Crafty Crawls: Adelaide's CBD Breweries

July 10, 2024, by Matt King

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Crafty Crawls: Adelaide's CBD Breweries

Adelaide: the capital city that acts like a big rural town with the perks of a capital but without the traffic, exorbitant prices and busyness that can be found elsewhere.

Among those perks for beer lovers is the host of fine, beer-centric venues and brewpubs dotting the CBD, enhanced by the fact that the relatively compact size of the city ensures a Crafty Crawl of the area is a rather effortless affair. 

The layout resembles a giant grid too, allowing easy access to all parts of a city known for its laid-back nature, surfeit of churches and green spaces, and with a slowly-expanding tram network taking shape too. 

In this Crafty Crawl, we're focusing on the breweries that have set up home in Adelaide’s CBD: a pleasant day's wander taking in five breweries and a taphouse, starting in the city's southwest and ending a hop and a skip from the Oval.


Stop One: Mismatch Brewhouse

 

Mismatch Brewhouse Adelaide brings elements of Mismatch Brewing from their home in the Adelaide Hills to Whitmore Square in the city. The building dates back to the first half of the 19th century, when it first operated as The Queens Arms. A lot has changed since then, including several renovations, with the venue most recently the home of Sparkke before Mismatch moved in.

Head there now and you'll find an open, airy and bright venue, with a multitude of welcoming spaces and plenty of room in which to move. There are murals of the brewing process across the walls within eye shot of the small onsite brewery, which acts as a creative hub where the Mismatch brewers create small batch beers served only at the venue alongside Mismatch’s award-winning core range.

Moving upstairs, there's an open beer garden occupying pretty much the entire top floor. It's a great place to enjoy a beer in Adelaide's afternoon sun, while at time of writing food options include a $50 shared pizza menu, beer snacks and enhanced pub classics including buttermilk fried chicken, Wagyu burgers, gnocchi and steak frites.

Mismatch Brewhouse Adelaide is at 317 Morphett Street, Adelaide


Stop Two: Silver Brewing Co

 

Silver Brewery is an interesting one. Located in Gouger Street, the venue is probably better known for its Serbian-inspired food. Founded by Peter Vujic, he's set about showcasing Serbian culture at a place he advertises as a restaurant, bar, brewery and distillery. 

One element of Serbian culture that's front and centre here is their love of partying: the booze list, for starters, is extensive. Apart from familiar spirits and wines, Silver features a entire list they make themselves. There's the traditional Serbian spirit rakija, which comes in ten different flavours including coffee, quince, pear, apple and coconut. Then there's the house-made gin, vodka, whisky ... even a barrel-aged sljivovica. 

As for the beer, again a broad range of styles brewed onsite are on offer: an English pale, an IPA, a German lager, a Mexican pilsner, a blonde, a pacific ale, a sour and two seltzers. That said, that's what was filling the taps at time of writing – the lineup rotates throughout the year so may well look very different when you drop in. 

To soak up the booze, there is meat. Lots and lots of meat … with a few sides of salad. The cavalcade of meat dishes prepared on charcoal grills is almost as extensive as the drinks list: Scotch fillet, porterhouse, rump, ribs, lamp chops, pljeskavica, ćevapčići, meatballs, wings, prawns and, every other Sunday, pig on the spit.

Come night time, the party really starts too, with the music turned up and the disco ball making an appearance...

Silver Brewery is at 200-206 Gouger Street, Adelaide 


Stop Three: Crafty Robot


Crafty Robot is one of the fresher faces in the Adelaide CBD, home to a clean and well-executed core range and loads of fun and experimental limited releases. Run by husband and wife Genevieve and Damien Rowe, who come from vastly different backgrounds but have come together in fine fashion to run a brewery.

Damien worked as a physiotherapist in Melbourne before heading to the US to study beer. On his return to Australia, he snagged a job at Mismatch in the Hills, before launching his own operation in May 2023. Genevieve started out in hospitality at the age of 14 before moving in finance.

