Tomorrow on Tap, a Dedicated Non-Alcoholic Bottle Shop, Opens on Bulwer Street

Tomorrow on Tap, a Dedicated Non-Alcoholic Bottle Shop, Opens on Bulwer Street

On Saturday morning, a woman walked into Tomorrow on Tap, a fresh-faced bottle shop that officially opened that day. She walked out of the Bulwer Street storefront with a care package containing three bottles of wine, mixers and a number of different beers, including Nort Tropical XPA. While scenes like this are common in bottles across the country, this vignette is notable for one important detail: Tomorrow on Tap deals exclusively in non-alcoholic beverages. As the low and no alcohol movement continues to gain momentum, could non-alcohol bottle shops become another weekend chore, along with dropping the kids off at sports and doing the laundry? Rachael Niall, owner of Tomorrow on Tap, thinks so.

“I think [she’s] the kind of customer I envisioned,” says Niall as she reflects on her store’s opening weekend. “Someone similar to me, or anyone who enjoys going into a regular licensed bottle shop and thinking they’re going to get a four-pack of beer and a bottle of wine, and then leave with a box full of stuff. I look forward to building on the series and adding a few more pieces [of furniture] to the store itself. From there, we’ll see how people use the space and what they drink, which will help dictate the lineup a little bit.”

As a drinks industry veteran with more than 20 years’ experience – in addition to her Perth endeavors, which include opening the pioneering Budburst, Niall has also spent time in Sydney and London – the Tomorrow on Tap founder has some great ideas about how a concept like hers might work. The space is large (Niall is waiting on a few tables to arrive), so it looks like tastings will be on the cards, along with the option to have drinks on site. The polished terrazzo floor is beautiful, especially contrasted against the watermelon pink walls, blond shelves and colorful flower arrangement by Honey Bunch Botanicals hanging above the counter. Best of all, the real flora of Hyde Park is only a short walk away.

But the stars of the show are the fridges – or, more accurately, what’s in them. As drink watchers know all too well, there has been a serious boom in the non-alcohol market. For the store’s opening range, Niall selected 120 different lines and arranged them by type of drink to help with the decision-making process. It starts with de-alcoholized wines (conventionally produced drops from which the alcohol has been removed post-fermentation); wine-like drinks such as Non and “pét-nat kombucha” by Monceau (Niall: “These are drinks that mimic the flavor, complexity and texture of traditional wines”); non-alcoholic ready-to-drinks; and non-alcoholic beer.

Our category to watch is what Niall describes as the “wellness drinks” pillar: an everything that includes “quality drinks that can help you feel calm, focused or energized”. Initially, it will include herbal teas, medicinal mushroom extracts, juices, shrubs and Glow, a WA-made sparkling rose water drink with a probiotic berry infusion.

The store’s on-tap offering is currently being refined; there are plans to launch drinks created by bartender Shirley Yeung of Foxtrot Unicorn. Katrina MacInnes, formerly of Swan Valley distillery Old Young’s, joins Niall full-time in the shop. But perhaps the most important characters in this story are the tea counters – whether permanent or temporary – that Tomorrow on Tap hopes to serve.

“When I first came up with this idea for a non-alcoholic bottle shop, friends and family told me, ‘Don’t do it – it’s too niche, Perth is too small’,” says Niall. “Six months later, they are starting to see that both the demand for and supply of quality non-alcoholic beverages is increasing. I am excited to be involved in positive change, even in a small way.”

Tomorrow on Tap 223 Bulwer Street, Perth

Hours: Mon, Wed and Thurs 10.30am to 6.30pm Fri & Sat 10.00am – 8.00pm Sun 10.00am – 2.00pm

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