know kombucha… but then there’s still a lot more people who haven’t tasted it before, so at markets that’s what we do.”

With relatively few players in the kombucha market (though the number is growing), Damian is confident Scull’s point of difference – fresh ingredients; more of a focus on tea, herbs and spices for flavour, rather than fruit; and Damian’s penchant for experimentation – will establish the brand as a favourite amongst kombucha drinkers.

“I think with kombucha itself, there’s a lot of room for variety. Being a young industry, there’s a lot of space for a lot of brands and different variations of kombucha, different flavours, different methodologies,” Damian says.

And now with a physical home for the business, the couple hopes to build a community around their product that will see Scull grow alongside the burgeoning broader kombucha scene.

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