Pete Vujic says Silver Brewing Co – the new Gouger Street business he's running with his family – aims to offer a “unique experience” to patrons as a viking-inspired restaurant, bar, brewery and distillery.
New venue on the block Silver Brewing Co wants to do it all
As CityMag pulls up to 200-206 Gouger Street, we see an older gentleman wielding an angle grinder and slicing through stone. Inside what resembles a construction site, sparks fly around the individual, who’s wearing stone-wash jeans and a ‘New York City’ printed graphic t-shirt.
We ask for Pete Vujic, owner of the postcode 5000’s soon-to-open multi-purpose venue, Silver Brewing Co. Pete, wearing a yellow tank top, slides open a glass door and welcomes us inside the space, which aims, by the end of the month, to be a fully-functional micro-brewery, distillery, restaurant and part-time nightclub.
“We wanted to do something uniquely different,” Pete says, while guiding us through one of three warehouses sprawled across the 1000sqm industrial property, located in the city’s southern pocket.
“I think one of the important things in Adelaide cuisine culture is to be a little bit different. Everybody’s the same.”
Silver Brewing Co is a family-run business. Pete’s 72-year-old dad, Voran, is the individual we saw earlier on the tools, and his son manages the books. The Vujic’s are recent up-and-comers in the postcode 5000’s hospitality scene. Over the past two years they’ve opened and run Peel Street restaurant Kafana Kitchen and Bar, which tilts towards Serbian cuisine.
But the family wanted to do something different with this 300-capacity venue. As Kafana battled against never-ending COVID-19 restrictions and closures, the family realised they could rely on one key offering to propel them forward – alcohol.
“Food and everything else has taken a hit from COVID-19,” Pete says, “but the only thing that keeps on going is people have to drink alcohol. It’s recession-proof.”
The micro-brewery is headed-up by first-time brewer (and former white-collar worker) Nicholas McInerney. Pete says Silver Brewing Co is already busy pumping out nine Euro-leaning beers, including a Bavarian lager, Czech lager, and amber ale.
A cider is also on the cards, as well as a fruit brandy based on the traditional spirit, rakija, made from fermented apple and pear. “We’re also going to be doing rum, whisky and we’re also going to be doing a little bit of gin,” Pete says.
The cocktail menu also takes inspiration from Europe, with drinks like the Serbian Mule (a riff on the Moscow Mule) and Rakija Sour leaning towards Balkan ingredients.
While walking through a room that will “soon” double as a nightclub, we ask the business owner whether he’s worried Silver Brewing Co has cast its net too wide, rather than specialising in one offering and nailing it.
Pete says the purpose behind the venture is research and development – “it’s working out what works best, and then we could go commercial with it,” Pete explains.
“A perfect way to do it is through your own venue.”
The restaurant part of Silver Brewing Co has a “viking feast” -inspired menu. Mains include slow cooked, smoked pork belly; charcoal grilled kangaroo fillet slathered in a garlic and parsley glaze; and dry rub slow-cooked chicken, marinated in Bavarian-style lager.
Pete – who is of Serbian descent – believes viking feasts and Slavic get-togethers have a lot in common.
“Slavs and vikings used to have a very similar pagan background,” he says.
“It was the idea of feasting after a battle or after something that’s important, you’d have a feast. My family has a feast all the time. We sit here and have a pig on a spit, or a lamb on a spit, and that’s what we wanted to do.”
The meat will be sourced locally and where possible from the private properties of Adelaide Hills’ landholders. Pete says the restaurant’s chef, Daniel Maskimovic, is an “avid hunter” and often hunts deer, goat and kangaroo on friends’ land up north.
“We were thinking of using game meat to make sausages and salamis,” Pete says.
“In the Adelaide Hills there’s a big pest problem now with wild deer. That’s pretty much the idea. Reducing the population and it’s also doing something different.”
The family plans to unveil the venue in its entirety at the end of April. Although the beer garden and bar is open to the public Thursday to Sunday, the on-site micro-brewery and gin distillery is yet to be installed.
As we leave, we notice Zoran busy cutting slate. “Dad’s an excellent worker,” Pete says, “but we’re all working. We don’t have a choice.”
Once again, he says: “the whole idea, as a family, was to do something uniquely different.”