Construction has finally started on BrewDog’s much-anticipated Brisbane brewery, six months after work was expected to begin.
Despite financial incentives provided by the Queensland Government and the close cooperation of Brisbane Marketing, the project appears to have been beset by project delays and departures of key staff.
The brewer’s plans were given Council approval in May 2018 and BrewDog immediately announced plans for a mid-July start to construction.
“Brisbane – we are locking in dates to start construction in mid-July,” a blog post advised.
“We’re super psyched that the authorities in Queensland have given their support to what we are planning for the people of Australia – their green light means we can now begin the six-month project to build a brewery on the banks of the Murarrie.
“With the timeline we are working to, we hope to have everything up and running in the first quarter of next year!”
With news that construction has finally started, Brews News contacted BrewDog for comment about the cause of the delays.
“Our original schedule was set back before we got into the full detail and scoping on the project and was the target that we hoped to achieve all going well,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“Once we began working on plans for our awesome Brewery and craft beer tap room it was clear that it would take longer than originally anticipated. However, there are no hold-ups currently and we are working as hard as we can to get BrewDog Brisbane up and making craft-beer as quickly as possible.”
Launching with a flurry of social media activity, the usually media-hungry BrewDog has been keeping a very low profile with regards to the start of construction. The brewer’s Facebook page has not been updated about construction progress since May 22, 2018 when it announced the July start date.
Co-founder James Watt made an announcement at an investors Q&A in October that a sod-turning ceremony had taken place last October, and enquiries at the time to the Queensland Government were referred to BrewDog’s Brisbane communication person.
The spokesperson advised that construction had not then commenced.
It is understood that a ceremony was planned take place in January, following the start to construction, to coincide with an Australian visit by co-founder Martin Dickie, though the ceremony didn’t eventuate.
Until recently BrewDog employed three Australian staff, Director Zarah Prior, Marketing and Community Manager Mimmi Hetorp, and a sales manager. Brews News understands that all three staff left BrewDog in the final quarter of 2018 and have not been replaced.
A BrewDog spokesperson advised that nothing should be read into the departures, saying the staff had left to pursue other career opportunities.
“We are going to be looking at recruiting and getting a new team up and running in the next few months, probably waiting until March and then start building the team there so they can really start doing a lot more engagement once there’s more progress made on the site,” the spokesperson advised.
The former staff were not available for comment on their departures.
A Head of Production role for the brewery was advertised in March 2018 and Brews News understands that while some candidates were interviewed, the position was not filled.