Ignite Unley – Craft Brewery Afternoon

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fun in the sun in Unley

date of event:  Saturday 22 February 2014

I honestly can’t remember which of the many emails that rest briefly in my inbox informed me that there was a craft brewery afternoon coming up in Unley. It was obviously one that I read though!

Ignite Unley has actually been a council of programme of summer events, each with a different theme and each free. The events started back in November so I appreciate that I’m very much behind the curve here.

It happened that on Saturday (the ‘craft beer’ themed day) we needed to be out and about anyway, so timing things to drop in and see what it was about was almost no effort at all. The events are held at the Soldiers Memorial Gardens, on the corner of Thomas Street and Unley Road (next door to the shopping centre that is opposite the Town Hall).

We arrived shortly before the 4pm kick off but the market stalls were all set up, a ‘drinking’ area (complete with security guards!) was cordoned off and music was playing. There were plenty of games and toys and tunnels and tents for little people and, while there might not have been quite enough chairs in the bar area initially, staff were on hand to sort this out.

The breweries that had set up shop were Gulf Brewery (based in Hahndorf), Prancing Pony (one of my favourites, based in Mount Barker), Birbeck’s and Barossa Valley Brewing, showcasing a range of beers and ciders. Birbeck’s Captain is very popular with me – if it weren’t quite so fizzy and served quite so cold it would almost qualify as a good session ale. It’s also very low in alcohol so it was perfect for anyone driving on the day.

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Birbeck’s Captain takes centre stage

As we were heading out for a curry (more on that later) we didn’t sample of any of the food on offer – but the toddler made good use of the play equipment (if you’ve never seen a three year old try to play badminton you should probably put it on your bucket list!) and we enjoyed sitting in the gardens and trying some new beers (well, that was Andy!).

It was a great use of public space and a really family friendly event. It would be lovely to see more councils put on events like this over the summer months: they’re a good way of fostering community spirit and a really obvious way for the council to participate in the lives of its ratepayers.*

The next Ignite Unley event is on Saturday 8 March – no food theme, but with a garden cinema from sunset. However, the Adelaide Fringe sees the same gardens host the Double Shot Unley Coffee Fiesta on Sunday 16 March (10am – 4pm) and on Saturday 5 April Ignite returns with wine and cheese.

I’d recommend checking out these events for yourself – even if you don’t live in the Unley area, the more successful they are, the more likely your own council will pick up on the idea!

*I’m aware our council rates pay for mundane, but very important, things like rubbish removal. ┬áBut seeing the money putting fun things in action is always good too!

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