Lockdown’s end sees brewery on the mend

A relieved Tumut River Brewing Co co-proprietor Tim Martin.

The last three months have been challenging for the Tumut River Brewing Co, so Thursday’s end of lockdown announcement was welcome indeed.

“We had heard whispers, but we were thrilled to get a formalised ‘this is what’s going to happen’,” co-proprietor Tim Martin said.

The Sydney lockdown and the regional NSW lockdown enforced on August 14 coincided with the process of planning the brewery’s move to a larger premises on Adelong Road.

It’s been takeaways and deliveries only.

“It’s been a hard run for us and to be able to go back to some kind of normality is amazing,” Mr Martin said.

“There’s no reserves this year. Normally you try to keep a little cash reserves in case something like this happens. In our case, every spare cent has been committed to this move, and we haven’t been able take our foot off the accelerator with that, because we’ve got a deadline to try and get there, so we can’t very well say we won’t spend that money this month; we have to keep pushing forward with that.

“In some ways it has added insult to injury.”

When the move will happen is still very much up in the air, but Mr Martin isn’t blaming anyone for the delay.

“Everyone’s been really great, including council; they’ve been really great with everything so far, but there’s just so many moving parts, and it’s proven to be more and more complicated the more we get through it,” he said.

“We’re down to our last couple of items with council, and we’re down to our last item with our finance.”

Once these are both sorted, he’s still not sure how long until the move happens.

“It’s so close yet so far,” he said.

Christmas may cause further delays.

“There’s delays over Christmas; you can’t get people; there’s a lot of pressure there to get things resolved so construction can begin,” Mr Martin said. 

Giving an approximate time the move will be completed isn’t possible at this point.

“Anything I could say would be a rough guess,” he said.

“Every time I make a guess, it’s wrong. We are still aiming for early in the new year. I would have loved to have got there before Christmas, but there’s no way it’s going to happen with what needs to be done. We’ve definitely missed that boat but as to what time in the new year I don’t know.”

It is going to come down to availability of materials, with some materials that were going to be used now not available.

“Those sort of things are having a big impact on the pricing and time frames,” he said.