• Coopers Brewery's planned Regent Park development. Source: Coopers Brewery
    Coopers Brewery's planned Regent Park development. Source: Coopers Brewery
  • Coopers Brewery's planned Regent Park development. Source: Coopers Brewery
    Coopers Brewery's planned Regent Park development. Source: Coopers Brewery

In its 160th year, Coopers Brewery will invest $50 million in the construction of a new world-class visitor centre, microbrewery and whisky distillery at its Regency Park site.

Coopers managing director Dr Tim Cooper said it was opportune to be making the announcement in the 160th year of the sixth-generation family company.

The new project will bring the total investment at Regency Park to nearly $400 million since 1999.

“This is an ambitious project which will showcase Australian beer to the world. We’re very proud of our story over the past 160 years, arising from humble beginnings to prevail as an Australian-owned and operated brewery despite wars, recessions and takeover offers,” Cooper said.

As part of the development, a new 3200 litre microbrewery will be prominently displayed and will allow the Coopers brewing team to develop more craft-style beers to supplement its current portfolio. The microbrewery will be used in the regular creation of new ales and lagers for the visitor centre.

Next to the microbrewery will be a whisky distillery with a 9600 litre wash still and a 5500 litre spirit still. Material for the wash still will come from the microbrewery. The plan is to produce 200,000 bottles per year, but consumers will need to wait some years before the finished product can be sampled.

“We have been thinking about malt whisky for some time as we see it as a natural extension to our on-site maltings and our experience in brewing and fermentation,” Cooper said.

“Our goal is to achieve the highest possible level of spirit quality to match our reputation in brewing. Having our own maltings will allow us to tell the whole story from the barley grower to the whisky glass.”

Louise and Tim Cooper. Source: Coopers

This is the second major capital expenditure announcement by Coopers in four months.

In November, Coopers revealed plans for a $15 million 5500 square metre expansion to its warehousing facilities at Regency Park. The expansions will boost beer storage capacity at the brewery by almost 50 per cent, allowing Coopers to store the entirety of its product on site. 

Sixth generation family members and cousins, Andrew Cooper and Louise Cooper, have been closely involved in the design and planning process of the new centre, which includes designated hospitality and industry areas.

“With this new visitor centre we aim to provide another compelling reason for tourists to come to South Australia and enjoy an authentic and immersive beer cellar door experience,” said export manager Andrew Cooper.

As well as the microbrewery and whiskey distillery, the visitor centre expansion will include:

  • restaurant and bar
  • outdoor plaza dining
  • dedicated tasting room
  • interactive history display. 

Strategy development manager Louise Cooper said the proposed development is hoped to be completed in time to welcome its first visitors by Christmas next year.

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