They took over an old tiling building in Grote Street, converting the space into a brewery, taproom, kitchen and expansive beer garden, and lining the walls with wiring and circuitry. While the brewery is aimed at adults, there's plenty to keep kids happy too: board games and a drawing wall outside.

The kitchen is occupied by Square Slice, best known for their Detroit-style pan pizzas, served alongside herbed potatoes, cheesy fingers or chicken wings. The core range is made of lager, session ale, pale ale, XPA, hazy IPA and hazy pale, while depending on when you drop in you could find them rubbing shoulders with anything from plumberry sour and vanilla porter to barrel-aged foreign extra or sunshine IPA.

Crafty Robot is located at 180/188 Grote Street, Adelaide


Stop Four: Union Bridge

 

Union Bridge Brewery and Distilling's home is in Cudlee Creek, in the Adelaide Hills, where they began operating in 2015. More recently, after solidifying their core range and distilled products, they decided to open a venue closer to the city in which to showcase their wares.

They've done so by taking over the former Benjamin on Franklin Hotel where, following a renovation that recreates the 1920s vibe of their Hills home, they're set to open as Union Bridge on Franklin (the opening date is pencilled in for late July 2024). All of Union Bridge’s products will be served there, from their European-inspired beers and house-made sodas to their extensive range of spirits.

Guests will be able to choose from two varieties of gin plus brandy, limoncello, malt vodka and more to come. Beer wise, they have a pilsner, a bitter, a session ale, an Irish red, an Irish stout and an English pale in their lineup, set to be enjoyed alongside higher end pub grub.

Union Bridge Brewery & Distillery is (or will be at time of writing) at 233 Franklin Street, Adelaide


Stop Five: Lady Burra Brewhouse

 

The Lady Burra this venue is named after led a turbulent life. Born in Burra Burra, Elizabeth Lilian Oliver experienced, among many other things, her father’s death from over-consumption, was raped and left for dead in the Ballarat goldfields, and was later blamed – many people believed wrongly – for her husband’s death, becoming the first and only woman to hang at the Adelaide Gaol.

Thankfully, the Lady Burra Brewhouse that sits in Topham Mall is focused on telling a rather happier tale, one based around creating a buzzing vibe in a venue often packed to the rafters with city folk. Sure, there's a mural of Elizabeth splashed across one wall, but no ghostly reminders of her tumultuous life. 

Eight taps pour beer and cider brewed onsite, with the entire process visible to punters. Six beers form the core range – pilsner, pale, Irish red, session ale, nitro stout and IPA – which is supported by a smattering of limited releases and a ginger beer. The food menu is diverse, with small tapas style share plates proving to be popular, and with other beer-friendly food also making an appearance: wood-fired pizzas, burgers and other pub favourites. 

Heading to a game at the Oval? Thanks to its proximity, Lady Burra is a great launchpad.

Lady Burra Brewhouse is at 4 Topham Mall, Adelaide


Stop Six: Pirate Life @ The District

 

In partnering with SkyCity Adelaide, Pirate Life created Australia’s first microbrewery in a casino. Located in an area known as The District, Pirate Life’s brewpub has proven popular with drinkers and gamblers alike, and offers more than just beer.

A large, central stage hosts live entertainment which can be viewed at the bar or on the mezzanine floor above, while the five-hectolitre microbrewery is the perfect size for creating the small-batch beers poured from taps just five metres away.

Pirate Life's beers are found throughout SkyCity too – at the tables; watching the big screens in the sports lounge – but The District is the brewery's main hub. With more than 20 taps in The District alone, you can choose from ubiquitous offerings such as their South Coast and lesser-seen styles, such as classic German-inspired wheat beers and Belgian ales. 

Like the Lady Burra, it's also super close to the Adelaide Oval so, should you time the Crawl on a day when there's an evening bounce or day-night Test, you'll be able to start with lunch at Mismatch and wend your way north in time to end the day with some sporting action.

The District is at SkyCity Adelaide, 125 North Terrace, Adelaide


You'll find other Crafty Crawls from around the country here and all of the above venues and hundreds more, plus beers, events and special deals in the free Crafty Pint app. If there are any glaring omissions above, or new operations that should be here on the horizon, let us know!

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