Brewery venture finds its wings

A DERWENT Valley brewery is named after the welcome swallow, the bird whose return to farms and barns signals the first day of spring.

Based in an old building that was a part of the Royal Derwent Hospital in New Norfolk dating back to 1827, Welcome Swallow Brewery is a product of love for crafty, thirst-quenching beer.

Starting off as a home brewery, owner Nigel Graham is a self-taught brewer.

He first started brewing 20 years ago and said it had been a lot about trial and error and he brews and brews until he can get it right.

“I think nothing compares to experience with flavours especially, you need to taste stuff, it’s a bit like cooking.

The process of what is a loved accomplishment for Mr Graham, his partner Jodie Goggins and business partner Elias Eichler was a result of trialing until they stumbled

upon the current premises, an artsy jungle wonderland.
“I saw ‘for rent’ in the

window and I thought we’re going to have to give it a go.”

The building is an old factory that was a part of the Royal Derwent Hospital.

Mr Graham saw its potential but it needed a lot of work. Starting the project in 2019, the team found themselves facing the Covid pandemic that hit their sales but gave them time to build the place up.

“Since opening up it’s been great, the locals have been supportive and amazing, it’s been very humbling really,” he said.

Mr Graham grows his own fruits and uses some in his beers.

“It’s always great to be growing ingredients and brewing with them,” he said.

This weekend the Fresh Hop Beer Festival will be celebrated in New Norfolk.

Festivities kick off today and continue tomorrow at the New Norfolk Distillery.