Melbourne distillery to open Australia’s first non-alcoholic bar

Melbourne-based distillery Brunswick Aces has announced the launch of Australia’s first permanent bar to prioritise non-drinkers and help normalise drinking in moderation.

Set to open in late April 2021, the 150-person capacity venue on Weston Street in Brunswick East will be the first of its kind in Australia, offering a dedicated space for non-drinkers to enjoy an extensive list of specially-curated drinks and cocktails.

Every section of the drink menu will be designed to cater for non-drinkers, from beers and wines, to the distillery’s signature zero-per-cent-alcohol gin alternative, Brunswick Aces Spades Sapiir and Brunswick Aces Hearts Sapiir.

The menu will feature a host of sober takes on classic cocktails like the Negroni, Espresso Martini, Tom Collins and the simple G&T, as well as a range of premium beers and wines from around the world.

With the bar area currently being fitted out, the team has also been busy installing the distillery equipment into the new premises.

This means that once the bar is open, patrons will have a front-row seat to watch the operation in action, as they sip on their drinks made with sapiir created mere feet away.

“We’re turning the traditional bar on its head,” said Stephen Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of Brunswick Aces Distillery.

“The demand for quality non-alcoholic drinks has been increasing year on year across the country, so the time is right for an offering that puts those choosing not to drink first.

“Our customers tell us that some premium bars and restaurants have started to put real thought behind their alcohol alternatives, but the wider industry is taking longer to catch up.

“We want to lead the charge by opening the Brunswick Aces Bar and deliver delicious non-alcoholic choices that don’t compromise on taste. Everything we serve will be zero per cent alcohol, with our contemporary cocktail list designed to thrill any palate, and not a fruit juice mocktail in sight.”

However, alcohol drinkers won’t be left out at the new bar, with the single option of a gin and tonic created using the brand’s two Brunswick Aces Spades Gin and Brunswick Aces Hearts Gin blends – a cheeky nod to the long history of non-drinkers not properly being well catered for in traditional venues.

The distillery intends to expand its non-alcoholic bar format into other state capitals such as Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide over the next two years, as well as the international markets that it exports to export such as New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore.