Bucketty’s announces Brookvale brewery

Brewery-in-planning Bucketty’s Brewery has announced that it will open in Brookvale, 100 kilometres away from its original site.

Co-founders Nick and Alexi McDonald will open their brewery and taproom in Brookvale on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, joining the ranks of 7th Day Brewing, 4 Pines and Nomad, as well as additional two planned breweries in the area.

Bucketty’s was forced to rethink its plans after regional NSW authority Cessnock Council put a spanner in the works last year by rejecting plans to develop a microbrewery in the town it is named after.

The decision was due to regulations prohibiting industrial applications like breweries setting up in designated rural areas, which forced the McDonalds to go back to the drawing board.

“Basically we were thinking what can we do? We can’t brew in Bucketty. But we actually live on the Northern Beaches, so what about if we brew in Brookvale and have a taproom in Bucketty?” said Nick McDonald.

“We’ve gotten to know the guys at the breweries round there and thought maybe we could be part of the scene in Brookvale.”

They will be across the road from new brewery Dad & Dave’s Brewery, as well as in walking distance of a number of others.

“Dad & Dave’s customers will be looking straight at our brewery, so I called Dave up and asked if it was cool if we set up there. He said yes of course!

“So we’ve put the DA in and we’re still waiting for feedback. But the initial expectation is that it should be fine as there are a number in the area and we’ve gone above and aboard, and I’m managing the project myself, so I feel pretty good about it.”

Bucketty in Brookvale

Armed with the idea to move Bucketty’s to Brookvale, McDonald and the team got the ball rolling.

“We looked at buildings, crunched the numbers and thought, this could really work,” he said.

“We thought about buying one but we found one for rent. It’s cool, it’s right in the heart of the Brookvale brewing scene.”

But with so many breweries in one place, it’s inevitable to consider competition concerns.

“There will be six breweries in the Brookvale area when we set up,” said Nick.

“I actually think that’s a really good thing. People can come to do a bit of a tour, like Marrickville but you don’t need a cab to get between breweries.

The 650 sqm site will house Bucketty’s 10hL, three-vessel brewhouse. It will also be home to a taproom with a capacity for 120 people, and has a second warehouse at the back to accommodate future growth.

Bucketty plans

While the team is forging ahead with the Brookvale brewery, they have not given up on the brewery’s namesake of Bucketty.

“We want to get Brookvale off the ground first and then open just a small bar in Bucketty, which we are allowed to do, just not the production side of it” explained McDonald.

While the option was there to forget about Bucketty altogether, he said that they still had an affinity with the rural town, despite the challenges the brewery had faced there.

“It’s a really good spot, it’s a magical bit of land in the middle of a growth of eucalyptus, and we like having some time up there.

“We’re going through some branding exercises to connect the two and what they’re about.

“It will be about the venue rather than producing huge quantities of beer, and we won’t do a big building up there.

“Also having that second retail outlet it’s a lot easier to sell direct to customers rather than getting in bottleshop or retail outlets.”

McDonald said he was excited for the next phase of Bucketty’s journey, but he definitely learned the hard way about the challenges of launching a brewery.

“It’s been an expensive education,” he said.

“If I could have done it differently, I wouldn’t have taken the advice of the town planner as gospel.

“My experience was that they also work with the council so they want to stay on the right side of the council.

“So I would definitely project manage it, like this time. It’s going to be sweet.”

COVID-19 dependent, Bucketty’s in Brookvale expects to be open by the end of the year.

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