Renovations under way for brewery's epic expansion
MAROOCHYDORE craft brewery 10 Toes is in the midst of renovations as it upgrades its brewhouse and doubles its production capacity.
Since opening three years ago at its Sugar Rd location, 10 Toes has experienced "phenomenal" growth, and has just employed a new head brewer and assistant brewer, owner Rupert Hall said.
"We've packed all the equipment into the corner," Mr Hall said.
"Getting ready for the new kit to turn up."
The new equipment included a state-of-the-art micro-canning machine from the US, and a new heater to enable steam-brewing.
Mr Hall and his two new staff were on the road to Brisbane to inspect a centrifuge when he took the Daily's call.
He said the equipment would enable 10 Toes to clarify rather than filter beer, "spinning out the yeast".
New head brewer, American Cody Nelson, was trained in Germany and worked at Modus Operandi brewery in Sydney's northern beaches.
Mr Nelson said he had moved to the Sunshine Coast a few months ago and dropped in to 10 Toes to see whether any work was available.
"He (Rupert) was pretty wide eyed when I said, 'I've been brewing for five years, I studied in Germany'," he said.
"I think he'd been on the look-out for a while...and there I was."
Mr Nelson was excited to be involved in the expansion and with "all the new machinery", he said.
"At Modus we would be doing four brews in a day...I had to be really good at multitasking," he said.
"Your mind has to be in 12 different places at once and it's very physically demanding - and mentally very stimulating."
The brewery's new assistant brewer, Andrew Whiteman, is a former radiographer of 20 years experience and passionate home brewer ready for a change.
Mr Hall said his confidence to invest in his business' expansion was partly due to a federal government increase in excise relief for Australian breweries.
From July 1, eligible alcohol manufacturers have been able to claim a refund of 60 per cent on the excise duty they paid on their products to a maximum of $100,000 - up from $30,000.
"It allows us to employ more people," he said.
The upgraded brewery will not quite be at the scale of machinery Mr Hall used to work with in the mines, but he said it was getting there.
His brewery will soon produce about 14,000 litres a week, with fermentation space of 24,000 litres.
A further expansion is planned for next year, when an additional 5000 litres per week will come on stream, Mr Hall said.