Brisbane is set to land a unique brewing incubator before the end of the year.
Shaun Lockwood, founder of Brisbane Brew Partners, has lodged a development application for a $15-million centre that will include multiple brewing systems, laboratory services and brewing training.
The Morningside facility is intended to serve a bunch of difference purposes. While Brisbane led the country last year in terms of new brewery openings, it’s also become home to a number of contract and “gypsy” brands that do not own their own brewing premises. The hub is designed to give extra capacity to breweries that are reaching their existing limits, or cannot package at their own breweries, and provide a permanent home to brewers without their own systems.
“We will partner with you to whatever extent you want to be involved,” Lockwood says.
While an enthusiastic home brewer, Lockwood is approaching the project using a philosophy he developed while opening a successful chain of child care centres. When he and his wife had young children, they couldn’t find quality childcare in their area so decided to start their own.
“We couldn't find what we felt was a quality childcare centre in our area. They just didn't exist,” he says. “So we established a family day-care from our own home.
“If you can't find it, you build it,” Lockwood says of his philosophy.
He’s applying the same approach to beer, though this time on a larger scale.
“The Australian beer scene was pretty dire 10 to 15 years ago and couldn’t compare to the smorgasbord of craft beers on tap at pubs in the UK,” he says. “If you can’t buy it make it, right? Or build it.”
Lockwood plans to make the hub available to Brisbane’s burgeoning brewing scene. He also hopes it will suit hospitality chains looking for their own beer brands, and even festivals and events looking to develop event-specific beer.
“A lot of contract brewers choose to brew at other people’s breweries because they can’t afford to build their own brewery,” Lockwood says. “We can guarantee them the capacity and give them the confidence to focus on selling beer.”
Despite only lodging his application last week, Lockwood is “100 per cent” confident it will go through and hopes to get approval within two to three weeks.
The Morningside facility is scheduled to open in December 2018.