Big things brewing for Ballina
BALLINA'S first brewery is expected to open its doors by May.
Seven Mile Brewing Company's plans for the craft beer watering hole in Southern Cross Dr industrial estate were approved by Ballina Shire Council last week.
The company was formed by three long-time Lennox Head locals, two of whom are father-son duo Lou and Matt Wilson.
Lou Wilson identified a "shifting demographic" from retirees towards younger people and families settling in the region.
"We have fantastic restaurants, we've got great facilities for people to go to so I think we are growing really strongly but we are still maintaining that nice little family place to be ... it's a great place to be," Mr Wilson said.
He said the popularity of craft beer would see a consistent flow of patrons through the doors even during winter - Ballina's low tourist season.
"Generally, people interested in craft beer support the industry and they'll travel substantial distances to come and have a look and see what's going on," Mr Wilson said
Regardless of season, the craft beer outlet would be a "huge tourist opportunity" for the area, according to Troy Outerbridge, the owner of the site the company would be built on.
The airport precinct is an "interesting place to be", Mr Wilson said, citing potential to create a relaxed space for beer enthusiasts to enjoy a refreshing pint.
"We are hoping there will be people interested in the craft industry that will fly in from other places and the airport is a great place to have a bit of a hub and create some interest," Mr Wilson said.
As a small company, Mr Wilson said they were positioned to brew some complex craft beers that would be worth the wait to create.
"We've got that time and we've got that energy and that's why we think we have a really good brewery that's marketing to our local community," Mr Wilson said.
"At the end of the day, it's all about making good beer.
"We know that we will be making good beer and we expect that people will appreciate the fact of where it's come from."