Ballarat’s position as the beer capital of Victoria has been cemented with the announcement of a $1.2 million Australian Craft Beer Centre of Excellence.
The centre which received $500,000 in state government funding will work in partnership with Hop Temple off Armstrong Street and will include a brewery, a tasting bar, a teaching space and a function area.
The space which was first proposed in Visit Ballarat’s 2014 Destination Management Plan is expected to create up to 25 full time jobs within five years.
Centre director Brian Taylor said the centre would provide a great asset for the city’s professional micro-brewers as well as promote Ballarat as a destination for beer enthusiasts.
“Ballarat's got a long history of beer and we want to really drive that, especially given the university has the number one beer course in the southern hemisphere,” Mr Taylor said. “Like the wine industry in the past, people want to experience flavour, know where the product has come from and they want a story.”
The centre will partner with Federation University to deliver a range of small courses and programs designed to help educate beer lovers who make the trek to Ballarat.
People want to experience flavour, know where the product has come from and they want a story.Brian Taylor - Australian Craft Beer Centre of Excellence director
The centre’s brew space will also provide a hub for up and coming brewers to hone their craft and develop their business.
FedUni head brewer Dr Peter Aldred said the centre would compliment the university’s academic offering by providing consumers with a greater appreciation of the trade.
“We can do a whole series of courses on things like beer styles, beer faults we find in the industry, and we can talk simply about how beer is made without the hardcore science we do,” Dr Aldred said.
The announcement comes on the back of a wave of craft beer in Ballarat, which has seen the establishment of two new micro-breweries in the past 12 months.
It also follows the announcement Broo Beer Company would be setting up a $100 million brewery which is expected to create 100 ongoing jobs.
In a statement Wendouree MP Sharon Knight said “Ballarat is the craft beer capital of Victoria and soon, people will have new ways to learn about and appreciate the region’s brewing strengths”.
Construction of the centre is expected to begin within 12 months, pending planning applications.