Brewery opens at Blueskin Bay

A young Dunedin couple have spent the past two years transforming an eye-catching  empty  building into a brewery.

Since returning home from overseas Jono Walker and his partner Emma Parsons have been tinkering away inside the old Blueskin Hotel, beside State Highway 1 in Evansdale, building a brewery.

From today, beer lovers will be able to visit the Arc Brewing Co and taste all their hard work and Mr Walker says he cannot wait to talk about his beer.

"We wanted to make it feel like walking into someone’s own wee personal project and obviously it’s all about the beer and you can come here and I’ll serve you it and talk to you about how it’s all made."

What was a derelict room when they first got the keys to the building has been transformed into a  custom-made 200-litre brewery with a taproom and bar surrounded by handmade tables and stools. During construction Mr Walker continued to work fulltime as a builder and has spent most of his spare time assembling the brewery.

After years of honing his brewing skills at home, Dunedin builder Jono Walker is finally...
After years of honing his brewing skills at home, Dunedin builder Jono Walker is finally realising his dream of running a brewery in the city. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Making the situation slightly busier was the birth of their son nine months ago.

"We kind of optimistically jumped at the opportunity. We were possibly a bit naive,  looking back, because the scope of work needed was far outside what we thought it would be."

If the venture was successful there was room for the brewery to grow and there were plans to turn other rooms in the building into an art gallery and event space.

The venue’s on-licence application was in the final stages and it was hoped people could sit and have a beer inside by the end of the year.

Since they installed a sign outside the brewery they have had people stopping to ask when they were going to open, Mr Walker said.

"The world’s your oyster when it comes to beer — there is so much you can do — and hopefully this space let us grow and people will ."

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