Gage Roads to open Sydney taproom, brewery

March 13, 2019

As The Sip forecast in November, Gage Roads will set up a new taproom in Sydney as the WA brewery continue to extend its footprint into the Eastern States.


Located in the inner-city suburb of Redfern, the site is situated in the midst of a local hospitality precinct that is also adjacent to significant transport infrastructure.


The venue comprises 578 square metres and will house a small craft brewery as well as a 250-person hospitality operation that will be open to both the public and trade.


The east coast expansion was tipped late last year with a story by The Sip on Australian Brews News.


Gage Roads confirmed it would spend $3 million on establishing the taproom and micro-brewery, which is expected to open early next year.


The establishment of the new venue follows the decision by the WA brewery to base its sales and marketing arm, now called Good Drinks, in Sydney. The decision was made following Gage Roads' $16 million buy-out of Matso's last year. Alby is also considered a separate brand under the Good Drinks banner.


To support the east coast sales strategy part of the earnings generated from the venue will be reinvested to boost the growth of the Good Drinks division in NSW.


Gage Roads managing director John Hoedemaker highlighted at the recent annual general meeting the new brewery and taproom could have capacity for up to 2 million litres of beer a year.

Over the past two years Gage Roads has plotted an aggressive foray into the east-coast market, with sales staff located in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.


And the brand has won high-profile deals with the Victorian Cricket Association and the Sydney 7s rugby tournament. Gage Roads also has the beer supply contract for Perth's Optus Stadium and sold 1 million litres of product at the facility in 2018.


“The east coast is a significant contributor to revenue for the business, representing 54 per cent of national sales by value,” the meeting was told.


Gage Roads is expected to follow through with its plans to break out the Atomic label as its own brand - also reported by The Sip last month - and use the identity to help underpin the new Sydney taproom and microbrewery.


To help its new venture, Gage Roads has appointed Stew Wheeler as General Manager of Hospitality.


Wheeler has significant experience in planning, building and operating contemporary hospitality operations. He spent five years building Little Creatures venues in Hong Kong, Singapore, London and San Francisco on behalf of Lion.


"We are incredibly excited to embark upon a new phase of expansion in this important Australian market," Hoedemaker said.


"The Redfern microbrewery and taproom will generate incremental earnings for our business whilst complementing out existing 5-year growth strategy.


"The board and I welcome Stew Wheeler to our management team and have full confidence that under his leadership this part of our strategy will be well executed."


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