Going with the flow of demand

GALLERY HERE

THE refurbished Boag's Brewery now has capacity to push out 240 million stubbies of beer a year if its operators wish it to do so.

The last bit of equipment, the shrink wrapper, was commissioned in the Launceston brewery yesterday, marking the end of a 19-month, $12 million redevelopment at William Street by parent company Lion.

The upgrades to the brewery's packaging, brewing and utility plants  mean that the plant has the capacity to brew 90 million litres of different lines of the amber fluid each year.

This is about four times the amount of beer bottled and brewed at the facility 20 years ago.

The extra capacity has also allowed the brewery to produce well-known Australian brands XXXX Gold, Toohey's Extra Dry and Hahn Super Dry.

The brewery sent out its first mainland beer, XXXX Gold, last winter, and  expressed ambitions at the time to produce 10 million litres of that brand into the future.

Boag's Brewery operations director Jerry Wylie said that now the big dollars had been spent, the business would focus on realising its capability.

``We've got a huge brewing capacity so we've got a lot of headroom to grow and we don't really need much more investment,'' he said.

Mr Wylie said an annual output of 90 million litres would be reached incrementally over some years.

``It has really given us much more flexibility in what we can produce and when we can produce it,'' he said.

The finalisation of the upgrade coincides with a win for the Boag's Draught brew in the best Australian Style Lager category in the International Beer Awards on Thursday night.

Mr Wylie said that while Boag's Premium and Boag's Draught were now well-established in bottle shops and bars across Australia, it was unlikely that favoured Lonnie drops  Wizard's Ale and Boag's XXX  would make it to the mainland stable any time soon.

What is certain, however, is that the ringing of machinery and clinking bottles in the brewery will continue  for some time yet - just as it has for more than 130 years.

``I think Lion's investment in Boag's shows that Boag's is here to stay,'' Mr Wylie said.

Boag's Brewery operations director Jerry Wylie and State Growth Minister Matthew Groom looking over the recently completed brewery upgrades. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

Boag's Brewery operations director Jerry Wylie and State Growth Minister Matthew Groom looking over the recently completed brewery upgrades. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON

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