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Coopers Brewery plans $50 million whiskey distillery and visitors centre

Manufacturing News

The largest Australian owned brewery Coopers Brewery has announced plans to enter the whiskey market and will build a $50 million visitor centre, microbrewery and whisky distillery at its Regency Park site in Adelaide (pictured).

In its 160th year, privately-owned Coopers has its eyes on domestic and international tourists with the investment which brings total investment at the site to more than $400 million.

Coopers Managing Director Dr Tim Cooper said: “We’re very proud of our story over the past 160 years, arising from humble beginnings to prevail as an Australian-owned and operated brewery despite wars, recessions and takeover offers.

“This new visitor centre is about celebrating our history and our originality, with an emphasis on what makes Coopers different.”

The new centre will include a restaurant and bar, outdoor plaza dining, dedicated tasting room, interactive history display, microbrewery, whiskey distillery and underground stillage for whisky maturation.

“Although we’ve been running brewery tours since 2006, this extensive development will augment and expand the guest experience, creating a lasting impression for new visitors and an ongoing connection for our loyal consumers with new tour and tasting experiences.”

Coopers released images of the two-storey centre – inspired by the iconic Coopers’ label rondel – which includes a sloping amphitheatre showcasing the brewery grounds and malting house.

A tree-lined promenade will extend from a new entry from Regency Road surrounded by extensive natural landscaping, while a window-lined bridge will link the new development to the existing brewery building.

A new 3200 L microbrewery will be prominently displayed and will allow the Coopers brewing team to develop more craft-style beers to supplement its current portfolio.

Adjacent to the microbrewery will be a whisky distillery comprising a 9,600 litre wash still and a 5,500 litre spirit still.

Coopers initial objective is to produce 200,000 bottles per year, though consumers will need to wait some years before the finished product can be sampled.

Dr Cooper said: “We have been thinking about malt whisky for some time as we see it as a natural extension to our on-site maltings and our experience in brewing and fermentation.

“Our goal is to achieve the highest possible level of spirit quality to match our reputation in brewing.

“Having our own maltings will allow us to tell the whole story from the barley grower to the whisky glass.”

Sixth generation family members and cousins, Andrew Cooper and Louise Cooper, have been closely involved in the design and planning process of the new centre.

Construction is expected to begin around mid-2022 pending Council approval.

The distillery is the second major capital expenditure announcement by Coopers in four months following plans for a $15 million 5,500 square metre expansion to its warehousing facilities at Regency Park.

Picture: Coopers Brewery

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