Akasha are ending 2022 with a bang, with the Sydney brewery taking over The Edwards which they plan to install a brewery inside of next year.
The 300-seat venue in Newcastle West was opened by former Silverchair bassist Chris Joannou in 2014 and Akasha founder Dave Padden says for the moment at least, nothing is changing - including the name and the taps pouring beers by others.
“We bought the place because it's cool,” Dave says. “We love the place; we love everything about it and it was a really great fit with who we are in terms of how they operate, their culture and all that good stuff.”
The news comes just a few months after the brewery opened The Barrel Room by Akasha in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt. It’s a rapid run for the team and Dave says it comes off the back equity crowdfunding campaign earlier in the year which was focused on broadening their hospitality offerings in their home state. Dave says after opening a space near their main brewery in Sydney's inner west, they wanted their next project to be regional.
“We always had our heart set on Newcastle, we've got lots of good fans there already,” Dave says.
He adds that while they did consider building a brewpub from the ground up, The Edwards just ticked too many boxes for them, including from a hospitality perspective.
“Chris [Joannou] is going to be working for us for a while and all the great people that are already there are going to be able to contribute to our hospitality offering at our other venues as well.”
Dave says they’re still designing the brewhouse but it will likely be between eight and 12 hectolitres and they hope to have it installed before the end of next year depending on the planning process. Although The Barrel Room isn’t a production site, Dave says given Newcastle’s distance from their home in Five Dock, they’re eager to have the chance to brew beers for local Akasha fans.
“We thought giving the brewpub experience was important,” Dave says. "We're not just going to go out there and produce the same beers that we produce down here.”
As for what we can expect for the brewery in 2023 and how much more we can see by Akasha in the new year, Dave says, for the moment, they’re looking forward to a well-earned break.
“After the last six months, we might just slow down a little bit,” he says. “With the raise, our main aim was to get an additional two venues in New South Wales which obviously we’ve now done.”