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Green light for Carrington Hotel's micro-brewery plans

In its earliest days Katoomba's Carrington Hotel produced electricity for the surrounding town from its power house.

Soon another sought after product will be made there for locals and tourists - craft beer.

Councillors unanimously approved a development application on April 21 for a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Carrington Hotel's Parke Street side that will include a ground floor micro-brewery, tasting bar and several artisan retail spaces behind the old garage doors.

The major project will also feature a 112-seat restaurant and deck offering mountain views (built on a new storey above Carrington Cellars and Deli), a new lift and redevelopment of the onsite car park to include a basement level with 40 extra spaces.

Carrington Hotel co-owner Michael Brischetto told the Gazette the micro-brewery will be called the Katoomba Brewing Company.

"We've been planning this for the best part of 10 years and it's taken over 16 months to get through the approval process, so we're very excited that we can now get started and we're confident it will be completed, in three stages, on time and on budget.

"We think it will become a major tourist attraction that will revitalise the top end of Parke Street.

"This project will also create 25 new jobs."

The micro-brewery will be capable of producing two batches of up to 2000 litres of boutique beer per day and will have eco-friendly features including a condenser installed to reduce direct emissions by 99.9 per cent and be integrated with the hotel's new co-generation electricity plant.

Spent grain from the brewing process will be sold to farmers in the Megalong and Hartley Valleys, used hops will be turned into compost and rainwater harvested on the roof will be used for all cleaning operations.

A council report described the project as "an appropriate reuse of the heritage building (power house)" that is "considered likely to result in a positive economic impact on the local economy and potentially within the broader tourist economy of the Blue Mountains".

Mr Brischetto said "we're hoping to begin brewing (stage one) by the end of this year and we're working on recipes at the moment for eight to 10 styles of beer that we'll bottle and also have on tap at different times of the year".

Article by Shane Desiatnik, 28 April 2015 in the Blue Mountains Gazette.

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