Wellington brewery Garage Project is actively looking for a site to build a brewery in Australia.
Co-founders Pete Gillespie and Jos Ruffell made the announcement in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday night and asked fans for suggestions for a brewpub or brewery site.
The pair started the video with a message to their Australian customers.
“You’re drinking too much of our beer,” Gillespie said.
“We’re stretched really thinly with what we can brew and send over and the long-term solution is we need to set up a brewery in Australia. That’s what we want to do, that’s what we plan to do,” Ruffell added.
In the meantime, while the team look for the right site, Garage Project will brew at Hop Nation, which recently acquired Tribe Brewery’s Mornington Peninsula site.
Hop Nation co-owners Sam Hambour and Duncan Gibson have strong ties to New Zealand. Gibson was born in Gore and studied winemaking at Lincoln University, while Hambour worked as a winemaker in New Zealand for a number of years.
“Duncan and Sam are helping us out. They’ve just taken over a new brewery in Mornington Peninsula and we’ll be brewing a select range of beer out that brewery under their watch,” Ruffell said.
Hop Nation’s production will supplement Garage Project exports to Australia with Gillespie saying they will “sprinkle” new releases out of Hop Nation.
Gillespie said the brewery had been looking to expand to Australia for some time but the COVID-19 pandemic stopped it doing so this year.
“For a while now we’ve been keen to start brewing in Australia,” Gillespie said.
“This was going to be the year we found a site in Oz and got the ball rolling, but obviously 2020 happened, shit hit the proverbial fan and the borders shut.
“Our evil plans may have been thwarted for now, but we’ll be back.
“The Hop Nation guys brew great beers and we’re really excited to be working with them to allow us more simultaneous NZ/OZ releases and brew some Garage beers that Australia missed out on because of limited volumes.
“But this is just a stop-gap – what we really want is to start our own brewery in Australia so if any of you know of a cool site that would make a fantastic Garage Project brewbar or brewery let us know.”
The post drew numerous recommendations on a site, including the defunct West End brewery in Adelaide, which Lion announced earlier this year that it planned to close.
Garage Project brews the bulk of its core beers under contract at b Studio in Napier. It produces limited edition, small volume beers at its original site in Aro St, just on the city-fringe in Wellington, and has a barrel-aging and wild ferment brewery in Marion St, closer to the Wellington city centre. It also has taprooms in Wellington and Auckland.
The first GP beer out Hop Nation will be Ghost Light Hazy Pale.