Last Friday (December 5), Pacific Beverages —a joint venture between Coca-Cola Amatil and London-based brewing giant SABMiller — began construction of a $120-million brewery in NSW’s Hunter Valley. Following is a condensed version of a speech by Pacific CEO Peter McLoughlin in which he shares some of the closely guarded details behind the state-of-the-art facility.

“Our new Bluetongue Brewery will be unique in many aspects. It will combine a sophisticated state-of-the-art Brewhouse with equipment transferred from the existing brewery to ensure no change of character to the existing Bluetongue brands but also enabling us to brew many distinctive local and international brands — a fusion of touch and technology.

Initial production capacity will be 50 million litres or in excess of 6 million cases but the brewery has been specifically designed to grow with the business and ultimately we hope to expand to three times that output. The bottling line will be able to fill 48000 bottles an hour in sterile conditions rather than conventional tunnel pasteurisation thus keeping the product fresher for longer.

Globally, SABMiller has set itself the demanding target of reducing water use per litre of beer by 25 per cent by 2015. This initiative will save around 20 billion litres of water every year — enough to fill 8000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Today’s industry average of water usage is 5 litres per litre of beer and the new Bluetongue Brewery will be less than half the industry average, targeting a benchmark usage of 2.2 litres per litre.

In addition, the brewery will be energy efficient using bio gas from the waste water plant for steam generation, recovering heat from the brewing process using latest technologies and recycling the used malt to feed local farmers livestock. Through our planned visitors centre, comprising of brewery tours, beer and brand education, beer tasting and retail and conferencing facilities, we are hoping to expose people to the wonderful world of beer and brewing, and to become a “must do” tourist activity in the beautiful Hunter Valley.

We have a great target to aim for and our plan is to have the first brew of Bluetongue ready to celebrate Australia Day in January of 2010." 


The Shout Team

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

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