By Ian Neubauer
Pacific Beverages — a joint venture between Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) and UK-based brewer SABMiller — announced today it will build a boutique premium brewery at Warnervale in the Hunter region of New South Wales.
The decision follows Pacific’s December acquisition of Bluetongue Brewery and is the next step in developing the joint venture’s premium beer strategy. Pacific Beverages already distributes SABMiller’s Miller, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell beers, while CCA has a distribution agreement with Maxxium to distribute Jim Beam and Absolut.
Pacific Beverages chairman Terry Davis said the new brewery will be called Bluetongue Brewery. “Our aim is not only to build a great facility which will brew premium beer brands for the Australian and overseas markets, but we also aim to deliver world’s best practice in water and energy efficiencies,” he said. “The brewery will also become a significant tourist attraction in its own right… and add to the Hunter region’s reputation as the home of fine food and beverages.”
NSW premier Morris Iemma said the brewery would bolster the NSW economy. “It will deliver jobs, a strong long-term economic stimulus to the region and to NSW,” he said. “I have always said NSW is open for business, and the selection of NSW by Pacific Beverages for its first brewery site is testament to this.”
The Bluetongue Brewery will have a capacity of 50 million litres per year with potential to add capacity for future brand rollouts from SABMiller’s portfolio of more than 200 brands.
Construction is likely to take 10 months and cost in the vicinity of $100 million. The brewery will create 250 construction jobs and another 100 permanent manufacturing and administrative roles when operations commence.