If this year’s been good for one thing, it was highlighting how many industrious, creative people there are in Adelaide — especially in hospitality. In the midst of a pandemic, with harsh dining restrictions in place and facing a national recession, restaurants, bars, hotels and wineries have been unwavering in their commitment to showing Adelaide a good time.
And happily, it seems there’s no signs of them slowing down. 2020’s seen all sorts of exciting new openings from tiny wine bars, big wine events, coffee shops, delis and more; the pioneering spirit of Adelaide’s hospitality sector has been brought into sharp focus.
The latest newbie, making a home for themselves in the city’s East End, is Hidden Brew Taphouse. You’ll find them a couple of doors down from owners Debra and Mark Robinson’s previous venture, Laneway Espresso, in Ebenezer Place.
With the day crowd covered by their coffee shop, it’s now the Robinson’s mission to inject a little more atmosphere into Ebenezer’s evenings. While Vardon Place pumps day and night, bolstered by round-the-clock offerings from venues like Exchange Coffee and East End Cellars, Mark is hoping his little bar will draw an evening crowd up the stairs.
The offering will be fairly straightforward: a small bar serving craft beers on tap, and elevated snacky things. Mark says there’ll be 8 different indie SA beers at any one time. The initial line up includes pours from The Suburban Brew (Goodwood), Silver Bark (Adelaide Hills) and Goodieson Brewery (McLaren Vale).
Their initial plans for a nano-brewery were stunted due to space, but the Robinsons have been hard at work on a bespoke beer for Hidden Brew Taphouse. It’s a New England IPA in collaboration with Silver Bark. “It’s not quite ready yet,” says Mark, “but it’s already presenting as really hazy and tropical. All those classic New England IPA characteristics.”
As far as food goes, expect “levelled-up” versions of classic bar snacks. Things like South Australian trout tartare with gin-cured-egg emulsion, market fish crudo and pickles, cheese and charcuterie.
“Beer bars can tend to be a bit blokey,” says Mark “so we want this to be accessible for everyone. A Lot of people like craft beer so we want to offer that craft beer environment but in a less blokey way.”
“Think of a really nice cocktail bar, but with beer instead of cocktails,” he says.
In classic 2020-style, COVID has delayed the opening of Hidden Brew Taphouse. But that’s not slowing down the Robinsons, who are keen to get open before Christmas. Keep an eye on their socials for updates.