Coopers Taps Whiskey With $50 Million Plan

Coopers Brewery will establish a whiskey distillery and microbrewery under a $50 million expansion plan, which will include a visitor center and dining at the Regency Park base.

The family-owned brewery announced today that it is investing in the future of its site to attract both domestic and international tourists.

The planned visitor center will have a curved design and a sloping amphitheater inspired by the circular Coopers label, with the building to house a 3200L microbrewery and whiskey distillery, along with an associated restaurant, bar and tasting room.

The new development will be linked to Coopers’ existing brewery via a 50m “window-lined bridge” with a 300m2 interactive history display.

The extension, designed by Studio Nine Architects, will also include a new 250-foot “tree-lined” entrance from Regency Road, with the visitor center “surrounded by extensive natural landscaping” featuring 163 trees.

Aerial view of the planned new development of Coopers from North Carpark. Photo: delivered/Studio Nine Architects

Coopers expects development to be complete by Christmas 2023. Construction is expected to begin in mid-year, pending approval by the City of Port Adelaide Enfield Council.

Coopers director Tim Cooper said the “ambitious project” will “show Australian beer to the world”.

“This new visitor center is about celebrating our history and originality, focusing on what makes Coopers different,” he said in a statement.

“While we’ve been hosting brewery tours since 2006, this expanded development will enhance and expand the guest experience, create a lasting impression for new visitors, and create a lasting connection for our loyal consumers with new tour and tasting experiences.”

The 3200L microbrewery will be used to develop more craft beers within the Coopers portfolio, the company says, while also regularly supplying new ales and lagers to the visitor center.

The whiskey still will consist of a 9600L wash still and a 5500L spirit still, with the company aiming to eventually produce 200,000 bottles per year.

“We’ve been thinking about malt whiskey for a while, seeing it as a natural extension of our on-site malt houses and our brewing and fermenting experience,” said Cooper.

“Our goal is to achieve the highest possible level of spirits to match our reputation in brewing. With our own malthouses, we can tell the whole story from the barley grower to the whiskey glass.”

$50 Million Coopers Visitor Center

The expansion comes after Coopers posted a six percent increase in pre-tax profits last fiscal year, with the 2018 decision to move its core range to cans that still pay dividends.

The company posted total beer sales of 82.3 million gallons and a pre-tax profit of $36.5 million for the 12 months to June 30, 2021, compared to $34.3 million the previous year.

The planned $50 million visitor center expansion at Regency Park represents $400 million in investment at the site since the decision to move there from Leabrook in 1999.

Coopers Brewery is Australia’s largest independent family brewery and ranked number 23 InDaily’s 2021 South Australian Business Index of the state’s 100 best companies.

The company is celebrating its 160 this yeare years in operation.

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