Microbrewery on Halls Gap radar
AGrampians hamlet renowned for its gastronomic delights and award-winning wines could be set to add a microbrewery to its tourism offerings.
Northern Grampians Shire councillors will on Monday consider entering into a lease agreement with Paper Scissors Rock Beer Co to set up business in part of the Halls Gap Hub.
The lease will allow the company to establish a microbrewery-café business operating seven days a week. Monday’s special meeting, in Stawell’s council chamber at 1.30pm, will give councillors the option to give notice of their intention to enter into a lease.
Voting in favour of an officer’s recommendation to approve a lease will not result in the granting of a lease, but will open up the proposal for public comment.
The council will open up submissions on the proposal, which it is required to consider before making a formal decision at a later meeting. Councillors can also vote against the officer’s recommendation.
Council lease administration officer Kylie Allen said in a report prepared for Monday’s meeting that the council called for expressions of interest to lease part of the Halls Gap Hub in April this year.
She said council officers received three formal submissions, which they assessed against set criteria, before determining a preferred applicant. Ms Allen’s report shows the company expressed an interest in leasing part of the hub to establish a boutique microbrewery with diverse international ‘street’ food, brewery tours, beer and food pairing events, produce tastings, brewing master-classes, social events and regional and national beer collaborations.
A spokesman for Paper Scissors Rock Beer Co said the company would like to ‘lay low’ at this stage and allow the council to follow the designated approval process.
If Paper Scissors Rock Beer Co’s proposal is accepted, Halls Gap will become the second Wimmera-southern Mallee town to welcome news of a microbrewery in the past six months.
Hindmarsh Shire Council granted a planning permit for a brewery at the rear of Rainbow’s Eureka Hotel in December last year.
Within Northern Grampians Shire, St Arnaud has a Farmgate Brewery and Distillery and the council is working through the planning process for another brewery in Stawell.