Plans to transform a defunct heritage site into a microbrewery, cellar door, function centre, and accommodation provider – while creating 13 new jobs in the process – are being backed by a $400,000 State Government grant.
The $1.7 million project will breathe new life into the Jacka Brothers Brewery, located at the base of Mount Remarkable.
The site is owned by the Hobbs family, who are proposing to turn the historic buildings in Melrose into a significant destination landmark for the region with flow-on benefits into the Clare Valley and Outback.
The expansion will support the growing tourism demand in the region.
The State Government has offered the company a $410,000 grant to advance the project and assist with construction of a function centre to host weddings, special events and corporate retreats.
Thirteen full-time jobs are expected to be created by the time all four stages of the project are completed.
Some of the buildings onsite were originally constructed in 1877 as a flour mill and were sold in 1893 to brothers William and Joseph Jacka for brewing beer.
The brewery closed down in 1934 due to The Great Depression.
The site was owned by the Slee family for more than 80 years. Mrs Diana Slee sold the site in December 2016 to Dale and Michelle Hobbs after being inspired by their vision to restore all of the buildings and establish a multi-function tourism and hospitality precinct.
Buildings onsite today include a five-story brewery tower, nineteenth century cottage, a shed that was originally constructed to bottle beer, but was adapted for sheep shearing in the 1930s and a stout cellar.
The Regional Development Fund (RDF) drives economic growth through grants to boost investment in regional infrastructure and the creation of jobs in South Australia.
The RDF has been independently assessed by Ernst and Young. This assessment showed that projects supported by the RDF in the 2016/17 financial year alone would make an economic contribution to the state of over $1 billion and create over 3000 regional jobs.
Quotes attributable to Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock:
The Jacka Brothers Brewery project will be a significant addition to the southern Flinders Ranges’ tourism offerings.
The newly revamped site will provide excellent linkages for those travelling through the Clare Valley to the Flinders Ranges and Outback.
This grant offer is a testament to Dale and Michelle’s vision – which has plenty of support from surrounding businesses, the District Council of Mount Remarkable, local churches, and the Mount Remarkable Agricultural Society.
Quotes attributable to Jacka Brothers Brewery director Dale Hobbs:
Michelle and I are thrilled at this offer of funding support from the Regional Development Fund – it will go a long way towards helping us to realise our vision for the site faster than expected.
We expect that the site will showcase our fantastic local produce and food and we’ll have a venue where we can cater events for up to 800 people.
Jacka Brothers Brewery is seeking to appeal to the adventurous and the adventurous at heart. We have a stunning natural backdrop that we’re keen to show off to the world.