Waterhole plans brewing

Plans for Lancefield’s Lost Waterhole include a glass-fronted deck overlooking the Cobaw Ranges.

By Jackson Russell

Lancefield is set to get a new watering hole, with a brewery expected to open in the town early next year.

Inspiration for the brewery, called the Lost Waterhole, came when Lancefield Guesthouse owners Peter and Kate Chiller visited a brewery while on holiday in Noosa Heads.

Ms Chiller thought a brewery would work well in Lancefield and when the couple returned home, they continued to talk about it and started to get the ball rolling.

After talking to local investors, concept plans were drawn and the idea began to snowball.

Mr Chiller said the idea behind the brewery was Lancefield ‘desperately needing’ a new venue to complement the town’s hotel and cafes.

“We put it to the locals that this is a really good idea for the town and something it needs to bring in tourism,” he said.

“There’s a bit of a lack of tourism in the Macedon Ranges so we really thought this would help that.”

A lot of work went into the brewery’s name, with inspiration drawn from the town’s megafauna history.

“What we found out is the swamp area where the megafauna were found has dried up,” Mr Chiller said.

“Lancefield used to have 13 hotels and now it has one, so the common story there is that a lot of things have departed, the megafauna has been lost and the hotels have been lost.

“There have been a lot of lost waterholes in Lancefield over the years and we wanted to create one too.”

One of the partners in the brewery brings a lot of brewing experience from the Sow and Piglets Brewery in Port Campbell on Victoria’s south-west coast.

The owners have also brought in an experienced German-born, Lancefield-based brewer to brew in the traditional German way.

Mr Chiller said the brewery planned to make ‘real beer’.

“We’re not doing chocolate-flavoured anything, it’s real beers like Kölschs and India pale ales,” he said.

“All of our beers will be totally preservative free because they’re brewed with the traditional German method, and we’re going to try as much as we can to source local produce.”

The Lost Waterhole has already bought a state-of-the-art canning and labelling machine with the plan to create small batches, and theme labels to promote things that are important to the area.

The brewery will have a capacity of about 100 seats and serve meals seven days a week, including breakfast on weekends.

“We haven’t finalised anything but we’re not trying to take on the hotel,” Mr Chiller said.

“We’re going to be a family-friendly place, we’re going to have a good kids’ area. We’ll have meals for families and meals that will be different from other hotels.

“We might have some German sausages and beer matching but we want to keep our meals around $20, we don’t want to be upmarket.”

The glass-fronted building will overlook the Cobaw Ranges, and feature movable dividers to keep a cozy feel during quiet times while still being able to open up for weddings and functions.

Mr Chiller said he had already started to receive tenders for the building, with construction expected to begin in about two months for a planned opening in February or March.