With a new traditional German beer hall joining the family dining Hahndorf Inn and the Adelaide Hills Wine Centre – the Hahndorf Inn block is a one–stop shop for the complete Adelaide Hills experience.
Since taking over the Hahndorf Inn a decade ago, Andrew Holmes has turned the country pub into a destination for international, interstate and local tourists by having three unique elements to the business: a German family restaurant (The Handorf Inn), an Adelaide Hills-focussed wine shop (the Adelaide Hills Wine Centre) and the traditional German beer hall, the Arcobrau Brauhaus. The business had 32 employees a decade ago and now they employ more than 80 staff. With a background in international hotel management, Holmes wants to capitalise on the tourism opportunities that the historic village of Hahndorf offers with its German roots and plethora of quality artisan products available in the town and surrounds. “When we took over the Hahndorf Inn it was run more like a country pub,” Holmes says. “I’ve come from 25 years in the international hotel market. This was my first small business. I left the big corporations to run a small family business. “Because of my tourism roots and my travel and cultural awareness I wanted to create something for the tourism industry, not the traditional pub thing,” he says. “We don’t have gaming here. It’s all about the product – food and beverage.” The Wine Centre opened in October 2014 in the refurbished stables and smokehouse building of the 150-year-old Hahndorf inn. “It’s a beautiful old stone building where we utilise that as the Adelaide Hills Wine Centre,” Holmes says. “With more than 140 wine producers in this terrific region producing wonderful alternate German and Austrian varieties, the centre is like a co-op where we allow wineries that ordinarily wouldn’t have a cellar door to get promotion and their wine out there.” Joining the Wine Centre is the Arcobrau Brauhaus, a German beer house that features the traditional Bavarian-made made Arcobrau (which is the beer house’s partner brand and one of the largest independent family-owned Bavarian breweries) as well as other familyowned German varieties on tap. They restored the building next to the Hahndorf Inn after the previous tenant didn’t renew their lease. “The Hahndorf Inn is known for its large comfort-sized food,” Holmes says. “We saw an opportunity to give the visitor or tourist in Hahndorf something different with Arcobrau. We fully restored the venue to be a traditional German beer hall.” Holmes visits Germany to discover artisan and family-owned products for the beer house and the Hahndorf Inn. Tourism, especially the Asian market, is a big focus for Holmes with his three ventures. “We have a family restaurant, our traditional beer hall, which is more for the 20-plus market and then we have our wine centre for the discerning wine people. Hahndorf appeals to all ages. Most of our business is from Adelaide, Hahndorf is such an easy reachable destination from the CBD, a 25-minute drive and the there is so much to see, do and explore in the Adelaide Hills.” With 25,000 international students, predominately from Asia, studying in Adelaide, Holmes believes the students can act as mini ambassadors to promote the state and the Adelaide Hills. “If I can use China as an example. With a single child family (they’ve changed the policy now), one child goes to Adelaide to study and is in a position where their parents will come and visit. A student will normally do a reconnaissance mission, so when mum and dad come out they’ll want to make sure where they take them is very special, convenient and comfortable, so they’ll showcase our state for us. That’s a good way to get a lot of international visitors here. I’ve done a couple of presentations for the Adelaide City Council, also the Adelaide Hills Council, on getting China-ready for business. I say to them, ‘Engage the market that’s here as they are our mini ambassadors, particularly when they go back to China to promote the state.” Holmes believes the Adelaide Hills is the best region in the state and all that it lacks is a luxury accommodation offering. “I’ve got a project in the pipeline to build a deluxe [accommodation] facility in Hahndorf,” Holmes says. “I’ve got the drawings. It hasn’t gone to council yet.” hahndorfinn.com.au This article is sponsored by