Home Pub bar Bridge Road Brewers’ all-cardboard pop-up bar raises the bar for sustainability

Bridge Road Brewers’ all-cardboard pop-up bar raises the bar for sustainability


Bridge Road Brewers has opened a new bar in Melbourne that’s a feat of enduring engineering: it’s made almost entirely of cardboard.

Bridge Road co-founder Ben Kraus says the temporary Brunswick East location is primarily a neighborhood bar, but he and his team opted for cardboard furniture after asking what they would do with the material pop-up once it is finished.

“I hope people could think in their day-to-day lives, if they need temporary furniture, maybe we can go that cardboard route,” he says.

Kraus says people want to know if the cardboard can handle all the spills from a typical bar. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

While pop-ups are an attractive way for businesses to get noticed, their trash is less desirable.

A cardboard bar is 75% recycled cardboard strong enough for stools, tables, bar tops and beer spills.

“Everyone wants to see if it’s waterproof. Let’s hope they don’t spill whole beers on it,” Kraus jokes.

One of the cardboard lampshades.

One of the cardboard lampshades. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

Nor is it a two-dimensional arrangement of flattened cardboard. Textured walls, scalloped lampshades and even fake wall pipes have been made by Boxwars, who have built bars for events, staged cardboard armor ‘battles’ and even created replica Formula 1 cars .

The only materials other than cardboard in the room are beer taps, refrigerators and dishwashers.

The bar is a temporary home for Bridge Road Brewers while its 500 square meter brewpub is being built next door. Due for completion in December, it will seat 350 people in formal, informal and outdoor spaces and will serve limited-release beers as well as food, including pizza.

The pop-up serves six of the Beechworth Brewery’s beers, but it’s also a calling card in town for other High Country producers, including Barking Owl Gin, Beechworth Bitters and Sorrenberg wine. Food will come from Beatbox Kitchen, Pie Thief and other food trucks.

When the pop-up ends in six months, the cardboard will be reused, recycled or composted by Kebet Packaging suppliers, while equipment such as refrigerators will be used in the permanent location.

Open from April 22, Wed-Fri 4 p.m.-late, Sat-Sun noon-late

129 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East, https://bridgeroadbrewers.com.au/