Coca-Cola Amatil and SABMiller have announced plans to build a new brewery in Australia.

The two companies, who operate the Pacific Beverages joint venture in the country, said today (8 February) that they will construct the "boutique premium brewery" at Warnervale in the Central Coast region of New South Wales.

The facility, which will be called Bluetongue Brewery, comes on the back of Pacific Beverages' acquisition of the Bluetongue and Bondi Blonde beer brands from majority Bluetongue shareholder John Singleton late last year. Pacific Beverages said it will use the brewery "to materially increase production of Bluetongue and Bondi Blonde in order to meet national demand, while also providing capacity for the potential production of other premium beer brands".

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for SABMiller declined to give financial details behind the construction. The brewery, with a capacity of 500,000 hectolitres, is expected to be completed in 2010. "Bluetongue annual volume is in the region of 50,000 hectolitres," the spokesperson said. "We will be looking to brew other products at the facility, but we're not in a position to say which products that will be at the moment." 

"We have found a great site for the new Bluetongue Brewery, located close to the F3 Motorway on the Central Coast, and the gateway to the thriving Hunter region," said CCA managing director and Pacific Beverages chairman Terry Davis. "Our aim is not only to build a great facility which will brew premium beer brands for the Australian and overseas markets, but we also aim to deliver world's best practice in water and energy efficiencies."

Coca-Cola Amatil and SABMiller formed Pacific Beverages in 2006, in an attempt to tap into the growing popularity for premium beer in Australia and New Zealand. The venture sells and distributes SABMiller's Peroni Nastro Azzuro, Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell.