Attached to the front of the distillery of the same name in Brunswick East, Brunswick Aces is Australia's first permanent non-alcoholic bar. But rather than merely act as a cellar door for Brunswick Aces' own non-acoholic gin alternative its aim, according to co-founder and CEO Stephen Lawrence is to demonstrate "how wonderful non-alcoholic products can be".
Lawrence firmly believes that the trend of Australians drinking less is "here to stay," and says "we want to promote it and prove to the world that a non-alcoholic bar is a viable option."
To this end, the menu includes over 100 alcohol-free options, from cocktails made using alcohol-free spirit brands like Ovant and Gnista as well as Brunswick Aces' signature Sapiir, to zero-percent wines and beers from producers like McGuigan, Edenvale, NON, Heaps Normal and Nort. In a nod to standard bar menus, which list one or two non-alcoholic options, there's one alcoholic option – a gin and tonic.
Occupying a former storage space, the bar is decked out in Paris blue with plush furnishings and gilded picture frames and antique bird cages.. Central is a large communal dining table handmade by Lawrence from Victorian Ash; an homage to the one the Aces founders started their business around in 2017.
For now, snacks are limited to things like cheese and olives, although there are plans to offer more substantial options in the near future. There's also a bottle shop on site so if you find something you like you can take it home with you.
"We're the first [alcohol-free bar], but we will not be the last," says Lawrence.
Brunswick Aces is now open Thu-Sat 3pm-11pm, 124 Weston Street, Brunswick East.