Pirate Life’s Port Adelaide brewery open for business

Popular craft brewer Pirate Life will celebrate the completion of its $15 million new Port Adelaide brewery and canning facility this month, coinciding with the business’s fourth birthday.

The new brewery will allow Pirate Life to brew eight million litres of beer at the Port to keep up with national demand, compared to the three million litres at its current Hindmarsh facility.

The original site at Hindmarsh will still operate, dedicated to creating new and innovative beers, while the Port Adelaide brewery will take on the big sellers lager, pale ale, and IPA.

Pirate Life co-founder Michael Cameron says the brewery intends to brew between 40 and 45 new beers this year.

It’s been a big couple of months for Pirate Life, which was bought in November 2018 by Carlton and United Breweries, a subsidiary of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Pirate Life’s new facility in Port Adelaide will allow for a significant boost in production volumes.

“We’ve been working on Pirate Life at the Port for more than 12 months and we’ve come so far,” says Pirate Life co-founder Michael Cameron.

“While our original Hindmarsh brewery, bar and shop will remain open for business, the Port brewery represents a vital injection of cultural at an exciting time benefitting the area’s resurgence.

“Our new brewhouse in the expansive, proud old 1938 Dalgety Wool Store really is a sight to behold. From the brewery to the bar, the food offerings and our ongoing events schedule, we reckon you’ll love being there as much as we do. We’re just four years old but we’ve got a lot to celebrate.”

Pirate Life will celebrate the completed expansion at a free public event on Saturday, March 9, unveiling the new tap house with a 22-yard main bar, the size of a cricket pitch.

A line of eight new limited release birthday beers will be revealed, complementing old favourites and newer creations.

Pirate Life founders Michael Cameron, left, Jared Proudfoot and Jack Cameron.

Pirate Life was founded four years ago after its three founders Jack Cameron, Jared Proudfoot and Michael Cameron said goodbye to their lives in WA, driving across the Nullarbor to make a new home SA and launch their new venture. All three had built established careers in craft breweries and in the beer market.

Pirate Life CEO John Phinney says SA beer lovers have shown the company a “great deal of respect and support” since its establishment.

“On top of that, we’ve had incredible backing from the State Government, our colleagues at Carlton and United Breweries, and our new neighbours at the Port Adelaide Council, and we’re very appreciative of that,” he says.

“Now it’s time for us to share the love … and we encourage everyone to drop in and stay a while.”

The Pirate Life’s fourth birthday celebrations are on Saturday, March 9, 2–5pm. Grammy nominated brass band Hot 8 Brass Band will perform, touring all the way from New Orleans.

Free buses will depart from the Port Adelaide Train Station, Gilbert Street Hotel and Adelaide Train Station to the brewery. For more details on the event click here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

[logooos_saved id=”13411″]


Grand projects boosting fortunes of Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide is officially hip as its colonial buildings and rich maritime history attracts a surge in investment to reinvigorate its unique riverfront streets.

More than 20 new businesses opened their doors last year alone with Australian Tax Office figures showing the region recorded the most start-ups in the state.

New hotels, on-trend eateries, fashion stores, craft brewers and pubs have opened their doors, with some of the state’s heaviest hitters turning their attention to its grand collection of State Heritage-listed colonial buildings.

Among them, the team behind popular city spots Clever Little Tailor and Pink Moon Saloon have helped reopen Port Adelaide’s oldest existing building after it stood empty for 10 years.

The Port Admiral Hotel was reopened and rejuvenated after being empty for a decade. Photo: City of Port Adelaide Enfield.

Now the Port Admiral Hotel – built in 1849 on Black Diamond Corner – is bustling and is even brewing its own beer called Port Local, with director Crispian Fielke saying it was a project too good to ignore.

“It’s a magical time for Port Adelaide, there’s no opportunity like this left in South Australia, there’s the promise and the possibilities that are really exciting, the opportunity is incredible,” he says.

Port Adelaide Enfield Mayor Claire Boan says resident and visitor numbers are flourishing as grand projects boost the fortunes of the once bustling harbor that was a gateway for thousands of migrants keen to settle in the promising new colony of SA.

Nearby Techport at Osborne is benefiting from an $89 billion national submarine and ship build announced for the Royal Australian Navy with new work expected to create some 6000 local jobs.

