The state government has announced a $198,442 grant for Lucky Bay Brewing to assist in the business' expansion, further support the local grains industry and ensure local employment opportunities.
The funds are part of a $922,662 investment in the Goldfields-Esperance region, the first round of the state government's $23.9 million Regional Economic Development program.
The program will see nine Regional Development Commissions administer the funds over a four year period to support Aboriginal training and drive new tourism development opportunities.
During a visit to the boutique brewery on Friday afternoon, February 22, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the grants would provide an opportunity to focus on community-led projects which will boost the regional economy and create local jobs.
“This [grant] will help fund a big project that this company [Lucky Bay Brewing] is undertaking as it moves its premises," she said.
"It’s time for this enterprise to grow and to really develop its tourism potential as well as its beer production potential.
"By moving to the new premises, they will be able to be closer to a tourism market and allow them to expand.
"This is what the Regional Economic Development grants are all about - helping to create business opportunities.
"This is a great agriculture process and tourism project.
"The fact that they are using local barley, local agricultural product - the benefits for all sectors are incredible here.”
Although the current site had been a great starting point, owners Nigel Metz and Robyn Cail agreed it was time to move forward and expand the business.
Mr Metz said the grant announcement meant the expansion plans were finally coming together.
"Until now, we didn’t have full finance in place," he said.
"We had a plan in place, and knew what it was going to cost, but hadn’t actually been into the bank and secured that full finance and that’s because we have only just had subdivision approval for the site in the last three weeks.
"There have been a few key trigger points, and one of them was three weeks ago, but to have this come in on top of that… it’s finally all coming together.
"If you’d spoken to me two or three months ago, I was still unsure how we were going to make this happen.
"We had aspirations and the best bet plan in place.
"It wasn’t until today, or the last few weeks, that it was like ‘oh my goodness, it really can happen’.
"Even in this design phase, we can go into our local designers and have it professionally drawn up.
"I’m looking forward to making this a good venue."
Ms Cail said it was the passion to keep Esperance vibrant and promote the region that drove the pair.
"The thing that drives our passion and our energy to keep this going is that we are very genuine about wanting to help to keep the Esperance community vibrant," she said.
"It’s about local.
"It’s about a really genuine link to our farmers, to our community, to local product, local music, local everything to show Esperance as a region that you want to live in, visit, be part of and are proud of.
"That vibrancy of community is what Lucky Bay Brewing is about.
"With Nigel’s background, we’ve been extremely fortunate to use local barley and wheat, unmalted, directly from the paddock to the brewery.
"We are the only paddock in Australia doing that because of the beer science Nigel has brought to this business."