Cullen Winery
Cullen Winery

A new microbrewery on Caves Road will be built within two years after concerns about contamination of an adjacent biodynamic winery were overruled by the State Administrative Tribunal.

The development by Wiseowl Investments also included a cellar door, restaurant and adjoining car parks which were approved by the Busselton Shire Council earlier this year.

However the council had rejected the brewery element as the adjoining winery Cullen Wines believed cross contamination of yeast could occur.

The tribunal heard an appeal by Wiseowl at the end of September and ruled last Thursday the complete business could go ahead.

In evidence to the tribunal, Cullen Wines’ Vanya Cullen said if brewing yeast migrated to her vineyard there was a risk they would dominate the vineyard’s yeasts and cause “irreversible changes”.

“…which will in turn lead to beerlike flavours in our wines…,’’ she said.

The tribunal ruled in favour of evidence which showed it was “extremely unlikely that brewing yeast would escape and migrate to the vineyard.”

It supported the brewery’s proposed “highly contained, sterile and hygienic” beer making process.

The business was also considered to be consistent with the council’s objectives of its viticulture and tourism zoning.

Despite original claims made during the council decision making the brewery could damage the nature of the wine-making region, the tribunal ruled it was compatible with Cullen Wines and viticulture in general.

In evidence from experts, it was revealed the proposed processes of yeast collection at the brewery and its treatment, which involved heating it to 85 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, would be “effective in killing the brewery yeast.”

It was the service of the beer which would present a critical point for yeast containment, the tribunal heard.

Accordance to a Yeast Containment Management Plan prepared by Wiseowl Investments was a condition of the tribunal’s approval for the development.

The Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery, could be “substantially commenced” within two years, the tribunal said.

The company website said it was set to open in late 2010.

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