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Australian Small Brewery Update – May 2014

May 1, 2014

New South Wales

The Lovedale Brewery, at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley hotel, a quarter-of-an-hour drive north of Cessnock, was officially launched on 3 April. The brewery was installed late last year (see January Update), and beer production began probably early this year, apparently before the end of January. The Lovedale Brewery and the Crowne Plaza are owned by Jerry Schwartz, whose first brewery, at the Macquarie Hotel in Sydney, and known of late as the Sydney Brewery, was recently removed to a new site.

In February this year, the Sydney Brewery was extracted with some difficulty from the basement of the Macquarie Hotel, and secreted in another basement, at the Schwartz-owned Rydges Hotel at nearby World Square, where a cider-making facility had been established early in 2013. Brewing of beer seems to have been resumed a short while after the removal of the equipment to World Square, although it is hard to know for sure as there is no public access to the brewery at its new site. It seems likely that the output from these two small breweries—at World Square and Lovedale—is supplemented by bottled product from a well-known Sydney contract brewer.

clip_image002Over the past five months or so, the former Tynan Motors showroom site on the busy Princes Highway at Sylvania, in southern Sydney, has been transformed into a new restaurant and microbrewery. The Blackrock Brasserie and ancillary Blackhorse Brewhouse are the creations of Lance Cochrane, who developed the idea as a project for his Master of Business Administration degree at James Cook University in Cairns. The 12-hL brewhouse arrived on site in December, and the brasserie opened to the public on 8 April, with a starting range of beers comprising an Irish red ale, a German kolsch, an ‘Australian-style’ ale, and a stout.


Bentspoke Brewing Company, Canberra’s newest microbrewer, was pushing hard to open in April, but didn’t quite get there. Early May, however, is looking highly likely at the time of writing. Bentspoke occupies space on two levels of a new apartment complex at the corner of Mort and Elouera Streets in Braddon, and is only a stone-throw from popular beer venue, Debacle, in Lonsdale Steet. Former Wig and Pen brewer Richard Watkins has created Bentspoke with the backing of Peter Meddings of Bintani Australia, supplier of malt, hops, yeast and other ingredients to the microbrewing industry.


The Public Brewery, which has been in the process of opening for business recently in the Melbourne suburb of Croydon, is a microbrewery with a difference. In addition to a brewery, eatery, bar and bottleshop, The Public Brewery will have a brew-on-premises set-up, with a series of 50-litre kettles for the use of homebrewers. The first stage, the bottleshop, opened in January, followed soon after by the bar. The brewery equipment was delivered in February, and was first set to work early in March. At the time of writing, a formal opening is being eagerly awaited. The Public Brewery is the creation of Dale White, who, with his partner Bek, has run the popular Bekendales cafe in Croydon for many years.

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