Inside Rocky's buzzing coffee scene: New cafe to open doors
FROM rum to coffee, Warren and Catie Brewer are brewing up a storm at 52 Gladstone Rd.
After months of anticipation, Warren and Catie will welcome Rockhampton locals inside the revitalised Saleyards Hotel Distillery for the first time as the initial stage of the Saleyards project is unveiled.
The local couple have transformed the former pokies room at the iconic Saleyards venue into a bright, cheery cafe - and they're ready to introduce their signature caffeine drop to the community.
"The renovations have been going really well, everything is on track and on schedule at the moment so we are still opening the bar in May and will open this cafe next week,” Warren said.
"The bean we are using in the cafe is from Wolff Coffee Roasters in Brisbane.
"The guy who runs Wolff, Peter Wolff, has been in the industry for 30 years and is really well known. The bean that we have is the Edelweiss blend and it is a really unique blend. You can tell the difference when you taste it.”
Edelweiss is a rich, dark plum and golden syrup blend which, when combined with milk, has notes of butterscotch, caramel and condensed milk.
Catie said the blend, combined with the revamped cafe space, would provide 'something different' for locals.
"This is the coolest part of the hotel, particularly the shape of it,” she said.
"It's the coffee here that we want people to talk about. Our aim is to have quick, good coffee - quicker than a drive-through. There is quite a good little stopping bay here.
"We are only opening in the mornings from about 5.30am at this stage for takeaway style breakfast foods. It's not going to be anything fancy.”
Featuring raw and re-purposed materials such as antique armchairs and cast iron sheets, the cafe has plenty of quirk - including a special section branded 'Nanna Goat'.
"There is something brewing under the banner of 'Nanna Goat' and we want to grow some buzz and mystery around it. It will soon be revealed down the track,” Catie explained.
"We want people to come in and take a picture of themselves in the Nanna Goat corner, post it on Instagram with #NannaGoat and every week we will choose our favourite one and there will be a weekly prize.”
And in a nod to what's brewing behind the cafe, Catie and Warren will have something special on the menu for the first seven days of trade.
"For the first week we are doing $3 coffees with free rum balls made with our very own rum. You can taste our coffee and have an early taste of our rum,” Catie said.
Production of the Saleyards Hotel Distillery drops Capricorn Rum and Capricorn Spiced, named after the Tropic of Capricorn and branded with the traditional 'Capricorn' goat, began last month.
The rum is expected to be ready to pour in May, in line with the opening of the new bar and eatery.
"Spiced rum will be the first rum released and it will be ready to go in May. We also have some nice gin and whisky on the way.
"We have locked in our caterer, we are not going to be cooking here, we have BBQ Infusions coming and he will be cooking with his smoker out the back and serving it inside.”