The striking brick building stands proud, as it should, with a brewing capacity of 2.5 million litres a year (compared with 1 million at the old site) and a projected annual turnover of $40 million. The facility has room to expand in brewing capacity up to 8.4 million litres and also includes a 1200L micro-brewery for Richard's special brews. A few of these special brews were available on opening night including '1992' (Whiskey Porter) and 'Mexicoco' (chilli and dark chocolate). The new building also includes a restaurant with a capacity of 250 people, scheduled to open early July.
Richard Emerson has a strong connection with the railway and always wanted to be close to the railway lines - and make great beer! Richard's father worked on the railway lines for the Taieri Gorge train, hence one of the many beers on offer is called 'Taieri George'. Richard's needs were met with the location as well as the architectural features throughout the building, including a railway floor in the restaurant and a steam whistle outside.
Beca provided full professional services for the project including: architecture, consenting, survey, geotechnical, civil, structural, electrical, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, lighting design, process utilities, process piping, fire engineering and fire protection.
Interior architecture of the bar was provided by Ignite Architects and process design was done by Emerson's and Lion, with support from the Beca team.
Watch a video of the Emerson's opening night and read more about Emerson's history in the Otago Daily Times.