location, foot traffic & destinations

On November 1, 2023

Taprooms in shopping centres…. 

The idea of a brewery/ taproom in a shopping centre is a completely different concept to the breweries we are use to visiting on our Bayside and Eastside Hop On Hop Off Tours, where majority of breweries and distilleries are located in big warehouses in industrial areas. 

In the name of market research….. our family had an excursion to Chadstone Shopping Centre on the weekend to visit Urban Alley’s third taproom location, UA Brewing Co. Why a different name? More on that in a minute. 

This is the MO of Urban Alley’s brand. The brands brewery HQ and OG is located in Docklands at 12 Star Circus, right under what was Melbourne’s big star. It is within the District Docklands Shopping Centre.

The second location is at Knox Shopping Centre in Wantirna, right next door to Village Cinemas and The Sporting Globe. 

So it made sense that the third location would be in Chadstone Shopping centre, located in the very impressive Social Quarter’s of this shopping centre giant. The fit out is gorgeous with lots of greenery, natural light from the centre’s skylight and comfy lounge couches out the front. Inside still connects this taproom to a brewery with a series of tanks lining up behind the bar. 

Why is the concept of setting up a brewery and taprooms in shopping centres clever – FOOT TRAFFIC! 

Whilst people love travelling to industrial areas to visit a brewery in a big spacious warehouse, and it certainly has its charm and appeal, often they are harder to get to (unless you are on one of our tours….) and they are more of a destination. 

Having a taproom in the middle of a shopping centre with thirsty parents and hungry kids is brilliant. But with all of this cleverness though, does it still hold the charm and appeal of a traditional industrial brewery? 

Why the different name at Chadstone? In order for Urban Alley to set up home there, the taproom had to have it’s own unique and individual name and branding, different to the main brand known at other shopping centres – it had to be unique to Chadstone. Hence the creation of UA Brewing Co. 

For the beer lovers out there – what are your thoughts on a taproom/ brewery in a shopping centre as opposed to an industrial location?