The upswing in new brewery openings continues with the opening of Riverside Brewing in NSW, the creation of a microbrewery in new luxury hotel 115 Kew in Melbourne and the application for a liquor license by a proposed brewery also in NSW, the New England Brewing Company.

Located in Western Sydney – an area usually considered a mainstream lager hub – Riverside Brewing is cranking up their brewhouse and getting ready to churn out some local beers for Parramatta-based fans of the amber nectar.

Soon to be working on a 20 hectolitre system – purchased from Mountain Goat Brewery in Melbourne – brewer David Padden says the brewery is making the most of their 200 litre pilot brewing system to supply their already vocal fans and a few choice venues throughout Sydney.

Describing their flagship Summer Ale – described as an American-style Wheat Beer with galaxy hops – as their ‘gateway’ beer, the team are also knocking out some brews for the hop addicts with their IPA – hopped with four varieties including Amarilla – and their Pale Ale – hopped with Cascade – covering the traditional craft styles of choice while their American Amber Ale is a bolt out of the blue – a super hoppy ale made with a touch of chocolate malt to add some punch.

While the two man team – Padden and business partner Stephen Pann – are currently bottling their brews, they are looking forward to soon delivery 50 litre kegs to interested beer bars and restaurants within three to four weeks.

And it is restaurants that will be the major push for the partners as they aim to get maximum exposure for the as yet unknown brand. In an impressive move, they have two taps installed at Courtney’s Brasserie – a Parramatta institution known for its focus on the best seasonal, local produce, something which resonates with the aims of Riverside. They are also looking at kegerator systems for restaurants that don’t have tap capability.

Meanwhile Best Western Australasia’s first Premier-branded property – Hotel 115 Kew – is an upscale hotel that is set to offer rooms featuring Apple iMac minis, 42-inch LCD screens and mini bars stocked with house-made brews. Owned by veteran hotelier Phil Hateley, the hotel features a brand new microbrewery is located in the property’s signature restaurant and is in the capable hands of Bryce Hateley, Phil’s son. According to the hotel, once beers are bottles in the coming months they will be offered to guests in the bars, eateries and in guestroom mini bars. No word yet on just what they are brewing.

And the very latest potential brewery on the cards is the New England Brewing Company, who lodged their applications for a Liquor License at the beginning of July. Slated to be located in Rockvale – northeast of Armidale in NSW – they are the newest craft brewery on the cards in an ever-expanding range in Australia.

No further details are available at this point, however, there is many hoops to yet be jumped before this latest venture becomes a reality. According to David Padden, while the craft beer scene is going “gangbusters” on the consumer front, the brewery scene has some way to go. This is mainly due to the maze of red tape that potential brewers have to navigate in order to get a license, never mind the potential development application minefield with local councils. Riverside took almost 18 months to make it through the various levels of government in order to make the dream a reality – all the while holding down fulltime jobs to support their families.

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