By Annette Shailer, editor Beer & Brewer
Wagga's Thirsty Crow Brewing Co. is set to move locations in a $3 million expansion that will see the business quadruple its production capacity, double staff and add a beer garden, outdoor bar, café and ping-pong arena.
“After five years of leasing our original venue an opportunity came up to purchase a site around the corner from where we are. The new location is 30 per cent bigger in size allowing us to expand the brewery and our in-house services, with the repayments of the new building being equal to the rent we are currently paying,” head brewer Craig Wealand told Beer & Brewer.
The expansion will see Thirsty Crow Brewing Co. keep pace with the evolving craft beer industry, with new fermentation tanks and a greater brewing capacity.
“We already brew six year-round brews and 24 seasonal beers per year with 99 per cent of this product being consumed directly at our brewpub. Our expansion will allow us to deliver all of these beers into Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra on a weekly basis,” Wealand said.
“For five years we have had weekly phone calls from venues wanting our beer and we haven’t been in a position to provide them with any. With the expansion we will be able to fill (some of) these orders.”
The new venue will have three separate areas to appeal to different demographics, with a café within the brewpub, an outdoor bar and beer garden. Food will continue to be a focus at the new venue, with the brewhouse’s famous pizzas to endure.
“Our restaurant, especially over the last three years, has been one of the busiest in Wagga. At our new venue we will have a few pleasant surprises and a few nasty surprises similar to Hawaiian Lava and Dumplings Roulette,” Wealand explained.
The current brewery will close on 24 December, with the new brewery to open before the last week of January at 153 Fitzmaurice St.