4 Pines Welcome to Brunswick – Brunswick’s biggest beer garden – launched at the end of November.
The site is very close to a sibling venue the Brunswick Mess Hall which, along with Welcome to Thornbury and Little Mess, falls under the Welcome To Group banner.
It’s co-owned by 100 Burgers who operate Mr Burger, The Prince Alfred, The Mint, Belles Hot Chicken, Natural History, Murmur Piano Bar and Hightail.
But more significantly, WTB was created in partnership with 4 Pines Brewing Company and the venue will soon house an operational brewery.
“We partnered with 4 Pines because we met their crew and immediately hit it off,” says venue manger Cat Ellis.
“We then found that there were countless synergies in our thinking and attitudes towards all sorts of things – the way we treat staff and customers, our lack of corporate stiffness, our philosophies on sustainability and ethics and many other areas. And the fact that they are probably the best brewers in Australia certainly helped.”
The closest analogue to Welcome to Brunswick is 3070’s Welcome to Thornbury. People familiar with WTT will notice many similarities, but also some key distinctions.
“With a brewery tucked up our sleeve, the venue is undoubtedly beer focused,” says Ellis. “In the lead up to the venue’s opening, our team crafted a listed of summer cocktails made using different 4 Pines beers that help showcase the features and complexities of many of the core range.
“Our commitment to sustainability, waste management and community engagement means that throughout our calendar year, the bottom line of our events will always be about bringing people together and ensuring they have the best experience they can, while working with us to create a better future.”
Sustainability is a key focus at 4PWTB. Care has been taken during construction to reduce the venue’s carbon footprint and make it as eco-friendly as possible.
“We don’t want to be part of a business that is costing the planet, which meant we had to find solutions to some existing problems,” Ellis says. “The two main problems requiring multi-faceted solutions were sourcing of noncarbon generative power and eliminating waste going to landfill.”
With regards to energy generation on site, they identified two primary sources: solar and anaerobic digestion. “One of the largest components of our waste to landfill stream is organic waste,” says Ellis.
“Organic waste streams like the ones we generate also have very high calorific value, which means that they can be converted into energy via a process called anaerobic digestion. We are working with a technology provider of anaerobic digestion to create a unique solution that should have application beyond our business.”
4 Pines Welcome to Brunswick also seeks to be a town hall of sorts for the local community. In line with this aim, they’re inviting local artists to paint murals at the venue.
“We want Welcome to Brunswick to be a place that nurtures local artists and offer them a space to create something of their own,” says Ellis. “We want the venue to be a voice for Brunswick and this is our way of doing that. We will be rotating the walls throughout the year, much like a gallery would.”
A range of food trucks will set-up shop on site each day. This has been a great culinary model at WTT and ensures variety for the new 450-capacity venue.
“In curating the food truck experience we wanted to make sure there was something for everyone and that it benefited the community,” Ellis says. “Alongside Mr Burger and a BBQ skewer menu from the Brunswick Mess Hall kitchen, some of Melbourne’s favourite food trucks will be engaging with a new community and helping us meet our sustainability commitment by using 100 per cent compostable packaging.
“We always want to make sure there are vegetarian and vegan options and that we give the space for small business to grow and give them the support to do so.”
4 Pines Welcome to Brunswick is now open at 1 Frith Street, Brunswick Wednesday to Sunday until late. Find out more via the WTB website.