By Andrew Starke

Construction work on the $120 million Bluetongue Brewery is progressing well and the site is expected to be up-and-running by May next 2010.

The liquor industry will be monitoring developments in Warnervale on the NSW Central Coast with interest next year as what will be the state’s second largest brewery comes online – with the Foster’s Group and Kirin-owned Lion Nathan likely to be keeping a particularly close eye on production.

A spokesperson for Bluetongue said a few rain delays had affected construction but the brewery is still on schedule to be up and running by May, with an annual capacity of 50 million litres, possibly expanding to 100 million litres over time.

With the backing of global giants Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) and SABMiller, the new brewery represents a focal point for what could be a fierce and sustained attack on the duopoly that presently exists in the local market.

While not yet prepared to reveal which brands other than Bluetongue will be brewed at the new site, it is known that all packaging will be done onsite with product distribution to continue via CCA.

48 brewing vessels arrived in by boat in Newcastle harbour in early November, each with a capacity of over 150,000 litres and weighing over 18 tonnes.

These have now been installed at the brewery.

The next stage of the brewery construction will involve installing the process tanks, pumps, heat exchangers, and assemble the pipe tracks prior to commencement of pipe work and electrical installation.

The original Bluetongue Brewery is located in the Hunter region at Cameron Park. The company was purchased by Pacific Beverages in 2007, a joint venture company formed by Australia’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) and global brewer SABMiller.

Once fully completed, the new Bluetongue Brewery will employ up to 100 people, including employees from the existing Bluetongue Brewery in Newcastle.

There will be approximately 150 jobs created during the construction phase. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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