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Bickford's microbrewery, accommodation for McLaren Vale


SA beverage producer Bickford’s has been given the green light to begin developing a new microbrewery, restaurant and 15 tourist accommodation units at its Beresford Estate in McLaren Vale.

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Bickfords was given development approval from the state’s planning body this week and aims to begin construction in the new year.

Group sales and marketing manager Chris Illman told InDaily the $9.36 million development was “shovel ready” with a builder to be appointed early in 2021.

He said the development was anticipated to take 12-18 months and committed to being complete in 2022.

The plan will add Bickford’s beer brand Vale Brewing into the Beresford Estates McLaren Vale site and includes tourist accommodation, an indoor and outdoor dining area. The associated micro-brewery – to be known as the Vale Brewing Taphouse – will be able to cater for up to 200 people.

An artist’s render of one of the new Beresford accommodation units. Image: Supplied.

Famously known for its cordials, South Australian brand Bickford’s bought the Beresford Winery as part of its alcohol portfolio in 2012.

Illman said 15 single-storey tourist pods were intended to be split across two buildings and sit on either side of the existing Beresford tasting pavilion, which was built in 2015.

He said nine of the two-person accommodation units would be “premium,” while the remaining six ­– slightly larger units – would be “super-premium” and targeted towards VIP guests.

The Vale Brewing Taphouse will sit alongside the high-end block of accommodation units.

The development follows the acquisition of the South Australian owned Vale Brewing by Bickford’s Group in 2017.

As part of the sale, Bickford’s also took on the Fox Hat Brewing brand, which now falls under the alcohol division of the Bickford’s Group, Vok Beverages.

“We will look to hero the Vale and Fox Hat portfolio,” Illman said.

“Fox Hat’s traditional home is in the Fleurieu Peninsula area, so we are really looking forward to bringing that tap room to life in the region next to Beresford Estate, which is our wine trademark.

“And this particular location is nestled in Blewitt Springs, so it’s a slightly quieter location.

“Wrapped around the Vale tap-room are our estates: estate Grenache, estate Chardonnay, estate Shiraz and Cabernet, so the tap-room itself will be interspersed and mingled in with some premium vineyards.”

An artist’s render of the Vale Brewing Taphouse. Image: Supplied

To make way for the development, about 8298sq m of vines from the existing Beresford vineyard will be removed, as well as surrounding vegetation and a River Red Gum, which grows on the proposed accommodation site.

The proposal said the remaining trees would be protected and integrated into the development.

As part of the planning approval, Bickford’s is required to pay $192 to the Planning and Development Fund to “ensure sufficient replacement trees can be provided for following removal” of the River Red Gum.

A new road into the micro-brewery and restaurant below the current Ingoldby Road is also set to be created as part of the development.

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