Pirate Life exports to markets including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Hong Kong. (ABC News: Nick Harmsen)
Craft brewer Pirate Life has unveiled plans to almost quadruple annual production by establishing a new brewery inside a vacant and historic wool store in the heart of Port Adelaide.
The Adelaide-based company started up in 2014 and, after huge local success that has even spurred a line of merchandise, was purchased by Belgian beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) late last year.
Currently based in Hindmarsh, Pirate Life’s production in 2017 was about 3 million litres — up from 600,000 in its first year.
It hopes a new $15 million brewery, bar and beer garden on Barlow Street in Port Adelaide will see annual production rise above 11 million litres.
“We’ve been looking around for a new site for quite a while, looked at a number of locations, loved the Port and identified this gorgeous old wool store,” co-founder Red Proudfoot said.
John Phinney and Jared Proudfoot show Jay Weatherill and MP Susan Close the expansion plans. (ABC News: Nick Harmsen)
“We are now on the cusp of starting a really fantastic development here in Port Adelaide,” added chief executive John Phinney.
“We think this is absolutely going to be the premier craft brewing hub not only for South Australia but also for the nation.”
The company is the brainchild of three Western Australians, who defected from their home state and made the trip across the Nullarbor
It now exports to markets including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Hong Kong — intends to maintain its Hindmarsh facility for research and development to develop new beers.
“We look at what something like the Little Creatures facility in Fremantle has done — evoking something like that and surpassing it is our goal here in Port Adelaide,” Mr Phinney said.
The move intends to capitalise on a long hoped-for boom in the Port Adelaide district, which includes a $16 million rail branch line into the historic and residential precinct.
John Phinney, Red Proudfoot and Jay Weatherill toast the new brewery. (ABC News: Nick Harmsen)
The announcement had the strong flavour of a promo opportunity for Premier Jay Weatherill, who was in attendance to spruik the Government’s $2 million investment in the site’s redevelopment.
Mr Weatherill said the project would create more than 80 new jobs.
“Really, this is the new golden era for the Port of Adelaide and it’s a fantastic example of what happens when you put public investments in,” he said.
The State Government said the new “state-of-the-art” brewing plant also had strong green credentials, with plans to source 100 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2025.