Hawthorn is set to welcome its first brewhouse, as the popular location continues to evolve into a vibrant inner-suburban retail, hospitality and commercial hub.
New brewery Ramblers Ale Works has leased the 349sqm building on a 450sqm site at 96 Riversdale Road, next to the busy corner of famous Glenferrie Road.
Fitzroys Agency Manager Tom Fisher negotiated the five-year deal at $100,000 per annum on behalf of a private investor.
Ramblers Ale Works will open early this year and serve independent craft beer brewed on-site and plumbed straight from tank to tap. It will also offer decadent bar food.
Originally a mechanics, 96 Riversdale Road was repurposed in recent years into a fashion, furniture and homewares store and café. It retained its red brick walls, concrete floor, and skylights, which Fisher said presented ideal character elements for the brewery.
This was just one of a number of attributes that made the building a perfect match, Fisher said.
“High ceilings and a large building and site footprint allowed Ramblers Ale Works to accommodate their brewing system infrastructure, coolroom, and both indoor and outdoor space for patrons.”
The expansive 16-metre frontage close to the busy corner presents excellent signage opportunities, particularly attractive to a business wanting to announce its presence.
The operators of Ramblers Ale Works had been searching for a location for some time, having lived, studied and worked in the area over a number of years, and recognised the growing demand for a local craft beer venue.
“Craft beer bar and breweries are more typically associated with Melbourne’s city fringe. The established and growing catchment of Hawthorn and the inner-east already has a number of high-quality hospitality offerings across its retail strips, but the evolution of the area has seen demand grow for new and unique offerings like this,” Fisher said.
He said the tenant’s commitment to a larger space, five-year deal and the absolute rental figure demonstrated a clear vote of confidence in Hawthorn and the surrounding area.
“Hawthorn’s commercial market has been attracting a growing number of businesses, many of which are looking for highly-accessible locations with a high-quality hospitality and lifestyle offering, and more so in a period of more flexible working arrangements and a broader acceptance of working from home.
“Thriving local retail strips such as Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn have been a drawcard for businesses and residents looking for local lifestyle amenity, and the new brewhouse will only add to that attraction.”
The change of use of property is representative of hospitality operators continuing to dominate retail leasing enquiry throughout Melbourne. Some 50% of leases currently are to food and beverage operators, according to Fitzroys.
“The shift in enquiry and leasing deals heavily towards hospitality tenants quickly became apparent from the time Victoria first declared a state of emergency in March last year, and continued into 2021,” Fisher said.
The conversion of former warehouse buildings into brewpubs and new venues by craft labels is being seen across Melbourne. Tooborac Hotel and Brewery set up its first Melbourne venue in a Carlton scrap metals dealer warehouse, Bodriggy Brewing Co. opened its Johnston Street, Abbotsford brewpub in a former LP gas conversion centre, and most recently Stomping Ground opened at the Phillip Morris cigarette manufacturing site in Moorabbin, while Wolf of the Willows is pouring from a former industrial unit in Mordialloc.