11/05/2004 - 22:00

Swan’s brewing revolution

11/05/2004 - 22:00

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SWAN Brewery’s move in 1978 from the city to Canning Vale marked a major shift in the company’s approach to brewing after almost 120 years at the site on Mounts Bay Road and in Spring Street.

Swan’s brewing revolution

 

SWAN Brewery’s move in 1978 from the city to Canning Vale marked a major shift in the company’s approach to brewing after almost 120 years at the site on Mounts Bay Road and in Spring Street.

The move wasn’t all smooth sailing, however, with industrial action following a company letter to staff that indicated 350 of them wouldn’t be making the move.

Swan was the first tenant in the Canning Vale industrial precinct and for months was the only business operating in the area.

Today, the 40-hectare site accommodates the 250 people who come and work daily, enjoying benefits such as on-site parking, a nine-hole golf course, private gym, and bar.

The two black swans that inhabit a water feature at the entrance of the main administration building seem oblivious to the industrial activity going on around them.

When the new brewery opened in Canning Vale it was heralded as the world’s most efficient, and was the first brewery in Australia to have its own waste water treatment plant.

The liquid by-product is used to water the golf course.

Swan Brewery CEO Bob Bailey insists that the craft of brewing hasn’t changed, but rather the equipment is just more functional. 

“We have a state-of-the-art, world-class brewery, and we are working closely with the industry to meet consumer needs,” Mr Bailey said. 

“The product retains the same profile and characteristics with every brew.”

The brewery hasn’t completely cut its ties with the old site, retaining ownership of the Old Swan Brewery Restaurant, which includes its own microbrewery.

Mr Bailey said he wasn’t surprised by the sudden appearance of several microbreweries in WA, and suggested Swan was ideally placed to meet the demand smaller brewers were targeting. 

“Microbreweries drive consumer interest in beer, and the beer market is growing in WA. As people want beer for different occasions, we will be there to meet that need,” he said.

The brewery recently sold two pieces of the original land that it bought – 19.7ha of wetland, and a 1.67ha car park. The large parcel of surplus land became available due to improved water treatment technology. Mr Bailey said the move to Canning Vale was a progressive and radical one for management of the time.

“Today, many brewery workers live in one of the residential estates in Canning,” Mr Bailey said, adding that, at 5pm, Canning Vale sometimes seemed busier than the Perth CBD.

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