THE Derwent Valley has a new local brewery, with the Welcome Swallow Brewery opening its doors to the public last weekend.
The brewery is the project of Nigel Graham, a self-confessed crazy homebrewer, and Elias Eichler, who over their 20 years of friendship grew their love for homebrewing, until in 2019 they took the jump in to a full-blown operation.
“We started entering local competitions, started winning local awards, then national awards, every home brewer has the dream of opening their own establishment, and we saw this opportunity come up,” Mr Graham said.
The project started in October 2019 when they secured their current taproom, an existing workshop on Ring Road, built for the Royal Derwent Hospital, but Covid caused the brewery opening to take a back-seat, and the business to switch up their distribution.
“Covid came in March 2019, we were in the middle of renovating the workshop and our business plan got turned on its head overnight.
“We had to shift to selling cans and takeaways, which allowed us to tread water from when we brewed our first beers here in July, up until now.”
“What we have now is what we were going for when we started, a taproom.”
Mr Graham has plans to supply the brewery with their own hops from the family farm in Lachlan, to add to the ingredients already finding their way into the beers, like raspberries.
The Welcome Swallow had their ticket and capacity allocation completely sold out over their opening weekend, and plans to hold more events, especially when their social distancing capacity increases, could see another haven for beer lovers in the Valley.
“My favourite beer is my next one,” Mr Graham said, showing the driving force behind brewing is their love for the process and product.