Tours of the first microbrewery in South Australia’s Riverland will be launched at the historic Wilkadene homestead today.
Woolshed Brewery, housed inside a 100-year-old shearing shed and part of Wilkadene Station north of Renmark, has been opened to the public for tours.
The brewery is part of Wilkadene Above Renmark Experiences, which includes a heritage listed homestead, a fleet of five houseboats, a three-bedroom cottage and now the region’s only microbrewery.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said the tours will bring a renewed interest in the area through sustainable tourism experiences.
“The River Murray has always been one of South Australia’s most popular destinations, whether for a leisurely houseboat holiday along Australia’s greatest waterway, a weekend away waterskiing, or just dropping a line and enjoying a spot of fishing,” Mr Bignell said.
“The opportunity for visitors and locals to moor their houseboat at the marina and pop upstairs for a craft beer and top local produce provides a new reason to come and enjoy the Riverland.”
Woolshed is a zero waste brewery using state-of-the-art technology, rainwater and solar power to produce hot and cold water without the need for excessive heating. All wastewater is reused to water the property’s extensive gardens.
The brewery produces two commercial beers and limited releases of seasonal brews and has been open by appointment only until now.
From this month visitors will be able to take a self-guided tour of the property, sign up for the Brewer’s Secret Beer Tour and enjoy a range of family-friendly activities.
Owners Tom Freeman and Sarah Dowdell also plan to offer platters of fresh local produce and host weekend events during summer to attract locals and visitors to the region.
“Tours of the brewery and buildings of Wilkadene Station will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the rich and colourful history of the region,” Ms Dowdell said.
Destination Riverland executive officer Tony Sharley said the tours were one of the most exciting “multi-experience developments” the region had seen since Banrock Station.
“The owners are putting the Wilkadene brand over the top of their houseboat hire, the cottage, the brewery and their functions. I think that creates some exciting opportunities,” Mr Sharley said.