Bailey Brewing Co is set to open later this year in WA’s Swan Valley, traditionally known as wine country.
Founders and brothers Steven and Daniel Bailey are both electricians by trade, and along with a little help from dad Geoffrey, are set to open the latest WA brewery before the end of 2020.
After homebrewing for a number of years, the Baileys decided that they wanted to open their business, having had enough of the tradie life. They looked at a redevelopment business and a pub, but fell back on their true passion – beer.
“The reality is we didn’t really like being electricians, we were working away from the missus’ and the kids. We decided we wanted to start a business together,” explained Steven Bailey.
He told Brews News that while there are a lot of good brewery venues out there, they didn’t tick all the boxes, particularly when it comes to being family-friendly, which is when they hit on the idea for a brewery.
“We’ve been homebrewing for years, and it’s always been a bit of a hobby of mine but I never took it too seriously until now. But that’s as far as our experience went.
“We underwent a couple of courses at the Edith Cowen University with Hugh Dunn, and there’s a few people we know in the brewing industry and everyone is happy to help.”
Bailey Brewing venue
The Baileys acquired a 10-acre block in the Swan Valley, to the north east of Perth, and submitted their development application to the council in December 2018.
“We never envisaged buying a site in the Swan Valley, we wanted it in suburbia firstly. But we wanted a big block for a playground, we’re big on family and we couldn’t find one anywhere. We love beer, but we wanted a place that we could bring our kids to and have a day out,” explained Bailey.
“We were driving down Swan Valley one day and spotted the for sale sign, 10 acres, so we bought it.”
They have constructed a purpose-built brewery and venue on the site, and are fully self funded, with help from father Geoffrey who owned and sold a successful electrical engineering company – but “he’s one of those guys that can’t do nothing,” explained Steven.
Inevitably, setting up in a location like the Swan Valley wasn’t an easy ride.
“It’s been difficult. We invested in lawyers and planners, all the right people.
“They also want you to grow your own stuff like a winery, they want to keep agriculture on site, grow your own and produce it. But at a brewery it’s obviously much harder, the climate is all wrong here to grow hops, and the barley you could grow but you’d need a lot of land, and we had no interest in doing that.”
Despite this, the team got the approvals for the site through and undertook the liquor licence process at the end of last year.
The shed-style venue will have a capacity of 250 people, with room for more if the venture proves a success.
“It’s a very simple build. Right now, they’re putting the pipes in and the plumbing, and then they will pour the slab in a couple of weeks.”
Next steps are to install the three vessel, 12hL brewhouse.
“It’s getting built in China as we speak. Flying Foam brewery consultants we’ve brought in to deal with China, but we also wanted to have the experience and went to China – though there was no Coronavirus then!”
If all goes well the installation will be completed by Spring, and the brothers have already planned their beers and will be bringing in a canning machine as well as providing takeaways.
“Or philosophy is that we want to do simple beers. We’re not a watermelon or gooseberry sour type. We want to do sessionable beers, you can sit there and have a few of them, a good basic lager, a pale ale and an IPA.
“All the beers will be pretty simple, and we’ll do a limited release.”
While the Baileys have brewing experience, they will be bringing in a head brewer.
“Daniel and I will also want to be brewing as well, but we’re not experienced enough to open with just us brewing, and we’ve been talking to a few people.”
Bailey explained that the point of difference with their brewery will be a different and more laid-back approach, as well as its unusual setting and focus on family and child-friendly activities.
“We’ve got a lot of room, we’ll get some footy goals. We’ll have a real good playground for the kids and we’ll also be big on service. We’re going to try and do it really well, table service so you don’t have to line up for beers or food, you can sit there and order.
“We’re big on sport so there will be TVs to watch games, none of the places around here really do that.”
Steven explained that he wanted the venue to bring more visitors to the Swan Valley area for a different experience than they may get at the wineries in the region.
“The Swan Valley is really picking up and I think the area does need a brewery like ours. It will bring more people here, and as I said we’re big on family and it’s good to spend time with your kids instead of watching Netflix!”
Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.