By Max Weber – for Australian Hotelier
One of the final regions to escape the craft beer explosion in Australia, the Blue Mountains, will be deprived no longer, with the launch of the Katoomba Brewing Company and Bar as part of a wider expansion of the Carrington Hotel.
The venerable Carrington, which recently celebrated its 130th anniversary, has undergone extensive upkeep, with a facelift to the tune of $10 million being administered over a nine year period.
Restoration and expansion projects included opening the Carrington Cellars and Deli, restoring the public face of the hotel, Carrington Place, and acquiring and revamping bars The Old Bank Brassiere and Harp and Fiddle.
The brewery itself is set in a converted power station on-site, and is set to open at the end of the year.
Katoomba Brewing Company in progress
Carrington Hotel co-owner Michael Brischetto says that the brewery is the latest phase in the restoration of the iconic hotel, with more plans in the works – a restaurant above the bottle-shop by mid 2015, and a mooted beer garden on the roof of the brewery.
The brewery will be targeted at an older audience, said Briscetto.
“We’re calling it our adults-only bar. Our other bars are for the younger patrons and this will be for the 40-plus set who would rather listen to some cool jazz than to a jukebox.
''Then we can take a breath and assess the whole business and work out what we do next: do we build some more rooms so we can increase our conference business, do we take on some other projects around town?'' pondered Brischetto.
The plan is for the brewery to initially brew three styles, all named after local references and with a local tale behind them: Three Sisters Pale Ale, The Great White Fleet American Pale Ale and Chimney Sweep Porter
Brischetto also mentions a rotating visiting brewer will feature on tap.
Both the brewing equipment and the money to fund the brewing company were care of a State Government regional tourism grant through Destination NSW, while a $250,000 Federal Government grant will pay for the fit-out of the restaurant.