Tasmanian government to keep Boag’s open to visitors. The 160 year old brewery will receive $1m in funding.
James Boag’s Brewery Visitor Center remains open this week after Lion reached an agreement in principle for $1 million in funding with the Tasmanian Government.
Premier Jeremy Rockliff visited the 160-year-old brewery site on Thursday, January 26 to announce the news. He said the funding was intended to protect the jobs of Boag’s hospitality staff and the revenue stream for the brewery’s local suppliers. Some of the funding will go towards a national marketing strategy to promote the tour experience.
“The Boag’s Brewery Visitor Center is not only a local cultural icon, but an important part of the local northern economy attracting thousands of visitors a year,” Premier Rockliff said.
“Importantly, the tour and center directly employs 12 local staff members and supports around 120 suppliers in its operations. The unique experience it provides has been a major draw for Launceston for decades, with the benefits flowing to other businesses in the region and across the state.”
Lion said it will close the premises to visitors on Thursday, January 19, citing declining beer consumption, rising input costs and the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality and tourism industry as the reasons for the closure. Its last day of business as a visitor center was supposed to be Monday.
Nathan Calman, Boag’s Brewery Director said:
“We had no expectation that the Tasmanian government would provide support to keep the tours going. However, when they approached us, we were happy to engage with them positively and are delighted that the state government was able to find a way to support us through a $1 million funding package.
“This package will help us continue to provide a great tour experience at the Boag’s Visitor Center while working with the Government and other stakeholders to address some of the long-term cost pressures facing our manufacturing business, to address.”
Calman says Lion will work with Boag’s hospitality team to consider “how we can use this funding to enhance the Boag’s brewery tour experience and promote tourism to Launceston for the benefit of the region”.
“The proposal to close the visitor center and tours was not made lightly… The response – an outpouring of tremendous passion for continuing our brewery tours and visitor center experience, reminded us of just how integral Boag’s is to Launceston,” said Calman said.
And for the next twelve months, anyone with a current Tasmanian Driver’s License can enjoy a free tour of the brewery as a token of Lion’s thanks to the people of Tasmania.