Port Adelaide Enfield Mayor Claire Boan says more people are choosing to live in Port Adelaide as big projects boost the fortunes of the area. Photo: City of Port Adelaide Enfield.

“Over the next six years, the site will be developed in Osborne by Lend Lease for the building of the frigates, at a cost of $1.6 billion,” Claire says.

“A shed, 10 storeys high and big enough to fit in Adelaide Oval, will be built that will eventually house the two completed frigates built by BAE, side by side, all securely undercover.”

Meanwhile, two major new housing developments are also happening in the port, as the council sees a 3.1% increase in its gross regional product.

Starfish Developments intends to build 750 new homes on the waterfront at Dock One while Cedar Woods has plans for 500 homes in a $160 million development at Fletcher’s Slip.

“In the next five years I can see Port Adelaide going forward in leaps and bounds as there are more people living in the Port and working in the area,” Claire says.

The SA Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide. Photo: City of Port Adelaide Enfield.

Government is also taking the rejuvenation seriously, moving 400 city jobs to Port Adelaide this year and planning for the train line to be extended to bring passengers all the way to Dock One in the near future.

Claire says increasing numbers of tourists including more passengers from cruise ships are docking at Outer Harbor, choosing to climb aboard a new local hop on, hop off tourist bus service.

Local council is playing its part, with work well under way to highlight the port’s history in a new way finding project.

Pirate Life craft beer brewery is sharing the commitment to heritage as its founders create a new production line plus a 300-seat venue with a beer garden and 23m long bar in an historic woolshed in Barlow Street.

Pirate Life’s new brewery is under construction. Photo: Pirate Life.

Joint founder Michael Cameron (a.k.a MC) and his partners, son Jack and Jared Proudfoot, are originally from Western Australia where Jack worked at much-loved Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle.

“We wanted to open here because we have faith in the future of the Port,” MC says.

Further along St Vincent Street the owners of the Port Mall are spending $45 million and creating 300 new jobs as they expand and rejuvenate the shopping centre into the Port Adelaide Plaza. And marine biologists Daniella Guevara and Kor-jent Van Dijk have joined forces to share their love of authentic Mexican food at another new venue, La Popular Taqueria.

They transformed an old computer repair shop in historic St Vincent Street using 100-year-old salvaged timber from the nearby historic Port Admiral Hotel for their counter and tabletops.

Large scale murals can be found in Port Adelaide, painted as part of the Wonderwalls street art festivals. Photo: City of Port Adelaide Enfield.

“More people are coming to the Port, we can already see the difference in the year we have been opened,” Daniella says.

After successfully reinvigorating the likes of Leigh Street and Peel Street in the city, the Ginos Group is also taking a punt on Port Adelaide, buying three old wool stores near the Dock One development.

While on a bend in the Port River, one of the area’s earlier transformations continues to inspire local creativity.

Once home to an iconic flour company, Hart’s Mill is an architecture award-winning cultural hub hosting live music, markets and an outdoor cinema. It’s been central to Port Adelaide’s 2015 and 2017 Wonderwalls street art festivals where street artists created striking pieces on buildings.

“We’re like the heritage capital of SA really and we’re trying to use that as a basis to a lot of what we’re doing here,” Mayor Claire Boan adds.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

[logooos_saved id=”13411″]

Boost after buyouts of SA businesses

The recent sale of several high-profile South Australian food and beverage manufacturing companies has presented new growth opportunities due to significant capital injection, without sacrificing the input of local talent and leadership.

Udder Delights Cheese, Pirate Life Brewery and MOJO Kombucha are all now owned by international corporations, but the local entrepreneurs who formed these companies have remained at their helm.

They say new ownership has strengthened these SA-based operations and increased the SA workforce, rather than having enforced changes applied to existing operations.

Udder Delights founder Sheree Sullivan says the Lobethal-based cheese producer has continued to prosper since giant Japanese dairy company Snow Brand purchased a majority shareholding in November 2017.

She underlines that foreign investment has provided an essential platform for growth that most local people don’t realise, while Sheree and her husband Saul have remained in the roles of chief executive and managing director respectively.

Udder Delights is led by Sheree and Saul Sullivan.

“Many people just think we’re sold out, and there has been negative social media messages posted, but these people don’t understand how important it is for SA to have international business investment such as this,” explains Sheree.

