21/03/2006 - 21:00

Boutique breweries on the hop

21/03/2006 - 21:00

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Western Australia is in the grips of amber fever, with three new breweries in the pipeline set to cash in on the growing consumer market for premium boutique beer.

Western Australia is in the grips of amber fever, with three new breweries in the pipeline set to cash in on the growing consumer market for premium boutique beer.

Little World Beverages, the company behind Little Creatures Brewery enterprise in Fremantle, is leading the charge through its subsidiary Little Green Steps, to invest more than $30 million into a new brewing facility in Jarrahdale.

The company entered into a conditional agreement with the Serpentine/Jarrahdale council this month to purchase five hectares of land in Jarrahdale, approximately 45km south-east of Perth.

The facility is expected to be operational on the site within four years and will adopt environmentally sustainable practices and a commitment to promoting eco-tourism in the area.

Little World Beverages chief executive Jason Marinko said Jarrahdale was selected because of the expected increase and spread of Perth’s population out to the area as well as the town’s historical significance, support for sustainable industry and its convenient location.

“The concept development team includes Professor Martin Anda from the Environmental Technology Centre at Murdoch University, who will contribute his knowledge of environmentally sustainable waste and water practices,” he said.

Other projects hoping to emulate Little Creature’s brewing success on the waterfront include the Point Fraser commercial development on Perth’s eastern river foreshore by private company City Foreshore Investments and the refurbishment of the Mindarie Hotel to include a new micro-brewery by the Indian Ocean Brewing Co.

Plans submitted by City Foreshore Investments to Perth City Council received a vote of support recently for three land-based buildings to be subleased from the council, with another two buildings built out over the water.

The buildings are expected to house a boutique brewery, cafes, restaurants and an art gallery/souvenir shop.

Stage One of the Point Fraser redevelopment began two years ago and involved the introduction of a new wetland system to cut the level of pollutants entering the river from storm water run-off. 

City of Perth chief executive Frank Edwards said considerable resources had been put into transforming Point Fraser from a largely ignored area into an attractive and environmentally sustainable recreational area.

The City of Perth has also reintroduced native vegetation to the area during the Stage One transformation and more work has been completed through Stage Two, with a landscaped parkland area and the re-establishment of car parking and other infrastructure facilities.

The latest decision by the council has given City Foreshore Investments the green light to approach the Swan River Trust for further consideration.

Further north, Mindarie Quay may begin to rival Fremantle in late May with the opening of the new look Mindarie Hotel as the Indi. The new “brew pub” is spearheaded by the Indian Ocean Brewing Co and will be positioned only metres from the water’s edge.

Indian Ocean Brewing Co spokesperson St John Hammond said it has always been interested in unique and innovative venues.

“Whilst brew pubs are not a new concept, the opportunity to create a world class venue combined with creating new and innovative brews in such a unique location was too good an opportunity to pass up,” he said.

The company plans to hand craft three core beer brands onsite as well as offering four seasonal beers a year. In response to the new competition, Mr Marinko said any new brewery was good for the industry if it allowed people to try new beers.

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