Byron Bay-born company Stone and Wood Brewing is spreading its wings with the creation of 17 new jobs in the Tweed Shire.
The brewer expects to pour its first Murwillumbah-brewed beer within weeks.
Tweed Shire Council representatives joined Stone and Wood directors and NSW MPs at the plant last week to sign all the paperwork and make the announcement.
Tweed mayor Barry Longland said Council had worked closely with the company to facilitate opportunities in the Tweed Shire.
Cr Longland said council, under its business investment policy, was able to help the company with the costs of expansion.
‘Provisions in the investment policy meant Stone and Wood had access to deferred payments for some the necessary development charges,’ he said.
‘This deferral of payments added up to a significant financial concession which made a big difference for the company’s expansion plans.’
Council general manager Troy Green said that instead of a $3 million upfront contribution by the company ‘they can pay that off in up to six years’.
Mr Green told media the council’s new business investment policy made it easier for businesses to expand into the Tweed.
Deputy premier and minister for the north coast Andrew Stoner said it was a great investment for the Tweed community and Murwillumbah.
‘It’s a great facility and a testament to these young entrepreneurs showing what can be achieved in regional businesses. They are really in tune with what the Tweed community want.’
Stone and Wood quickly grew from a micro-brewing firm at Byron Bay to a regional craft brewer in just under six years, establishing a major production facility which opened just two months ago and has just added the 2014 Telstra Regional Business Award to its growing list of accolades.
‘The company is well positioned to take advantage of a growing local population and increasing its manufacturing capacity will allow it to compete with Australia’s dominant brewers,’ Mr Stoner said.
Member for Lismore Thomas George said Stone and Wood was unique to the region as there were no other craft brewers located on the North Coast manufacturing locally on the same scale.
‘It’s the only craft brewery of its size located outside of metropolitan Sydney,’ Mr George said.
‘It is only one of four nationally recognised brewing companies of its size in Australia and one of only two in NSW.
‘What these gentlemen have achieved in a matter of years, some brewers haven’t achieved in a lifetime.’