The specialist cider and tinny shop that almost never was
No one has led us to believe that opening a small business is a simple undertaking, and it becomes increasingly difficult if your business requires a liquor license. With the current lockout laws in place it’s almost impossible. But luckily for Kieran Allen, there was something about his business proposal that caught the attention of the local authorities. “They were inclined to flat out deny my application. This place happens to be right in the middle of one of the giant red zones that the police have for no new liquor license. The only reason that mine actually went through was because it was considered unique.”
What Allen was proposing was a tiny bottle shop, with a difference. The fact that Medhurst & Sons only stocks independent producers of cider, alcoholic ginger beer and canned beers was what got him over the line. The idea for such a specialised shop came from Allen’s time working at Beer Cartel, the boutique beer emporium in Artarmon. “A lot of people were coming in and asking, asking where they could buy a decent range [of cider] in Sydney, which I didn't really have an answer for." And so Allen decided to branch out on his own and now Medhurst and Sons stocks approximately 70 ciders and ginger beers, and hopes to slowly increase that number to 100. In addition to all the names you already know and love (Victoria’s Napoleone is a hot ticket item right now), you can also get single variety ciders, extra-strong farmhouse brews and ciders with a twist that are brewed with cherries or hops.
In addition to all the fruit-based hooch, there is also a decent collection of tinned beers on the shelves. Allen is a brewer himself, producing beers under the name Pixel Brewing, but is taking a break to sell, rather than make beers. “I am a big fan of tinnies, and more and more of the new breweries are sending out their beers in cans as opposed to bottling them. Modus Operandi are about to start canning all of their stuff in more regular sized cans; Akasha in Five Dock are putting in a canning line as well.
Although his license came through, it was laden with restrictions. “The police, when I submitted my application, were under the impression that I was going be running, in their words, ‘a trendy pseudo bar,’” says Allen, which is why he has a strict closing time, an agreement to only stock independent producers and a limit of 30mls for all samples.
No matter, because as long as you get in before 7pm you can stock up on some seriously next-level Australian cider, a few craft beers and some Griffin Jerky before taking your refreshment party back to your place. That's the foundations of a good night in, right there.
|Venue name:||Medhurst and Sons||Contact:|
166 St Johns Rd
|Opening hours:||Tue-Fri noon-7pm; Sat 10am-7pm|