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Port’s historic woolstores to house new Pirate Life brewery

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Pirate Life Brewing’s new $15 million brewery and bar venue in Port Adelaide will be located in the historic woolstores in Barlow Street and almost quadruple its annual production to more than 11 million litres.

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In a statement this morning, the State Government said the new facility would be one of the largest craft breweries in South Australia, and would offer “ample room for growth”.

InDaily reported last year that the business had outgrown its inner-city base in Hindmarsh, where it was started in 2014 by West Australian father-and-son team Michael and Jack Cameron and Jack’s mate Jared “Red” Proudfoot, but at the time the exact location of the new brewery was not disclosed.

Since then, Pirate Life has been acquired by major international brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), which is based in Belgium.

The State Government will contribute $2 million from its Economic Investment Fund to the redevelopment of the historic woolstores site, with Premier Jay Weatherill saying the brewery and venue would create more than 80 jobs and become “a key tourism drawcard for the Port”.

Pirate Life chief executive John Phinney also spruiked the government partnership, adding, “we couldn’t be happier about building what will be Australia’s best craft brewing destination in Port Adelaide”.

It is being described as a “state-of-the-art” facility , with 100 per cent of its purchased electricity to be sourced from renewables by 2025.

The original Hindmarsh brewery will be turned into an “innovation centre” focused on research and development, training, and the production of specialty beers.

Although some craft beer fans had expressed disappointment over the news of the AB InBev acquisition, Pirate Life said in a post on its website in December that the backing of the big brewer had enabled it to “dust off the original plans and get to work building our dream brewery down at Port Adelaide”.

“Not only are we able to build a state of the art brewery with support of people who have done it multiple times around the world, but we can also open a one of a kind hospitality venue,” it said.

Port Adelaide’s woolstore buildings date back to the mid to late 19th-century, when the suburb became the hub of the lucrative wool trade, and have been earmarked for redevelopment for both commercial and residential use.

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