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New brewery in old Grafton brewery

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Rodney Stevens, Clarence Valley Independent

A development application for an Artisan Food and Drink premises in the former Grafton Brewery has been lodged and council are calling for public submissions on the proposed development.

The application, lodged with Clarence Valley Council CVC by Rick Firth is for the “Establishment of an Artisan Food and Drink Industry comprising of a brewery, distillery and roastery within an existing industrial site.”

The application estimates the cost of the development, which would see beer again brewed at 160 North Street, Grafton, at $1.755 million.

The brewery, established in 1952, was formerly owned by Tooheys, who brewed their last drop of beer in 1997.

Since then, there have been several rumours of Tooheys or potentially other beer manufacturers returning to brew beer on the site.

The proposal by Artisan Food and Drink Industries for three operations, a Craft Brewery, Boutique Distillery and Coffee Roastery, on the existing 2,300m2 brewery precinct within the larger 5.78ha site.

In the Statement of Environmental Effects (SOEE), the applicant details the 5.78 ha site is currently improved by several industrial sheds and buildings, an office building, car wash, café and the former brewery building.

“In 2019, the historic site was purchased by its current landowners, a local family with a vision for revitalising the site for local manufactures, as well as making the site available for visitors and locals alike to enjoy the products of the region whilst experiencing, learning, and celebrating the area and site’s rich history,” the SOEE states.

On the first two floors of the existing brewery tower, the Craft Brewery will comprise up to 12 brewing tanks producing 3000 to 3500 litres of beer per week.

“Supporting the craft brewery in the old ‘Bottling Hall’ and ‘Canning Mezzanine’ is an 840m2, 247 seat dining area, complete with a bar, commercial kitchen and amenities blocks,” the SOEE states.

“The distillery is supported with a 120-seat tasting room and adjoining laneway, which will provide patrons with a more intimate experience to that provided in the brewery dining hall.

“Patrons sitting in the distillery will be provided a behind-the-scenes look of the distilling process in an industrial chic setting.

“The 226m2 roastery café will support dining onsite for guests.

“This space includes the commercial kitchen, amenities, 44 indoor dining seats and 24 outdoor dining seats.

“The Brewhouse Café currently operates on site, though the inclusion of the roastery to this business will refocus the business as a manufacturing industry, supported by both takeaway and dine-in experiences.”

CVC welcomes submissions from members of the community and industry stakeholders as this helps with informed and transparent decision making.

Please be aware submissions are not confidential and are considered public documents.

Submissions can be made through the CVC website and close at 4pm on February 6.

Clarence Valley Independent 18 January 2023

This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 18 January 2023.

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