The Old Goulburn Brewery, a collection of buildings designed by Australia’s first architect, Francis Greenway, has just been sold for more than $3 million. Vendor Michael O’Halloran, who has operated the brewery since the 1970s, said he was unable to reveal the out-of-town buyer.
“I hope it’s in good hands,” he said. “It has been a hub of entertainment, half the town has been married here or held their reception here, and christenings and wakes. It has always been a brewery since the 1830s, and hopefully it will continue to be a brewery.”
The site has been on the market for many years, and once was offered to Goulburn Mulwaree Council for about $5 million.
Goulburn real estate principal Carol James, who negotiated the sale, said the buyer was likely enchanted by the beautiful buildings beside Mulwaree River, which are in remarkably good condition.
“I believe he [the buyer] is going to do a lot of restoration,” said Ms James. “I am hoping it will be used for tourism because it is a place that should be open for the community to see.
“It is a very special, marvellous place – so beautiful and has so much potential.”
Ms James said work will be needed to level floors which have worn or moved slightly.
Colonial architect Francis Greenway designed and built the brewery in the 1830s for pastoralist William Bradley and his wife, Emily Elizabeth, daughter of explorer Captain William Hovell.
A Goulburn landmark on Bungonia Road, on the city’s eastern fringe, the old brewery includes two brewers’ cottages, a boiler room, brew hall, bottling room, cooperage (barrel making), cool room, brew tower and maltings.
Listed on the NSW Heritage inventory due to the size and nature of the buildings, the Old Goulburn Brewery indicates the importance of Goulburn as a major provincial centre in southern NSW in the 19th century.
Goulburn Heritage Group spokesman Doug Rawlinson said the Old Goulburn Brewery would be among the top five places of historical significance in the city.
“As long as it is restored – it is fairly run down – it could be used as a tourist attraction or brewery,” he said.
Ms James said the Goulburn market is “crazy” with interest from investors and people wanting to return and live in the city.
She said the Old Goulburn Brewery’s listing had attracted varying interest during the years.
“I had a couple of young guys a little while back who wanted to make whiskey from the premises,” she said.
Goulburn residents will be hoping the heritage asset is secured and restored following major setbacks to the city’s exceptional collection of older buildings, including a fire at the old Kenmore Psychiatric Hospital, which the NSW Government sold to a foreign buyer.
Elsewhere in the city, Goulburn Mulwaree Council said it is prosecuting the owner of St John’s Orphanage over non-compliance of demolition orders on the historic site. The orphanage has also been the target of vandalism and major fires.