By James Atkinson
4 Pines Brewing Company expects to have operational within three months a new Sydney brewery that will increase its existing capacity by at least tenfold and establish it as one of the country's biggest craft brewers.
Located at Brookvale, the new brewery will have a capacity of 50 hectolitres, over and above the brewer's existing capacity of five hectolitres, general manager Jaron Mitchell (pictured left) told TheShout.
"We thought about going somewhere in the middle but the costs are not really that much different, you'd be halfway between those sizes and pay 80 to 85 per cent of the cost," he said.
"You outgrow that and you've got to put a new one in. The new brewery's modular in the sense that you can just keep putting more tanks in."
Mitchell said the brewery will be identical in size to that of Australian Independent Brewers, making it one of the country's top two largest independently-owned breweries after Coopers.
Mitchell said 4 Pines' existing brewery on-site at its Manly headquarters will be maintained for its smaller batch beers, including its limited edition 'Keller Door' releases.
New 4 Pines brewery being prepared for shipment from Canada
The new facility will brew its larger volume beers, including the flagship Kolsch and Pale Ale.
Mitchell said the company isn't interested in going down the path of contract brewing.
"You've got to do one or the other well – you've got to be a really good contract brewer or a really good owner of your brand and your products," he said.
"We really make a point of engaging the brewing team in understanding the brand and sales side, rather than them just being process-automated manufacturing workers.
"When you're a contract brewer you have to become the 'nameless, faceless' brewer because the guy who's doing the contract brewing with you doesn't really go around spruiking about the fact that they are brewing with you."
Mitchell said 4 Pines now has a dedicated sales team of six in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and is preparing to ramp up distribution of its beers.