Innovation That Matters

"Being space" for a microbrew

Food & Drink

We’ve covered being spaces of many kinds, including examples for mobile warriors, mothers and seniors. Recently, Australian brewery Little Creatures added a twist of hops to the concept with two being spaces built around beer. Little Creatures has been microbrewing for years, but last December it expanded its Fremantle brewery site to include the Creatures Loft, a cozy hideaway overlooking the water. Part supper club, part bar and part eclectic performance space, Creatures Loft offers customers an ample supply of comfy chairs from which to watch the old boats in Fishing Boat Harbour while staff serve up wines, classic cocktails and a wide variety of beers along with toasted sandwiches, oysters, prawns and cheeses. This summer the brewery furthered its expansion into being space terrain with a brand-new, 260-seat dining hall in a converted warehouse space in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Featuring long, communal wooden tables, large comfy booths and exposed pipes and beams, the barnlike Fitzroy Dining Hall offers all of Little Creatures’ beers and Pipsqueak Cider fresh on tap as well as a selection of wines and beer-friendly foods. A bottle department at the front, meanwhile, sells beer, wine, coffee and a selection of t-shirts and merchandise. Little Creatures has also begun building a new brewery in the Yarra Valley town of Healesville, the first brew from which will be a new national brand that’s ready for sale early in 2009. In the meantime, both of its existing spots aim to provide community and entertainment in addition to beer and food. Restrooms are designed to be family-friendly, complete with baby changing stations. With a nod to the environment, the eateries even maintain a fleet of 20 bright red Kronan bicycles for the free use of staff and customers for short trips. Dark, seedy bars may have their fans, but Little Creatures is a shining example of giving consumers a “third place” to hang out while also helping beer see the light of day once again. One to partner with in Australia, or emulate in other spots around the globe? Spotted by: Catarina Ng



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