One of Adelaide’s oldest hotels has been taken over by those epic women from Sparkke! Sparkke at the Whitmore is the first brewpub for the female founded and led social enterprise The Sparkke Change Beverage Company. The nano-brewery site, which opened in March 2019, has upped the company’s capacity for product innovation and created more than 20 new jobs – including 10 full-time equivalent employees –at the 180-year-old venue in the southwest CBD.
And this week Sparkke have also announced Emma McCaskill will commence as head chef from 23rd April. Emma has carved out a global career in sustainable and seasonal fine dining, advocates sourcing fresh and local produce, supporting independent farmers, and works towards a minimal-waste, socially aware kitchen.
“This kitchen will be a collaborative space that supports and involves South Australian farmers and producers, whose hard work means we can create clean and balanced flavours, and deliver a special experience to people every day,” she says.
General Manager Ali James says the pub aims to bring people together and leave a positive footprint in the community.
“We want a sense of warmth and celebration as people walk in,” says General Manager Ali James. “This city is ready for Sparkke to disrupt the male-dominated hospitality and alcohol industries.”
“We promote social and environmental responsibility and are working to help lift the profile of the CBD’s understated west end.”
Head brewer Agi Gajic, who has been with Sparkke since the startup began in late 2016, is commissioning the pub’s 800L two-vessel nano-brewery, which has an expected output of about 1000 kegs a year.
“We think we will use about 600 kegs and the balance will be sold through our wholesale channel to other independent bars and restaurants Australia-wide,” says Agi, whose new lab will produce 100 per cent natural small-batch craft brews.
“It will be tapped fresh for people to enjoy with a friend at the bar or take home in a growler from our on-site bottle shop.”
Sparkke at the Whitmore’s considered and diverse eats menu caters for all budgets, dietary preferences and palates, with a healthy whack of signature brews in the cooking.
Head chef Tracy Archer says: “Our Brewers Board has beer bread, black IPA fondue and cider-pickled nashi pears, with pesto made from baby carrot tops that would otherwise be wasted.”
“Most of our dishes work up from a vegetarian base instead of back from a meat base. Not the pub steak, though.”
The venue features a scissor lift and elevator for wheelchair access, reclaimed and sustainable materials, a hyper-efficient climate control system, boutique and large function rooms, and preserved historic architecture.
Ali says the renovation revealed secrets up to 150-years-old, including a mesmerising shingle ceiling and a “pub within a pub”.
“We discovered an external wall inside the building, from its first life as the Queens Arms– licensed to Thomas Maslin in 1838, two years after Adelaide was colonised – that had been enveloped in a previous build,” she says.
“We have preserved this and several other great historic finds, including the original keg cellar under the bottle shop’s grille floor.”
Sparkke’s major partners in the reno include award-winning Troppo Architects, boutique builder Buildinc, interior design consultants Fabrikate, aircon manufacturerSeeley International, environmentally progressive materials supplier Gunnersen and Haymes Paint.
Sparkke at the Whitmore is the first brewpub for The Sparkke Change Beverage Company, a female founded social enterprise disrupting entrenched stereotypes in Australia’s alcohol and hospitality industries through beer and wine – the great conversation starters. Its products are 100 per cent natural. Sparkke encourages responsible alcohol consumption. www.sparkke.com
Sparkke uses recyclable slim cans, with 10 per cent of direct sales and four per cent of channel sales donated to an organisation supporting the cause on the can.
Its award-winning bevvies include Apple Cider for sexual consent (Consent Can’t Come After You Do); Pilsner for a new Australia Day (Change The Date); and New England Pale Ale for action on climate change (What’s Planet B?).
The company launched in November 2016 with the largest online pre-sale alcohol campaign in Australia’s history.