What do you get when a scientist, a spreadsheetist*, an architect, a designer, a musician, and a bunch of their mates start a brewery?
*Or whatever it is that Nick does…
Once upon a time…
It all started when Cornel Ianculovici, a former science/maths teacher, had a “beer-life-crisis” and decided to ditch the classroom to turn his homebrewing hobby into a full-blown career.
Cornel and his brew buddy Shane had been tinkering away in the garage for more than a decade, perfecting their brewing on a small scale for the sheer fun of it. Being a nerd, Cornel dug deep into the science behind the process, geeking out over every little detail. Over the years the garage brewery grew into a full-blown multi-vessel stainless steel pilot brewery that replicated pretty much everything you’d find in a legit commercial brewery, only smaller. (who needs a car in the garage when you can have a brewery, right?). In 2015 Cornel got delusions of grandeur and decided he wanted to build a proper brewery and make beer for a living.
Now, his story might not be the most unique these days because, let’s face it, many craft brewers started out with a passion for home brewing. But what is (somewhat) unique in this story is the way that the dream became a reality.
Creating this brewery and venue required the superpowers of some amazing people. Some of Cornel’s closest mates, with skills in design, architecture, construction, making fancy spreadsheets —you name it— jumped on board. They believed in Cornel’s ability to brew great beer, and he trusted their talents in various areas. Together, this crew of beer-loving buddies started Shambles Brewery from scratch. No banks, no angel investors, no venture capitalists and definitely no crowdfunding. Just a bunch of locals determined to create something special. Pull this out as “quote” in script I reckon
Now, picture this: when this crew first laid eyes on the venue (former Mundy’s and Sons Butchery in the heart of Hobart), it was like stumbling into a treasure trove of decades-old knick-knacks. We’re talking butchery machines, forgotten whitegoods, endless boxes of tools and spare parts, mattresses, bikes, a framed picture of Julia Roberts, shelves of old paint, phones, TVs, VCRs (remember those?) multiple cars and… let’s just call the rest “misc”. It was a glorious mess, and the first words uttered were “What a shambles!” Little did we know that this word, “shambles,” had a fascinating history. Back in Old English times, it referred to a meat market or a slaughterhouse. In York, there was a street called “The Shambles” where the butchers reigned supreme. The messiness of the area led to the word being colloquially used to describe disorder, chaos and mess. And wouldn’t you know it: our building had a 50+ year history as a meat processing factory, so we couldn’t think of a more fitting name for our brewery.
So how do you turn a literal shambles into the awesome brewery and taproom you see now? Here, enters Nathan Crump, a close friend of Cornel and an architectural genius (seriously, he’s a wizard with design – ask anyone). Armed with a shoestring budget, Nathan’s task was simple: make our venue look cool—without spending a fortune. To say he worked his magic is an understatement: he even won an architecture award for it in the end! The space he created is a perfect blend of industrial grit and sleek style. A mix of concrete blocks and black steel mingling harmoniously with solid hardwood tables and lampshades made from copper pipes, and suspended beer bottles for the bathroom ceilings.
We’ve got a concrete block table tennis table for some (mostly friendly) competition, a giant long table crafted from blocks plate and steel with shiny stainless-steel tanks in the background of our “beer hall” (which also moonlights as a fantastic function space), and let’s not forget our outdoor beer garden soaking up the Elizabeth St sun.
So, there you have it—the journey of Shambles Brewery, where chaos meets passion and creativity. From Cornel’s brave (…crazy?) leap into the world of brewing to the discovery of our “shambolic” treasure-filled warehouse, we’ve crafted a space that celebrates the rich history of meat markets while embracing a design that’s all about industrial charm and looking to the future. We can’t wait for you to come on over, grab a brew, and experience the vibrant atmosphere we’ve created with passion, a little chaos, and a whole lot of love. As we like to say: We love beer as much as you do!