Bowden Brewing has opened its doors in the Adelaide suburb of Bowden.
The brewpub officially opened on Wednesday, 14th July after a six-year journey of planning and building.
“We have been open for one week now and the response has been incredible,” said co-head brewer and co-director Alex Marschall.
Along with Marschall, the team at Bowden Brewing consists of Jake Phoenix, Oliver Brown, Joshua Talbot and Matthew Orman.
Hailing from an engineering background, Marschall and Phoenix met each other eight years ago when working as FIFO workers. While the rest of the team formed through working at their co-owned craft beer bar, NOLA.
A New Orleans-inspired bar, NOLA opened in Adelaide in 2015 after a successful reward crowdfunding campaign helped raise $17,500 for its 16-tap system, and Marschall, Brown, Talbot and Orman still remain co-owners of the bar.
The idea for opening a brewery stemmed from Marschall, who wanted to grow Adelaide’s craft beer scene.
“We formed the NOLA team to bring all forms of independent craft beer to Adelaide via this bar. From that point it was always my dream to open up a brewery.
“The NOLA team were also onboard with making this dream a reality and subsequently we were able to work towards this over our six years operating,” Marschall explained.
The development journey
When it came to finding a location for the brewery, the team focused on finding a place to engage the local community.
“For us, Bowden was the perfect up and coming location and after finding it, we made it our goal over the years to get to know the locals before even opening via a number of presentations and just engaging with the other local businesses around,” Marschall said.
However as many new brewers would know, the journey to building the brewpub proved to be a complicated process.
“Our DA process was a little more involved as it [the brewpub] was rolled into the entire Plant 3, Bowden sites application and hence had to go through the State procedure (SCAP) as well as with Council,” Marschall said.
Plant 3 Bowden is a development site featuring Bowden Brewing along with a hairdressing salon, bottle shop/cafe, a florist and licenced multi-use event spaces.
The development application process may spook some, but for Marschall, it was an opportunity to take on feedback from the community.
“While this was challenging for us, it allowed us to fully understand and address every single impact or concern that anyone in the community had at the time and once again, even improved our interactions with the community,” Marschall explained.
Marschall also urged other aspiring brewery owners to focus on using feedback as a way to build a better venue for the community.
“Use it as a means to engage with the community, reassure them you know what you are doing, and in doing so even form friendships with your future local customers.”
In terms of the business structure, the team settled on a brewpub model in order to sell the majority of its product directly to customers as fresh as it possibly could be.
“We also took this fresh aspect even one step further by installing 600L serving tanks to allow us to serve beers direct from our tanks to taps for the customers to enjoy,” Marschall said.
Both Marschall and Phoenix currently act as head brewers and operate the brewkit from recipe creation right through the brewing process.
The brewery was supplied by Bespoke Brewing Solutions. The 600-litre brewery serves four stacked 1200L fermenters with 600L Bright/Serving tanks on top.
It also has two 120L small batch fermenters to allow one to two keg batches and keep new products cycling through the taps.
“Our final design was a collaborative approach between us and them [Bespoke Brewing Solutions] to get an ideal design all crammed into our tiny 48m² brewspace. They were really great and professional to deal with.”
Licenced for 200 people across the ground and mezzanine floor, Bowden Brewing launched with a full 14 tap list as well as a range of house made sodas, kombucha, seltzer and a beer influenced cocktail list.
The food offering is described as non-traditional Mexican with a focus on using local produce.
“We put in a big effort to get the space well designed to get an incredible atmosphere and brought in some top quality chefs to make the food offering incredible,” Marschall said.
Having been open for just over a week, Bowden Brewing has already seen positive reception from local customers, according to Marschall.
“It is very rewarding to see after such a long journey and the amount of effort put into it.”
Bowden Brewing is open Thursday to Sunday at 12 Fourth St, Bowden SA.
Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.