Shambles Brewery
06 Aug | drinks eats |

Shambles Brewery is open Wednesday to Sunday and is located at 222 Elizabeth Street in Midtown. You can also find their canned beer in independent bottle shops, see their website for more details.

Shambles Brewery is a modern take on the classic ‘brewpub’. Here they make all of the beer on tap at the premises alongside a menu of mouth-watering food, all in a funky warehouse setting. Here you can really ‘drink from the source’.

Co-director Cornel sat down with us on a sunny winter afternoon to tell us about how he turned from teacher to brew master and why they named the business ‘Shambles’.

‘Our journey all started at uni. My mates and I would all do our own home brews and got really into it. There was a point though when some of us started to question why the homebrew kits weren’t as good as the store-bought stuff. What was missing we wondered? So we set about trying to experiment with different processes and ingredients.’

Cornel tells us that their journey was mostly all self-taught. They started by creating a commercial set-up, but on a much smaller scale, playing with different hops and yeasts. Friends loved the beer and although it seemed like a natural fit to move into the commercial space, Cornel explains that the risk was high and required the brains of close friends and family. Cornel makes it quite clear that this network of family and friends has helped to define Shambles into what it is today.

‘I was a high school science and maths teacher for 11 years. My wife was very wise and said that before I could leap into doing my hobby full time, I had to make a good business case.’

‘It took us some time before we found the perfect location, but I just love where we have ended up. I look back on the business case now and we have evolved so much from that time.’

Housed in the old Mundy & Sons meat shop, this brewery leverages off the old industrial look. The space is huge with the inclusion of a beer hall next to the brewing tanks, perfect for events. The team has architecturally designed every facet of the place. Even the wood storage, which draws the eye as soon as you enter, used to be the old meat deli fridge.

And the name Shambles? ‘When we first walked into the premises, the first thing I said was ‘what a shambles’, the space had remained vacant for a long time and as a result had become a storage area’, said Cornel. He explains that upon first inspection of the property, it was piled high with everything from cars, old meat slicers through to old Telstra telephones.

When trying to pick a name, they wanted something that resonated with the old butchers shop and that’s when Shambles was born. The name pays homage to its originally meaning of ‘meat market’ from the times of York, but also the state of the space when they first laid eyes on it.

Now playing host to regular beers on tap, the ability for Cornel to brew onsite means occasionally he gets to play around with new seasonal flavours. ‘We have often made a seasonal beer that becomes so loved, we have kept it on as a permanent tap beer’, said Cornel.

The food on offer has been made with beer in mind. Cornel recommends the squid to us, ‘the squid is a menu favourite. We recently had a tourist come in who ate the squid on her first night in Tassie, had since travelled all around the state and came back to eat ours again on her last night. She said it was the best she had tasted all around the state’.