13/01/2022 - 06:30

Gage Roads announces opening date for flagship brewery

13/01/2022 - 06:30

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Punters will be able to watch cargo ships dock while enjoying a pizza and a pint at Gage Roads Brewing Co's new waterfront brewery when it opens next Thursday.

Gage Roads announces opening date for flagship brewery
Aaron Heary and Craig Peterson at the new brewery. Photo: David Henry

Punters will be able to watch cargo ships dock while enjoying a pizza and a pint at Gage Roads Brewing Co's new waterfront brewery when it opens on next Thursday. 

The hospitality venue is situated in Fremantle's historic A Shed in Victoria Quay, after Gage Roads secured a 40-year lease for the site from the state government. 

The 96-year-old heritage building is a fitting location for the Perth-born brewery which was named after Fremantle's outer harbour.

The $10 million project is the brewer’s first hospitality venue, despite being founded in 2004 and growing to be the largest brewer in Western Australia, according to Business News’ Data & Insights.

It is the second venue to be established by Gage Road's ASX-listed parent company, Good Drinks Australia, which opened the Atomic Beer Project in Redfern in Sydney in 2020. 

The new 3,600 square metre Fremantle venue spans a working brewery, a restaurant, a bar and an alfresco area with a children’s playground made out of an old boat and car.

The onsite 1 million-litre capacity brewery directly supplies the taps at the bar with fresh beer.

“Many people would have had a Single Fin out and about at a BBQ or what have you, but this is a unique experience where you will be able to drink it straight from the tank,” Good Drinks Australia chief strategy officer Aaron Heary told Business News.

The food offering consists of share plates made with as much local produce as possible and the wine list features exclusively WA drops. 

Mr Heary said A Shed was the perfect spot for Gage Roads' flagship venue. 

“Finding a site on the water in WA like this, is kind of a needle in a haystack," Mr Heary said. 

After heritage and building applications were approved, the final restoration only took about 5 months.

The work was completed by ICS Australia, which are responsible for building a number of hospitality venues in Fremantle including Little Creatures and Jetty Bar & Eats.

Mr Heary said ICS were able to save the company a lot of money by pre-empting material shortages.

“The ICS guys were very proactive; they bought a lot of material up front and took a punt in the design phase when things were still kind of loose as to what we were actually building,” Mr Heary said.

ICS Australia director Craig Peterson said buying the materials now would have cost the project an extra 30 to 40 per cent.

The fit-out includes a 17-metre-long bar made from Donnybrook stone, as well as upcycled jarrah from the shed.

Other original features including eight cargo doors have been restored and remounted onto the walls and feature lights which hang down from the ceiling.

“There’s very, very few buildings like this anywhere in Australia that you are going to have a venue this close to the water,” Mr Peterson said.

He said dealing with such an old building had presented challenges, including removing an old asbestos roof and navigating the fact that half of the structure was built over the harbour. 

About 250 people worked on the project in order to get it finished for its summer opening.

When the brewery opens, it will employ about 100 people.

The venue will be the third waterfront brewery in the area, along with Little Creatures and Running with Thieves, which opened in 2020.

Little Creatures recently announced it was undertaking a $30 million redevelopment of the site next door to its current location.

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