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Bickford's brews up bid for new KI craft brewery

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Adelaide beverage company Bickford’s has set its sights on a parcel of public land on Kangaroo Island to build a brewery, testing the Weatherill government’s unsolicited proposal guidelines.

Bickford’s has lodged an unsolicited proposal to build a craft distillery and microbrewery in the former Kingscote Police Station, cells and nearby land in the Kingscote Wharf precinct on the island.

Supporting the Bickford’s application, Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the proposed brewery would enhance South Australia’s reputation for food and beverage assets.

“Premium food and wine is a strong drawcard for visitors to South Australia, and we believe there is scope to expand the industry,” he said.

“With a yearly average of more than 60,000 people visiting Kangaroo Island from interstate and overseas, we’re keen to explore opportunities to help expand the local tourism industry and create new jobs.”

Established in 1839 by chemist William Bickford, the company is one of Australia’s oldest brands and known for its traditional-style cordials and juices.

The new proposal isn’t the first craft brewery planned for Kangaroo Island.

InDaily reported in August this year that the Kangaroo Island Brewing Company was establishing a brewery at Cygnet River.

KI already hosts a boutique distillery – KI Spirits.

Hunter said the government would only allow the brewery to go ahead if it delivered value for money for taxpayers and met all the relevant legislative requirements.

“The proponents will prepare a detailed business case, which will be considered by Government and the development – and any potential sale of Crown Land – would need to comply with the relevant assessment process,” he said

“The community will have its chance to have their say through the assessment process, with details of the community consultation to be announced over the course of the assessment.”

The government developed guidelines for unsolicited proposals following its controversial decision to deal exclusively with one company over the sale of a parcel of crown land at Gillman.

InDaily has contacted Bickford’s for comment.

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