Gladstone will soon have its very own brewery, thanks to a creative dream from Gladstone businessman Michael Comley.
Mr Comley has paid homage to the city’s past by reopening Ward’s Brewery on Auckland Street.
Originally known as Ward’s Cordial, the factory was originally owned by the Ward family who developed it into a cordial and brewery factory in 1922.
Flash forward to the 1980s, the property was occupied by Budget Rent A Car, who Mr Comley’s sister, Michelle, runs.
With Budget now operating in Callemondah, Mr Comley said he was working with his sister to bring his vision of a brewery in the latter half of 2022.
After securing development approval from Gladstone Regional Council in March 2020, construction had started on rejuvenating a classic Queensland cordial factory and its brand.
“The relocation of Budget presented an opportunity to asset manage the old Cordial Factory and after much consideration we decided to follow the route of what the building was kept for, drinks production,” Mr Comley said.
Mr Comley said transforming Ward’s Cordial to Ward’s Brewery was an obvious choice.
He said his vision was for Gladstone to ‘own it’.
“I really want Gladstone to own it. I want people to feel it’s their brewery,” he said.
“The brand is genuinely Gladstone.
“It’s fun and captures with a slight USA craft beer influence and celebrates memories of yesteryears.”
Mr Comley said the brewery would have a ‘BrewPub’ concept, with freshly brewed brew and served food that complemented its beverages.
“Developing the concept, brand and sorting the buildings has been great fun,” he said.
“We are very keen to make Ward’s Brewery something Gladstone locals can be proud of and show to their friends and family when visiting.
“It’s fun, it’s communicative, it’s community, it’s food, it’s drink and it will be very cool in Gladstone.”