23 March, 2012

"...they'll make little creatures..."

In recent months there have been signs that a new type of creature will soon be found in close proximity to the banks of the Barwon. It is a unicellular, eukaryotic micro-organism, which in its wild form can be found almost anywhere. In fact, I have even cultivated my own strain. I am speaking of course, of yeast - specifically brewers' yeast.
In a post some time ago I mentioned that the Valley Worsted Mill - built in 1925 to cater for Geelong's expanding woollen trade - had been purchased by the brewing company Little World Beverages as an east coast brewing base for their subsidiary company Little Creatures Pty Ltd. The estimated purchase price for the 11 hectare site was a cool $6.4 million.
Little Creatures Pty Ltd
Since then, progress has been made and the site is now undergoing the renovations required to convert the facility into a brewery which is tipped to open in early 2013. In recent weeks, I have seen a parade of contractors coming and going through the main gates of the complex including demolition experts, electricians and concrete cutters then, while I was snapping photos, a truck arrived with a large container of undisclosed contents.
Renovations at Valley Worsted Mill aka Little Creatures Brewery
 Just inside the gate is a mysterious collection of large, plastic-wrapped items, the tops of which can be seen poking over the top of he fence and a bobcat is busily clearing away who-knows-what from the yard.
Work continues on the renovations for Little Creatures Brewery
So who - or what - is Little Creatures and where did it come from?
Little Creatures is a micro-brewing company established in Fremantle, Western Australia in 2000 which took its name from a song in the Talking Heads album Little Creatures. The creatures in question are of course the yeast cells which are fundamental to any fermentation process - including beer.
A description of the company and their products can be found on their website, but in short, they produce four beers including a pale ale, a pilsener, an amber ale and a golden ale and are tapping into the rapidly growing cider market with an apple cider they have called Pipsqueak.
Another aspect of the Little Creatures experience is food. Along with their various beverages, Little Creatures provide a culinary experience designed to complement their beers. At their original brewery in Fremantle, you can eat your meal whilst watching the brewing process taking place around you. In Melbourne they have the Little Creatures Dining Hall, located in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy and it is my understanding from various media reports that a dining hall is also in the works for the Geelong brewery.
For those of us who ride/walk/run or otherwise perambulate up and down the Barwon this is good news. I have previously bemoaned the lack of eateries in close proximity to the river, so having a new restaurant a mere 200m or so from the river should be a definite bonus.
My only question for the moment is whether anyone has asked the several dozen resident pigeons what they think of the change of proprietors...

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