South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill today announced that the state government will contribute $2 million towards the development of Pirate Life's Port Adelaide operation. The new 50 hectolitre brewery and venue, which is expected to be ready towards the end of the year, will eventually increase Pirate Life's output to more than 11 million litres annually.
The funding comes from the state government's Economic Investment Fund and, while Pirate Life applied for the grant prior to its sale to AB InBev, the South Australian company was still able to receive the funding under its new ownership.
Jared "Red" Proudfoot, one of Pirate Life's founders, says the South Australian government grant was dependent on jobs growth rather than company size and that the new site will see them create 80 new jobs on top of their 45 current full time employees.
He said support from the government was a contributing factor in also allowing them to bring a significant hospitality offering to Port Adelaide and would help them develop the lab side of their business and, potentially, share the new technology with others.
"The lab that we’re going to put in at Port Adelaide is going to be a big step above what we have at the moment," said Red. "So being able to help and run some samples ... we're going to be open to doing that for whoever approaches us.”
Announcing the grant, the Premier said: "This young South Australian company has quickly distinguished itself in a rapidly growing craft beer market, catching the attention of consumers nationally and internationally.
"Importantly, this new premises will create more than 80 local jobs. Jobs are the State Labor Government’s number one priority, which is why we are investing in projects such as this one. After a few false starts, the Port has entered a new golden era. This development adds to the growing number of workers, visitors and residents coming to the Port, including the new 500-person education building, the Future Submarines project with thousands of workers, 750 new homes at Dock One, private development on the waterfront and the new spur line and train station.
"Pirate Life will be a key tourism drawcard for the Port, and I look forward to seeing the company achieve their goal of becoming one of Australia’s largest craft breweries."
Pirate Life chief executive John Phinney said the team was "stoked to be partnering with the Government to create jobs in Port Adelaide" and said such support influenced their decision to build in Port Adelaide.
"It has been a great experience partnering with government and we couldn’t be happier about building what will be Australia’s best craft brewing destination in Port Adelaide," he said. "We are proud of the history we’ve built and we intend to make sure our growth and upcoming endeavours are a part of both Port Adelaide and South Australia’s future.
"This project will help us deliver on our goal to continue making the best beers in Australia. We are incredibly excited about getting those beers into the pubs, fridges, and hands of our friends all around Australia and the world."
Today's announcement follows last week's news that the South Australian government is providing a $50,000 grant to Big Shed Brewing Concern as well as a million dollar low interest loan. As with Pirate Life, this funding will be used towards Big Shed's proposed second site. That announcement came on the same day the Queensland state government revealed it has succeeded in attracting Scottish giants BrewDog to open a brewery in Brisbane.
“It shows us governments or larger brewers are taking notice of what us smaller guys are doing," said Red, "which I think is really important."
More from today's Media Release:
More than 80 jobs and a $15 million world-class brewery and bar venue will be created at Port Adelaide’s historic woolstores by South Australian craft brewer, Pirate Life Brewing.
The new high-tech facility, which will be one of the largest craft breweries in South Australia, is part of the rejuvenation now underway in the Port.
The new Barlow St site will almost quadruple Pirate Life’s annual production to more than 11 million litres.
The brewery features a new state-of-the-art brewing plant, with 100 percent of its purchased electricity to be sourced from renewables by 2025. The State Government will also contribute $2 million to the historic site’s redevelopment through the Economic Investment Fund.
With plans to become one of the largest craft breweries in Australia, Pirate Life has ambitions to expand the new brewery into the future – with the site offering ample room for growth.
The company will continue to operate its current Hindmarsh brewery, transforming it into an innovation centre focused on research and development, training, and the production of specialty beers.
Pirate Life was founded by father and son, Mick and Jack Cameron, and Jared Proudfoot in 2014. It has grown to be a leading craft brewer, producing award-winning beers predominantly for the Australian market, with exports to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In late 2017, Belgian-based brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) acquired Pirate Life Brewing, adding it to its stable of more than 500 beer brands.
Investment Attraction South Australia has been working closely with Pirate Life to maximise AB InBev’s investment in South Australia.
Susan Close, Member for Port Adelaide said: "This is more great news for the Port and another sign of the growing confidence in the renewal of the district, spearheaded by the State Government and local businesses.
"Combined with other developments including the State Government’s new office building to house 500 public servants, the construction of the Quest hotel and the $50 billion Future Submarines contract, the Port has a very bright future."