Brewery owner full of cheer

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013
Invercargill Brewery
NICOLE GOURLEY/ Fairfax NZ

ROOM TO GROW: Standing in the brewery, with the new tasting room behind, Invercargill Brewery owners Steve and Amanda Nally take pride in their new premises, which are almost complete. 

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As Invercargill Brewery owner Steve Nally surveys his new business premises in Leet St, he gets emotional.

The culmination of hard work, consents and planning has finally come together and he is overwhelmed.

The brewery is moving from its 420 square metre building in Wood St to a 600sqm premises to keep up with growing global demand for Invercargill craft beers.

The brewery bottleshop "cellar door"‘ will open on Tuesday and the full brewery will be up and running early next year.

"This is just incredible. It's been 14 years in the making and we have battled hard to get here and make this work," he said.

He felt lucky to have the premises after he had been told by project managers it was one of the most difficult building consents they had approached, because of stringent fire regulations relating to the building.

It was so tough that the project managers would now advise owners of similar buildings to demolish and rebuild.

The brewery building would likely be one of the last old buildings in Invercargill to be renovated, Mr Nally said.

His passion for brewing has flowed into creating the perfect place to work and which embraces the history of the brewery.

He and his wife Amanda praised architect Roger Beattie and Arrow International project manager Nick Hamlin for bringing their idea of an industrial-styled brewery to life.

Recycled wood, iron and weathered corten steel were used to create a space that reflected Invercargill Brewery's tin-shed beginnings.

The historic former Wilson Bros Engineering Fabrication shop in Leet St was the ideal location, Mr Nally said

A hands-on Mr Nally raised a few eyebrows when he sprinkled broken green glass and jasper rock over the floors in the bottleshop before they were sealed to "add dimension". He also created a concrete and Southland-pebble slab counter for the shop.

The owner of the building had been supportive and shared the Nally's passion, effort and love for the project, Mr Nally said.

"He told me this was a really good thing for Invercargill and we agree."

When the brewery started in 1999 it sold 6000 litres of beer. It now sells more than 187,000 litres and that will increase with the global demand.

The new premises will house a 2500-litre batch brewery, where customers can watch the brewing process from the nearby bottleshop.

The cellar door will have 20 beer taps and two wine taps.

Mr Nally believed the brewery would be the first New Zealand off- licence to sell wine on tap.

"The idea is to provide affordable, accessible wine that otherwise might cost more bottled," he said.

The brewery had a tasting room for beer and wine, with whisky-tasting a possible addition down the track, he said. There was also now more space for tourists to meet the brewer during tours.

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