All photos by the talented Gary Jones
Yardley Brothers began as enthusiastic home brewers on Lamma Island in 2013, opening the original Beer Shack to serve friends and fans the latest fresh brews on their way to the beach. Now, Luke Yardley and his team have just opened YARDLEYS Cafe, Bistro & Bar at 62 Peel Street in SoHo, located in the space vacated by The Roundhouse late last year. The venue size is the same, but you won’t recognise it. The hanging signage has been removed to open up the double-height ceiling, with the light coming in through the high windows making this once dark venue bright and airy.
You must stop to admire the details. The furniture and bar top are bespoke, handcrafted from solid oak and ash by Hardwood HK, complete with inlaid Y joiners. The wallpaper near the entrance (which was papered with love by Luke himself) was specifically chosen as a tribute to the artist William Morris, who rejected industrialisation and mass production – just like Yardley Brothers beer. And don’t miss the gramophone, an original from Victor Talking Machine Company, at the bar.
During the day, the space is elegant, bright and welcoming – the perfect spot to enjoy a classic espresso or some latte art by barista Jack.
Typical of the type of attention to crafty detail we expect from Yardley Brothers, they have managed to secure some very rare and special beans including the mixed-fermentation, dry-processed gesha from Finca Nuguo – the champion farm of the 2021 Best of Panama auction. Their espresso beans are single origin from Colombia, roasted locally by Number 9 Coffee, and they taste of walnut, hazelnut and plum.
The matcha for the matcha latte is sourced fresh from a farm in Japan, and we need to come back to try it when we’re not so distracted by the beer. Speaking of which…
YARDLEYS has 12 taps. Right now, they are only pouring beers brewed at their own Kwai Chung brewery, but they plan to share the love. Ten taps will be dedicated to a choice of Yardley Brothers ales, sours, stouts, lagers and limited-release barrel-aged selections, and there will be two guest taps (local and international) and two pumps for real ale – plenty of quality choices.
Two beers have been created especially for the opening: #5 is an oaked lager that uses the same hardwood as the venue’s furniture to give this fresh beer a very subtle sweet oak flavour that made us think of whisky. Our favourite is the pricey #12, a very limited mixed-fermentation sour made with feijoa that’s aged in Chardonnay barrels – a classy beer, with light layers of oak and vanilla behind stone fruits.
From next week, they will be serving The Beer Shack food menu, featuring freshly baked sourdough sandwiches, salads and bar snacks, and they are working on something special for the longer term too.
Find YARDLEYS on Untappd to see the latest line-up and which beers people are enjoying here – and drop in soon!
62 Peel Street, SoHo, Central, 6144 7956