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Brewers Blog Vol 1 – Expansion Project – 2 Years In!

Wow! Did we really start and turn the soil in August 2016?Talk about Grand Designs experience, it’s been all that plus more after you throw in purchasing, install and commission of new equipment. So what’s it all about ? Back in 2002, 3 years after we started our first commercial operation in the backyard in Woodend, we were looking for a suitable site to move our brewery to and develop a retail direct to consumer side of our business.The historic hotel in central Woodend was just the thing…. Beautiful double storey red-brick building with history dating back to the 1860s, 1 min walk from V/Line train station, room to create a brewing space within the hotel itself, and the deciding factor was a huge space at the rear andpart of the Hotel site where we could develop and expand our operations as required.

Fast forward from 2002 to 2013 we started the Council Planning process, fund raising, architects, equipment and machinery specs and decisions. Finally in 2016 we turned the soil and delivered Stage 1 of the project in the middle of 2017 which involved an industrial building at the rear of our site to house new cellar, kegging and packaging/bottling line. We’ve continued our brewing and production operations over the past 12 months in somewhat trying circumstances as it’s also been a building site as we drive towards completion of Stage 2, which is the delivery of a glass fronted showroom facing the street which will house our new brewhouse and a visitor centre. The visitor centre will be multi-purpose, it’s main purpose is reception and check-in for our accommodation guests, tasting tap-room, viewing to the new brewhouse, tours and a tourism experience involving traditional brewing education, history and beer and brewing. We’ll work it out as we go along!

While the visitor centre is a few months away from completion, we’re getting keyed up for a momentous time in our history with the delivery of our Braukon 5,000 litre brewhouse and malt handling facility in early September. Can’t wait, it’s going to be hectic, busy and stressful delivering this part of the project alongside keeping our brews coming up with the lead in to summer and holiday period. But, as always the Holgate team is up for the challenge! Who Dare’s Wins!