New brewery to open in Nagambie

By Tara Whitsed

Nagambie has added another notch to its tourism belt with a new brewery and distillery set to open this Friday in the town.

Plans for the Nagambie Brewery and Distillery began about three years ago — the brainchild of businessman Gerry Ryan who has been a long-time financial supporter of the region.

Master brewer and distiller Jamie Chesher explained what the new venue would be all about.

‘‘We want to create a good homely little space where people can come down and try some pretty awesome brews and once the stills are fired up and running we’ll have some pretty tasty spirits. Of course we’ve got an awesome kitchen and a beautiful deck so it’s a whole hospitality hub rather than just being a brewery,’’ he said.

The first beer is set to fly out of the brewery in three to four weeks’ time, but a number of other beers and local wines will be on offer in the meantime.

‘‘They’ll be clean-cut, easy drinking beers that people can come and enjoy without being overwhelmed,’’ Mr Chesher said, adding they would begin by creating a pale ale and a lager.

The establishment is set to become a part of a region known for its wine-making and Mr Chesher said there would also be a number of Goulburn and Heathcote region wines on offer.

‘‘A big drawcard is the tourism up here; Nagambie already has the lake, all the events that go on here, some beautiful vineyards,’’ Ms Chesher said.

‘‘I know there’s a couple of other microbreweries setting up in the region so once that beer and spirit industry does start to lean on itself like the wine industry does, it’s only going to benefit anyone in the area.’’

Operations manager Christian De Vrieze also spoke of the importance of tourism and said they were part of a group focused on driving tourism and hospitality in the region.

‘‘The local area has some great produce and some great alcohol distributors so we really want to highlight the fact we can bring something new to the area,’’ he said.

The business will largely source local produce to create its beverages.

‘‘All of our grains and produce we’re trying to source as much as we can from Victoria and more so the Nagambie region,’’ Mr Chesher said.

‘‘We don’t want to go too over the top in our Australian identity but we want to give back to the local economy.’’

The newly designed building in Nagambie’s main street also features the old police camp which can be seen from the building’s facade.

The pair mentioned works were also still under way for Ma Forbes Kitchen, located next door, which will be a cafe, due to open in April.

The public bar and bistro will run from Wednesday to Sunday each week, noon to late each day.

The brewery officially opens this Friday.