To manage expansion issues, one brewery has come up with a novel way of getting its product from A to B.

Last week, Somerset Brewing Company which owns Good George was given the green light to build an beer and cider pipeline in a 10-square-metre section of a council service lane in Frankton between two of its buildings.

The underground pipeline is expected to increase capacity from 1.2 million litres of beer and cider per year to up to five million.

Good George general manager Race Louden said the pipeline followed a number of other moves to help the company deal with its rapid expansion.

Advertisement

"We've just outgrown the space. Our brewery is on our original site, we have a restaurant bar there and as we've grown over the last couple of years we've cut back our garden bar and used every bit of space we could," Louden said.

"For our next tranche of growth we just have nowhere to go so we purchased a building across the service lane two years ago, as well as the building next door but we have to get the beer across, and the only way to do that was to get it over or under the service lane."

The planned 300mm subterranean pipeline would house a number of smaller pipes to carry a range of cider and beer products, carbon dioxide gas and cleaning lines.

Construction would depend on the process but Louden said he hoped it would be completed in time for the peak summer brewing period.

Under the current circumstances, Good George uses forklifts at hi-vis beer crossing sites across the lane to move its products between the two buildings.

A pipeline above the ground was considered, but deemed too difficult and risky, so the company owners settled on an underground pipe.

Good George had to get permission from Hamilton City Council before work could begin.

"We had a bit of a chat with engineers who said going under the road would be the best option and the council thought it was hilarious that we wanted to pump beer under the road," he said.

"I think the council are very pro business in the Waikato, but I was surprised there wasn't a single question or objection to the plan. We went in, sat down and ten seconds later we were out the door which was great."

In the five and a half years since starting up, the company has opened seven outlets - in Hamilton, Cambridge, Tauranga and Rotorua - and is looking to expand to Auckland.

But Louden said Frankton would remain its home. In the last year, 1,200 tour groups of up to 20 people each have gone through the brewery.

Good George is in negotiations with several potential sites in Auckland for expansion.