Brewery and distillery coming to town

Existing Maryland Street building set to become the micro-brewery and distillery area of Stanny Brewhouse. Picture: SDRC meeting agenda, 24 March 2021

By Jess Baker

Stanthorpe’s town centre will soon welcome an exciting new micro-brewery and distillery.

An application by Kim and Paul Gaffney to turn a property at 61 Maryland Street into a restaurant and brewery has been approved by Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC), despite concerns raised by a neighbouring business.

The development will also see a beer garden, tasting area and outdoor dining area included at the site.

Kim Gaffney said he hopes Stanny Brewhouse will be a hub for both tourists and locals.

“Initially it’ll be mainly tourists who visit because locals aren’t necessarily into craft beer yet, but they will be,” he said.

“As far as the restaurant side of things go, hopefully the locals are attracted to that.”

According to a report tabled at SDRC’s 24 March ordinary council meeting, Kim and Paul Gaffney expect Stanny Brewhouse will eventually produce 1000 litres of beer weekly and 2500 litres of spirits annually. Despite these high levels of production, the micro-brewery is considered by Council officers to have “minimal noise pollution”.

“The most noise intrusive activity is a grain mill which will operate one hour each week which makes a level of noise similar to an electric drill,” read the report.

“This activity is to be undertaken within the building which will limit the level of the noise from the grain mill.”

Council officers noted in the report that two “properly made submissions” were received to the proposed development application after it was advertised to the public.

The main concerns raised in the submissions were in relation to potential noise issues, odour, stormwater runoff from the site, and limited car parking availability.

Owners of a neighbouring business the Apple and Grape Motel, Steve and Helen Ward, wrote in a submission to SDRC that they are “happy to see more tourist facilities in Stanthorpe” but issues associated with the proposed development must be addressed by SDRC.

“We have a significant number of guests that work shift and odd hours … we do not want to lose business due to excessive party noise from this development,” read the submission.

“Conditioning an acoustic fence of the appropriate height and construction may provide the necessary amelioration. The current metal fence is not suitable in fact it may serve to reverberate the noise.

“The second issue, which is highlighted in (Kim and Paul Gaffney’s) proposal, is that of odour.

“It would be appropriate for Council to condition the development to provide adequate filters on the system and extraction to sufficient height to allow the correct dispersal of any odours to a satisfactory level.”

Southern Downs councillors unanimously voted in favour of the micro-brewery and distillery development, subject to a number of conditions.

SDRC conditions include restrictions on hours of micro-brewery and distillery operation and instructions to manage waste and odour.

“The operation of the use and disposal of waste are to be carried out so as to ensure that any odour generated by the development does not cause nuisance or disturbance to persons or property not connected with the development,” read the report.

Kim Gaffney said the decision by SDRC has set plans for Stanny Brewhouse in motion.

“My next step will be to get a producer’s licence and then we’ll have to put in a building application to do renovations,” he said.

“We’ll be open for business probably six to nine months after the building approval is passed.”