Oamaru is set to have a new brewery, the first since prohibition was declared in the early 1900s and the town’s last brewery was closed.
Scotts Brewing Company, owned by former Oamaru/Kakanui residents Phil and Tyla Scott, has secured a lease on the Old Railway Goods Shed in the historic area of Oamaru, and the first product can be expected off the production line in late October or early November.
Owner Phil Scott said the relocation from Auckland and large expansion of the brewery was a great step forward for the operation.
“The location is perfect, with a thriving tourism industry within the historic precinct and harbour area,” he said.
“Thanks to the Waitaki District Council’s new water system, we have world-class, clean brewing water piped straight to the door from the Southern Alps.
“With the expansion of Scotts Brewing Company, we are launching a range of premium craft beers with locally grown barley malt, Nelson hops, and the best water a brewer can find, and we will also maintain a separate brewing system for the production of our benchmark gluten-free beers.”
Joining the Oamaru operation will be international award-winning brewer Jess Wolfgang from Australia.
“We look forward to producing world-class and very exciting beers from our new Oamaru brewery,” Mr Scott said.
“We have sold our existing brewing operation in Auckland and will be starting in Oamaru with all new equipment.
“Tyla and myself are excited to come home, as North Otago is the perfect place for our new family.”
Mr Scott said the return to Oamaru has recalled some of his fondest memories of the town.
“I spent many days at the Oamaru Harbour, drying barley and filling train containers bound for breweries north of Oamaru, and looking across at the goods shed,” he said.
“Never did I think that one day I would be using that grain and making beer in that very shed.
“There have been a few breweries in Oamaru and, when the last one closed in 1906, the region was famous for its brew Oamaru Ale, which was made with the creek water.”
Mr Scott paid tribute to a number of organisations that had assisted the relocation.
“The Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust has been very helpful and instrumental in bringing our business to town, and the Waitaki District Council has been very positive and efficient in this transition,” he said.
The Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust chairman Marcus Brown said the trust was thrilled to have played a part in securing the relocation of Scotts Brewery to Oamaru.
“It has been a long time since the town had a fully functioning brewery and Scotts Brewery will be a great addition to Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct,” he said.
“The trust wishes Phil and Tyla Scott every success and looks forward to the new facility opening towards the end of this year.”
Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said it was good to see a build-up of business interest in the harbour area.
“Additions to the Precinct and the proposal of Te Mahi being developed all add to the value of the area,” he said.
By Jacquie Webby