Small Brewer Back in Business

23 September, 2009 by

By Andrew Starke

Simon Walkenhorst’s Lilydale brewery has produced its first beer since his Hargreaves Hill Brewery was destroyed by the Black Saturday fires in February.

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The original Yarra Valley brewery was built in 2004 but Walkenhorst has taken the opportunity to return with a bigger and better offering.

Writing on his website, he said: “Since February’s fires, there have been many developments. The need to create a new brewery has given us the impetus to move site, increase the volume that we produce, and improve our brewing and packing systems.”

A new brewing plant was purchased from Beechworth, and has been installed in Lilydale, which will become the brewing headquarters.

Hargreaves Hill Brewery previously produced a full range of house-brewed products including Hefeweizen, Bohemian, Pale, ESB, Dunkelweizen and Stout.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, brewer Glenn Harrison has travelled between Red Hill, Mountain Goat and White Rabbit Breweries and the University of Ballarat making beer, while Walkenhorst set about finding a site and equipping a new brewery.

A 1200-litre set-up — three times the old brewery’s capacity — was picked up from Beechworth, a bottling line was bought from Perth, and a warehouse space big enough to house the many kegs of beer was leased in Lilydale.