Western Australia’s Gage Roads Brewing Company has today announced it has signed a lease to build a brewpub on the east coast in Sydney.
The site, in the inner-city suburb of Redfern, will house a brewery and brewpub and be home to a dedicated brand, separate from the Gage Roads brand.
While still to obtain Council approval, Gage Roads’ head of marketing Miles Hull said the brewery and taproom would seat about 250 people.
“Given its footprint, the size of the site itself won’t allow for a huge production facility, it will be something, probably a little bit smaller than we might have originally sought in the area,” he said.
“But the building itself, its location, the local community all added up to being right for us and right for the offer that we want to provide.
Gage Roads’ announcement was flagged in recent annual reports. The new venue will be the first of several planned for the east coast under Gage Roads’ Good Drinks strategy that will also see it move its sales head office to Sydney.
The Good Drinks strategy centres around expanding its national sales and marketing capability under the trade facing brand “Good Drinks”, which will represent multiple separate brands.
Hull wouldn’t confirm whether this brand was related to the Atomic brand, which managing director and co-founder John Hoedemaker recently announced would become the company’s fourth distinct brand.
“It will be linked to Gage Roads but it’ll be a brand that really sort of will stand on its own two feet,” Hull said.
“We’ll launch it in that market and it will be distributed nationally, but [the venue] will provide a hospitality experience where people can come in at a tap room that will give us a presence on the east coast,” he explained.
“Building a presence on the east coast is a big part of our overall strategy and we’ve had great growth here in Western Australia.
“The brewery site itself will have capacity not just to brew beer for the tap room, it will produce a number of limited releases, consumption on site but will have some capacity also for us to distribute limited releases or draught beer into the local market as well.”
Hull said the Gage Roads brands will continue to come from the company’s Western Australian brewery.
“Gage Roads still all comes from the west and will remain so. We are looking at other sites across the eastern seaboard as part of our strategy and Gage Roads may well have a brewery or taproom site attached to it, but this particular one in Sydney will be a new brand.”
He dismissed concerns that the addition of new brands may confuse the market.
“I think it’s about presenting to our trade customers and consumers a range of products that complement each other and have each a sense of occasion and a position that allows us to go to market and provide our trade customers with products that suits their need and their consumers as well,” he said.
“It’s about having a balanced portfolio and a range of products that complement each other and don’t necessarily fight for the same positioning and I think that’s what we’re doing.”
With Sydney’s inner west already a brewery hotspot, Hull said the venue would add to the existing selection.
“I think it’s about positioning and providing a brand that works with the others in the market and not trying to just do what everyone else is doing and have a unique position and a unique selling point,” he said.
“I think there still is room for a brand and a product that differentiates itself from the others.
“We like the Redfern site, we think there’s not a huge amount of breweries in that immediate area, there’s a great community feel, there’s a tangible culture on the street in and around Redfern.
“We’re pretty excited to be part of that diverse community there and provide them a local experience that they can create their own.”