Fresh is best at Heyday brewery and bar
A graphic designer, a builder and an electrical engineer walk into a bar. Wait, no, they open a bar
In an industry that’s not known for its use of pastels, Heyday stands out. It’s hard to miss this mint green mecca at the top of Cuba Street, where you can watch your beer brewed and drink it too.
Heyday’s three directors come from diverse backgrounds - by trade, Hannah Blackwood was a graphic designer, Hamish Sail was a builder and project manager, and Andy Collins was a mechanical and electrical engineer. Their plan to open a brewery was hatched over beers, of course, while keen home brewers Hamish and Hannah took a three month road trip in the US and stopped into every brewery they could.
Hannah says “by the time we were on the final leg home, we thought we could do this, and we could put our own spin on it. We found a lot of the craft beer places we had visited, overseas and closer to home, were often dark and masculine in their design and fit-out. The first idea I had when thinking about owning my own brewery and venue was light, bright, colourful and inclusive.”
After a long search for the right spot, the team took a former car battery shop and turned it into an industrial-meets-whimsy brewery, bar and eatery. However, some of Heyday’s distinctive aesthetic was a result of a happy accident: the fuchsia flamingo wallpaper that’s launched a thousand bathroom selfies was a Trade Me find and intended to be temporary but has been a fixture since the bar opened in late 2017.
The space is beautiful, but it was designed primarily with the practicalities of brewing in mind. With a low wall separating the venue and brew spaces, Hannah notes that “the brewery runs the length of the venue, so you can see it from almost everywhere. It's a working brewery, and we wanted the customer to almost feel like they are involved in the process.”
The first idea I had when thinking about owning my own brewery and venue was light, bright, colourful and inclusive.
Hannah Blackwood, Heyday co-owner
Heyday’s team believes “fresh is best” when it comes to beer, and their brews are constantly evolving and recipes being tweaked. With around 50 beers being released each year, from coffee-infused white stout to grapefruit New England IPAs, this is definitely a bar that rewards return visits. You’ll also find drinks from Te Aro Wine and Peckham's Cider, and craft gins from Southward Distilling Co (with who Heyday share some of their tank space).
As for the food menu, Hannah describes it as “fresh, colourful and seasonal”. While there are plenty of staple beer-drinking dishes like fries and burgers, there are also modern veggie dishes and vegan options. Pro tip: go on Thursdays to try the week’s new release beer alongside special food matches, like a spiced plum sour matched to baked brie with honey plum sauce.
On sunny days, you’ll find the outdoor space populated with patrons, pints and pooches, with free water, food and pats available to canine companions. There’s a tranche of regulars well known to the Heyday team, but they’re always accepting applications for more.