Client Story: Lady Burra

Client Story: Lady Burra

The Lady Burra Brewhouse began as a start-up business in 2015, and today is the only operational microbrewery in the Adelaide CBD. Named after the infamous “Lady Burra”, Elizabeth Lilian Oliver – whose colourful history includes being the only South Australian woman ever to be hanged – the brewhouse features both a complete on-site brewery and restaurant, featuring traditional pub fare with a Portuguese twist.

The brewhouse’s stylish, unique setting is thanks in no small part to owner Steve Kidd’s connections in commercial interiors, and his skills were used in planning the concept of Lady Burra through to design and completion.

Despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, which obviously hit the restaurant industry hard, the business has grown well and come out strong. Their beers have become well known and very popular, and they recently won a bronze medal for their Lady Lager at the Royal Adelaide Show’s Beer & Cider Awards.

Challenges along the way

Hospitality businesses did it tough during COVID, and Lady Burra was no exception.

“With the unknowns related the pandemic, we found it difficult to coordinate the staff roster and provide consistency with staff hours during this time,” says Steve. “We decided as a group to continue with opening hours unchanged, which our staff and customers appreciated.”

Succession planning for the business has been another hurdle for the company, but Steve has worked with the Oreon team to review options and put plans in place.

Keys to success

Steve says, “Food and beverage consistency have been vital for us, and good customer service and a nice ambiance are also very important.”

When asked what advice he would give to other business owners, Steve says, “Look after your staff. Have regular meetings with your employees and suppliers to ensure good communication. Staff retention is vital – for us, it helps customers recognise familiar faces and build ongoing relationships.”

Oreon’s role in the journey

The company has been an Oreon client since its initial founding. In addition to providing help and support during COVID, Partner Ben Reynolds and his team have assisted in areas including strategic tax advice, cash flow management and succession planning.  Ben and the Oreon staff were also directly involved when Steve and his father bought out the other stakeholders of Lady Burra and merged with another bar.

Since 2015, Ben has served as a sounding board for various aspects of Steve’s personal and business finances, and Oreon and Lady Burra have developed a partnership that goes beyond work: Lady Burra has been a key supplier for some of Oreon’s events, such as the Adelaide 500, and Oreon has held several functions at the brewhouse.

“Steve is a highly capable business owner – a real go-getter – and I’ve enjoyed seeing Lady Burra go from strength to strength,” explains Ben.

“The Oreon team is always available to assist with any queries in a very timely manner,” says Steve. “We’ve built a sound relationship with good communication. Their leadership is strong – from the directors through to all their staff – and they’re efficient and financially fair.”

Future of the business

The business just acquired a new canning line that’s about to go live, which is an exciting step in growing beer sales as they’ll be able to offer their beverages through retail vendors, as well as through the brewhouse. They also just released a travelling pop-up Beer Cart, which was created to bring their craft beer (and staff) to events and functions like weddings, birthdays, and parties.

“Opening up new venues will definitely be on our radar in the future, too,” says Steve.

To learn more, visit the Lady Burra website.