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February 23, 2023

A drinker’s guide to Gluttony

Yes, of course, the Fringe performances are very important, but where are you going to get a drink?

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  • Words and pictures: Johnny von Einem

Gluttony has risen once again, popping up at its usual location at Murlawirrapurka Rymill Park.

As with every year, there’s something a little bit different about its orientation, layout and general makeup in 2023, and it seems that Gluttony– in addition to its broad arts program – is angling to be the Fringe hub for the discerning drinker.


Gluttony will be in place at Murlawirrapurka Rymill Park for the entire Fringe season.
For more info on shows, food and beverages, visit the website.

There are fourteen watering holes dotted throughout the festival corral – some of which apply more than the paint-by-numbers approach seen at other recurring food, wine or music festivals.

“It’s quite an eclectic mix. We’ve got all our regular bars, and then we wanted to have experiential bars, so the bars have all got different offerings,” says Gluttony’s head of food and beverage, Rowan Edwards. “We’ve got gin bars, cocktail bars, wine bars, and we’ve got a few new ones this year as well.”

There are familiar multi-national-branded drinkeries, but Gluttony-crawlers will also find a place to park to explore an international wine list, receive a side of wine education, a full-scale restaurant at which to sit by a lake with some sangria, somewhere to truly support local, and a hidden garden filled with artists (and sometimes only artists).

“It is very much about the shows and the Fringe, but also it’s about representing the state and what we have to offer, and just making sure people have other reasons to come in and enjoy themselves,” Rowan says.


The Simple Pleasures

The Coopers Bar(s)

If you come into Gluttony from its East Terrace entrance, one of the first bars to catch your eye will be the Coopers bar, off to your right.

There’s not much selling that needs to be done on behalf of the beloved South Australian brewery. You already know what camp you belong to: either a green one, blue one, or, if the weather ever gets anywhere close to 20°C, perhaps a red one.

There are other options (soft drink, Mild Ale), but you know why you’re here.

Perhaps you saw the Coopers bar upon entrance but decided against stopping for a drink, and have now found yourself deep within the bowels of the food and art hub and desperately thirsty for a Thomas Cooper Elixir. Worry not – there’s a second Coopers bar at the back of Gluttony, between The Moa and The Fantail.


Tanqueray bar

The second bar you’ll come across is branded up to its eyeballs – if you have a very specific taste for gin poured from a green bottle, this is your stop.


Coffee & Cocktails

Next door to Tanqueray is the conveniently combined offering of both coffee and cocktails.

CityMag enquired with the bar staff about what a punter might order if they were in need of both a coffee and cocktail at the same time. The bartender, with a polite deadpan so as not to offend the questioner, responded immediately: “Espresso Martini”. Duh.

This Coffee & Cocktail bar is located to your left not far after the entrance, and a second one can be found at the back of Gluttony.


Julio’s Margaritas

Yes, that Julio, heir to the Don Julio fortune.

It’s a branded bar, but Julio’s Margaritas, which can be found to the left of performance venue The Flamingo, offers a fun selection of drinks – including (and crucially aligned to this week’s heatwave) frozen margs.

Keep yourself and your bestie cool pre- and post-show.


The Hill & Lounge Bars

Sometimes you don’t need a hyper-specific offering, you just need a range to choose from and a comfortable position to drink from.

At The Hill Bar, there are Coopers beers, Alpha Box & Dice and Palmetto wines, cider from Adelaide Hills crew Lobo, some non-alc options courtesy of Polka, Heaps Normal and Hiatus, plus Bizzarro spritzes, RTD spirits and some soft drinks.

But really, what you’re here for is the view. Slightly elevated above the crowd (as you should be), you can sip and people-watch in peace.

A similar offering exists at The Lounge Bar, located further in, across from The Flamingo, but here you’re provided with a lot of shade. And vintage furniture, if that’s your thing.


The barfly bars

Alpha Box & Dice Bar

Yes, it’s a branded bar, but it’s a brand that CityMag feels great affection for – plus, there’s a few more wine options to be found here than in the previous bars.

It was a very troubling 30-or-so degrees on the day we toured through Gluttony for this story, and we cannot describe to you the thirst-quenching power a glass of AB&D’s Very Special Riesling wields in times like these.

