Broo has announced plans to spend $100million building the world’s “greenest” brewery in Ballarat, Victoria.
The move follows Broo spending $1million buying Mildura Brewery earlier this month. Mildura Brewery produces seven craft beer brands and was previously co-owned by celebrity chef Stefano de Pieri.
Chief executive Ken Grogan said Ballarat is the ideal location for a brewery, as the site he has acquired – 15-hectares of government land – is adjacent to Ballarat Western Link Road, allowing easy access for transport throughout Australia and Asia.
The new facility – due to begin construction in February 2018 – will produce 480 million bottles of beer annually and Grogan plans for it to become self-sufficient in electricity and to cut water usage to 1.2 litres of water for each litre of beer produced compared with global benchmarks of a 5 to 1 ratio.
The brewery will source water from an underground aquifer below the 15-hectare site and generate its own electricity through a combination of solar panels, wind turbines and spent grain husks from the brewing process will be recycled as feedstock at the site.
“We really wanted to have a point of difference and it’s a great marketing tool. We’ve been very strategic about this in our planning,” Grogan told The Australian Financial Review. “The upfront cost is higher but longer term, absolutely it’s a benefit to our bottom line.”
He added to news.com.au: “We are committed to integrating a raft of state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable technologies that will … enable carbon-neutral beer production,” Mr Grogan said.
The brewery will employ 100 people and will include a beer museum, restaurant, visitor centre, wetlands and amphitheatre.
Grogan said it was poised to be the Australia’s third biggest brewery in terms of annual production, surpassing Coopers Brewery.
“We’ve got some of the largest distributors in the world chasing our product and this gives us the scale to meet that demand,” he told news.com.au.
Broo has become a surprise player in the Australian craft beer scene. The company raised $10.5million during a six-week initial public offering last year, issuing 52,500,000 ordinary shares at $0.20 cents per share to achieve market cap of $121.6million. Broo shares are currently in a trading halt pending a material transaction.
The company also announced in November that it had signed a significant distribution deal with China’s Jinxing Beer Group.