“This has ensured that Udder Delights can continue to grow stronger as a SA manufacturer, far beyond what we could invest in the company.”

In the year since the change of ownership, Udder Delights has recorded 35% growth in sales, while $1 million infrastructure improvements have been made at the Lobethal factory in the Adelaide Hills, with another $1 million earmarked for further development in the next few years, based on the Sullivans’ suggestions.

“We continue to put together the vision of what we want the business to look like,” says Sheree.

“We still have ambitions for the company to grow, and Saul is now more focused on product development. Before the sale, he was under too much pressure and had too little free time to think creatively and innovate. Now he has the headspace and motivation to start testing new cheeses again.”

The Udder Delights factory in Lobethal.

The Sullivans say this positive sign emphasises that the new company ownership structure has quickly settled into a productive rhythm and is playing to Udder Delights’ enduring strengths.

“Our investors have seen the value in keeping the entrepreneurs who started this company, because they couldn’t do the same things themselves. They respect our ingenuity and vision,” says Sheree.

“They also understand that we bring experience and knowledge to the new company structure, while they’ve lifted the company’s performance in areas where we didn’t do so well. With the sum of all this, we can see that the company is thriving.”

In September 2018, Willunga husband and wife team Anthony and Sarah Crabb sold their company MOJO Kombucha to Coca-Cola. What started a decade earlier with experimental blobs of bacteria and yeast in their back shed to create an innovative drink that was initially sold at farmers’ markets and health food shops, made the transition to supermarkets.

This saw annual turnover rise to $7 million a year, making it the market leader in kombucha drinks and attracting the attention of Coke.

MOJO CEO and co-founder Anthony Crabb with some of the kombucha products.

While MOJO grew quickly through its initial decade without significant external funding, additional capital was needed for it to remain market leader in this rapidly-expanding drinks sector, and the purchase offer from Coke suited the Crabbs’ purposes perfectly.

“While other investment options had been considered, the proposition by Coke was the most attractive and beneficial,” explains MOJO director of sales and marketing Andrew Buttery.

“It allowed Anthony to continue in his role and run the business from its Willunga base as an independent operation, with the benefit of plugging into Coke’s sales and marketing network. This was the best option to take the business to another level, both nationally and internationally.”

Mojo expects to double its sales volume in 2019 as a consequence of Coke’s reach beyond grocery stores into petrol and convenience stores, and on-premise hospitality venues – all happening from a SA production base.

“The ownership transition has been smooth, albeit going through a steep learning curve,” says Andrew. “The support Anthony is getting from the Coke team has been first class, and we expect a big future.”

From left to right: Co-founder Jack Cameron – Hon. David Ridgway MLC, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment – Pirate Life CEO John Phinney – Senior Project Manager Josh Smith from Promanage Australia.

Pirate Life has immediately benefitted since being purchased in November 2018 by Carlton & United Breweries, a subsidiary of Belgium-based international drinks company Anheuser-Busch InBev.

A new $10 million Pirate Life brewery and canning facility is being constructed at Port Adelaide, due to be completed in March. It will enable the popular craft brewer to escalate annual production from about three million litres to about eight million litres, to meet growing national demand.

It also means the company is able to operate two facilities, with its original Hindmarsh brewery now dedicated to creating new beers, including innovative sours and barrel-aged brews.

Pirate Life is expecting continued growth following on from its takeover by Carlton & United Breweries.

Pirate Life co-founder and chief brewer Jared Proudfoot says the sale will enable continued growth for the company that has enjoyed immediate popularity since releasing its first beers in March 2015.

“The reality is we have run out of capacity at Hindmarsh. With this partnership we’re in a fortunate position to upgrade to a new, bigger brewery while dedicating Hindmarsh to innovate and craft a whole range of new styles to make sure we keep pushing the boundaries and evolving.

“Our whole team is sticking around and it’s invaluable for all of us to be able to benefit from the knowledge and skills of some of the best brewers in the world.”

Industry in focus: Trade and Investment

Throughout the months of January and February, the state’s trade and investment industry will be explored as part of I Choose SA.

South Australia is in a prime position for trade and investment opportunities as we have a 24-hour connection to international markets and a prime reputation for our premium products and services.  Read more trade and investment stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

[logooos_saved id=”13411″]

[logooos_saved id=”35109″]