The brand’s winemaker, Sam Berketa – who happened to be at the bar with his team the moment we turned up – agrees that it is particularly well-suited to the event.

“[It’s] one of my favourite wines. I love Riesling,” he says. “I find most Aussie Rieslings give you heartburn every time you drink a glass of it. You can feel it burning your oesophagus on the way down, whereas this has just enough to balance it out to make it less caustic.

“It does have sweetness, but it brings you fruit at the front and then balances out the acidity, but it finishes still dry and fresh and not super sweet.”

Alpha Box has also decided to launch a brand-new wine at Gluttony this year – their Pinot Blanc. It was not available on the day of our tour (or on Wednesday this week, when we checked back), but when it does arrive, Sam promises it’ll be just as well-suited to our South Australian summer climes.

“It works so well in this weather because it’s so cooling and so refreshing, but it’s got texture,” he says. “So [it’s] for those people who want a Riesling but for people who want a little bit more to it. It sits between a Riesling and a Pinot Grigio in that sense.”

The Alpha Box & Dice Bar also has locational benefits – you can grab a glass and sit by the Murlawirrapurka Rymill Park lake, watching life and ducks float on by.


Sometimes Always Bar

Keen CityMag readers will recognise the Alpha Box crew’s retail wine brand Sometimes Always also has a presence at Gluttony this year.

There are a range of AB&D and related brands (Palmetto and Italian Plastic), but this is the bar for the truly discerning drinker. Here you will also find a rotating international wine list, programmed in collaboration with Gluttony.

Not only this, each week on a Sunday the bar will be hosting a wine school, bringing in knowledgeable folks from around South Australia to talk about a specialised topic while pouring tasters for dedicated ticket-bearers.

The first wine school teacher was Xavier Bizot from DAOSA, who took an audience through a sparkling class, and future editions will include an Italian road trip with importer David Ridge, natural wines with Jauma’s James Erskine, and deep dives on both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Tickets for the Sometimes Always Wine School are available on the Fringe’s website, so book to secure a spot.

“I’ve already got people wanting to book in staff members, so it’s a hospo wine school, staff training,” AB&D’s Sam Berketa says.

Tired: Natty wine. Wired: Internatty wine.


The Local Bar

This one does what it says on the tin: it offers a broader array of South Australian producers than can’t be found anywhere else in Gluttony.

Find drops from Ricca Terra, Sigurd, Unico Zelo and Delinquente, soft drinks from Mischief Brew, and spirits from 23rd Street Distillery – all alongside the usual suspects of Coopers and Lobo Cider.

All of the wine and spirits on offer at this bar come from the Riverland region, with Brand SA using the bar to promote its Spend Your Support initiative, an online marketplace which encourages beverage consumers like you and we to drink in support of flood-affected Murray River regions.

CityMag has never needed much convincing with regard to drinking Riverland wine, but it’s nice to know we’re now doing our part.


The More-Than-a-Bar Bars

Club Curious

Knock, knock (who’s there?)

If there’s one place to stop for a drink this Fringe season, Gluttony’s Rowan Edwards reckons it’s Club Curious.

Part bar, part performance space, it is a unique offering in the Gluttony hub, and an attempt to bring back a bit of the official Fringe Club that is sorely missing from the 2023 Adelaide Fringe.

The bar is open to the public on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with performers roving the grounds.

On other nights, the bar will be an oasis reserved solely for artists performing in the Fringe.

“We’re looking after our artists, making sure they’ve got a space to unwind and connect inside Gluttony as well,” Rowan says.

This picture: Helen Page


Comida Buena Onda

This is not a bar at all. It’s a restaurant run by our good friends at Comida, for which they’re cooking over fire and supplying the public with sangria. It’s this latter fact that makes them eligible for this list.

There are a few tables at the restaurant with lakeside views, which is a perfect outlook to take in with a jug of sangria and a few bites to eat.

The restaurant opens from 5pm ‘til late and you can book online or walk in (though Comida founder Brad Sappenberghs would love for you to book ahead), and it offers Comida Hahndorf’s Fiesta Menu.

“It’s what we run at the restaurant as well, so three snacks, three tapa – what we normally do with paella, but with a protein from the fire,” Brad says.


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