Fermentum eyes major brewery expansion
Fermentum, the owner of Stone & Wood, Fixation and Two Birds, is set to begin work on a new large-scale brewery which will initially be able to produce 40 million litres per year, expandable over time to around 80 million litres.
The brewer said that production capacity has been constrained by its Murwillumbah brewery and so is developing the new brewery on a 34,000sqm block of land it bought four years ago.
In a statement Fermentum said: “While COVID-19 had an impact on our rate of growth through the first period of lockdowns we have been blown away by our resilience and the traction we have gained as we have grown out of the shutdown period.
“Transferring the production of Fixation beers to Spotswood will help us deal with the on-going growth in the short term.
“However, looking ahead we know we have to take the next step in building production capacity as brewing in our current location may be unsustainable in the long term.”
Moving Fixation to Spotswood has come after Fermentum purchased Two Birds Brewing recently and means Fixation will now be brewed closer to its key Melbourne market.
Fermentum’s purchase of land, which is just down the road from its existing brewery in Murwillumbah, is part of the long-term solutions to capacity challenges it has been working on for a number of years.
Two years ago the brewer completed a scope and design project which provided it with a shovel ready project plan to build the large-scale brewery.
Fermentum said: “Developing the larger brewery will require a major investment and we’re currently working through the funding process and are exploring all options – cash reserves, debt, capital raise or a potential IPO.
“Given this would be a major investment in the region and would provide employment opportunities and drive much needed local manufacturing growth we believe there is also a role for all levels of government to play in supporting and funding the project.”
The initial stage of the brewery build would be around $50M and would involve building out the site and infrastructure, installing a new 200hl brewhouse and packaging lines, plus relocating existing equipment from the current site. Further investment over time will be required to expand capacity in line with growth.