We’re getting closer!

Can you feel it? Me neither… this is taking forever. I was telling people late last year that we hoped to get the DA in before Christmas. Alas, here we are in the middle of May.

So, a lot’s happened since my last post. Let me get you up to speed.

Firstly – The plans are done and about to be submitted to council. This brewery is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen. We’re going open air!

The first image is the view of the brewery as you walk from the car park. The glazed area is the tap room, with the brewhouse and stainless steel tanks running along the back wall (which are hidden by the tap room and single concrete panel on these angles). The second and third images show the view looking up at the brewery from the hill below. 

Here’s my thinking. Brewery’s are hot, boiling thousands of litres for hours at a time can get pretty damn uncomfortable on a summer’s day, especially when you’re in a steel/concrete shed like most other breweries.

But if there are no walls, then the fresh breeze filtering through the gumtrees will keep the place cool(er).

For most of the year, it’s a touch warm up at Bucketty, often pushing past 40degrees, so adding the steam from the boil would make for an uncomfortable beery sauna if enclosed. By removing the walls we can let nature do the work without the need for mechanical ventilation or cooling (also making it quieter).

An open-air brewery also doesn’t work in the suburbs because there’s also the danger of hoodlums breaking in and opening the valves and drowning in a lake of partially fermented beer. But see, we don’t have these issues. There’s no hoodlums in Bucketty and we’re in the middle of the bush, so we can get away with it (I think!).

It’s also much cooler from a non-temperature perspective. Like, “damn, that’s a cool building” point of view.

And, we don’t have to pay for walls. Haha, genius!

Now, before you start planning a late-night expedition to “wheeze the juice” Encino man style, not EVERYTHING will be open. The tap room will have large double glazed doors which can be closed up for when it’s too hot/cold and our coolroom/storage will be locked away. We’re not idiots.

Or maybe we are, maybe there’s a reason nobody’s done this before? After speaking to a few brewers, they don’t see an issue. We’ll have a bit more external cleaning to do due to the dust, but it is a closed system, so the beer should be fine.

And if all else fails, we’ll admit defeat and slap some walls up.

The structure is to be a combination of timber and concrete, with recycled and engineered timber the focal point of the columns and ceiling.

The 2,000L brewhouse will be powered by a combination of solar and LPG, the 800m2 roof will double as a water collector and mini solar farm, charging a large bank of batteries located in the back of the brewery.

We’re going to attempt to be the second brewery in Australia to run completely off-grid (Rocky Ridge Brewing  in WA was the first).

Waste water will be treated on site and used to irrigate the hop field and paddocks.

It’s gonna to be awesome.

When you visit (because I assume, dear reader, that you will), you’ll to arrive with anticipation as you walk across the field, past the steel tanks and perch up at the bar for a beer, a burger and lazy afternoon.

Once last drinks are called, you’ll leave with a hunger to return and do it all again.

 

Secondly – the open day.

It was a hit! 50+ locals and friends dropped in for a pint, snag and chat as we brewed up a fresh batch of the Session Ale. Overall the vibe was up, with positivity from almost everyone.

We were especially pleased to hear how so many locals were excited to have a place to hang out and share a beer. That’s the plan!

Bushfire planning came up several times, and so it should. At the time of writing we’ve attempted to arrange a meeting with our neighbours, the Bucketty RFS a couple of times to discuss an action plan without success. But I’m sure it’ll happen, because we can’t open until we have one in place.

 

Thirdly – what happens next?

As I mentioned, the DA is about to go in  and all being well should take between 3 and 6 months for approval. From there, we start building!

I’ve got a builder mate named Dylan who I met through a business advisory course a while back,  he’s actually the bloke that referred me onto the architects.

I like him because he’s got a real can-do attitude to life, and loves sustainable building through using smart and efficient materials as well as integrating recycled elements wherever possible. We’re working with a budget of $500k for the building (not including the brewing equipment), which is tight but doable (so I’m assured).

The build should take no more than 6 months.

So that means, we should should should be sipping a beer together at the brewery this time next year!

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