Shelter Brewing Co secures $250k for expansion

Matt Credaro, Mike Credaro, WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, Asher Packard-Hair and Chris Credaro in front of the new Shelter Brewing Co development. Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Matt Credaro, Mike Credaro, WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, Asher Packard-Hair and Chris Credaro in front of the new Shelter Brewing Co development. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

The expansion of Busselton's 1,800 square metre foreshore microbrewery is set to be fast-tracked after the state government committed $250,000 to increase its processing capacity.

Geographe Bay Brewing Company was one of five across the South-West to receive a share in more than $570,000 as part of the state government's latest Regional Economic Development Grants.

The company, owned by the Credaro and Packard-Hair families, is expected to use the grant to purchase a brewing and canning production system that would enable it to enter the international market.

The two-storey establishment, Shelter Brewing Co, will also feature a 500-seat restaurant.

WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, who travelled to Busselton to make the announcement on January 24, said the grants were about trying to encourage the diversification of the economy in regional areas.

"Tourism is a vital economic contributor to the South-West and, through our Regional Economic Development grants, the McGowan Government is building further on our recent success in securing the first ever direct flights into Busselton," she said.

"New hospitality and tourism-based projects will create local jobs and opportunities for the community: brewery projects at Busselton and Wokalup will enhance WA's craft brewing industry, which is worth $100 million to the state and growing rapidly.

"Boosting local manufacturing capability in the hemp industry will also offer more diversified jobs which go a long way to build stronger and more sustainable regional communities.

"This particular round is perhaps a little monodimensional in that it is very much tourism and hospitality related.

"Ideally, we like to get a mix of businesses. Although it is perhaps not as diverse as the suite of projects we usually have, these are very worthy projects."

The state government allocated $150,000 to upgrade the 114-year-old Wokalup Tavern's facade, a project that is expected to create up to 10 full-time jobs.

The grant is also expected to contribute to the establishment of the new Brugan Brewery and the relocation of the existing bottle shop just south of Harvey.

Southern Forests Blackwood Valley Tourism Association received almost $75,000 to build on its tourism capability, allowing for a range of marketing and infrastructure activities designed to increase visitation and tourism spending.

Vasse Valley hemp was allocated $50,000 to support the development of the first large-scale commercial hemp seed processing facility in WA.

The facility is set to feature state-of-the-art equipment for the storage, cleaning, roasting and packaging of hemp foods and the commercial expansion is expected to create diversification and training opportunities for producers state-wide.

Mrs MacTiernan said she believed WA had the capacity to build the hemp food industry and that the state government had been proactive in making the necessary legislative changes to allow the industry to grow.

The Shire of Nannup took home the remaining $47,000 share to allow for the installation of trail infrastructure at Foreshore Park to support the town to become an accredited 'Trails Town'.

The project involves a multipurpose wash-down bay and bike maintenance equipment, signage and the construction of a path from the town centre to mountain bike trails.

Mrs MacTiernan said it was about supporting the shire to make the most of its natural beauty and capitalise on its tourism potential.