Western Australia’s Beerfarm has received $900,000 from the NSW government to help it open a new venue and brewery on the Central Coast.
Beerfarm is set to build a new production site at Halloran near Warnervale with help from the NSW Government’s Regional Job Creation Fund, which the state government says will help create 47 jobs.
“This project also includes upgrades to town water connections, sewer mains and digital connectivity, all of which will pave the way for future jobs and business opportunities in the area,” said Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch.
The site, at 92 Mountain Road Halloran, will be home to a restaurant and production brewery, said Beerfarm general manager George Scott.
“Building a brewery in regional NSW has always been an ambition of ours since the outset,” he explained.
“Applying for this grant has really helped this dream become a reality. Every little bit helps, right. Smaller producers need all the assistance they can get. We have a growing market segment and create lots of jobs in our industry, so the more the government support all local producers, the better for everyone.”
The NSW Government has been increasingly vocal about its support of the brewing industry following earlier Regional Job Creation Fund grants for Tumut River and Jervis Bay Brewing Co, and its NSW Brewers Action Plan.
Getting the grant
The number of brewers going for grants has surged in the past few years with projects being funded both at federal level, such as the $5 million in Manufacturing Modernisation grants for brewery expansion projects and state level, with regional grants such as those in NSW and Western Australia.
Scott said that applying for a grant is a major process.
“We had to send a proposal outlining the intended business and model, our intentions for the site, and what jobs would be created in each area of the business and when,” he explained.
“It was a big process but it was so important for us as part of realising the ambition to build on the central coast.
“The grant was in line with a lot of our planning requirements also which was really helpful. It was really good timing and assisted us in documenting our intentions and getting buy-in from the wider team at Beerfarm. What have we got to lose?”
The new site
It was unexpectedly revealed earlier this year in local newspapers that Beerfarm would be opening in NSW, and while this may have caught Beerfarm off guard initially, support since has been overwhelmingly positive.
One submission to the public consultation for Beerfarm’s new site said it was “high time the Central Coast Council became proactive in encouraging development in the WEZ [Wyong Employment Zone]”.
The venue and brewery will be located midway between Sydney and Newcastle, and the Beerfarm team submitted its applications in March this year and are still waiting on approvals.
“We have received an overwhelming groundswell of support from the central coast community and the government and can’t wait to get started,” said Scott.
Building a second venue and brewery has been a key strategy of a number of brewers including Modus Operandi which recently started serving customers in Newcastle, as well as Ballistic Beer, Stomping Ground and a host of others across the country, including fellow Western Australian brand Good Drinks which has not been shy about making a move to the east coast.
“Our ambition has always been to build a brewery on each side of the country, we are big believers in establishing ourselves within like-minded communities and have always been of the thought, fresh is best,” said Scott.
“We had previously looked at multiple opportunities over the past few years, but the central coast for us felt the most like home. We are really excited to get in and amongst the community and get it going.”
The plan is to enable the Central Coast brewery to scale, and taking on a large tract of land will allow them to do this.
“Production planning is in full flow and we will align as much as we can to our existing Metricup site so we can streamline our operations, but we have designed the brewery on the East Coast with scalability in mind,” explained Scott.
“It’s always been our way, we are big believers in creating sustainable community relationships and creating spaces that locals and visitors alike can feel at home, be a part of and enjoy.
“Beerfarm is only as good as its people and we love people, so why not try and work with as many as we can. Beer without people merely doesn’t float our boats!”