A new Billson’s Brewery product is on shelves in the North East for the first time in more than 100 years.
Since taking over the historic site in Beechworth last year, Nathan Cowan has been working towards reinstating brewing, and has now released cans of natural and lightly sparking water.
“It was really the spring water, filtered through granite, that attracted us to the business in the first place,” he said.
“George Billson chose the location as he found spring water bubbling to the surface, and a stunning brick well was built two metres wide and seven metres deep.
“Water has been drawn from that same brick well for over 140 years.”
The can design is modelled off an original 1880s soda water label, and Mr Cowan said since first production was completed last week nearly 20 North East producers have indicated interest.
“I think it really suits things like airlines and Australian events, and because it’s 100 per cent recyclable aluminium, it makes it easier to crush the can.
“The exciting thing about this is not only are we reviving a brand that hasn’t been around for 100 years, but the Billson family is also involved again.
“George Billson’s great great grandson, who is an architect based in Hong Kong, said he’d love to be involved in the project and visited the site for the first time six weeks ago.”
Spring water is the first of many goals Mr Cowan has set, with a cafe and brewery hoped to be up and running for summer, joining a barber and blacksmith on site.
“We want people to feel like they could almost be stepping back into the 1880s when they come to visit,” he said.
“Downstairs we’ll open up a whisky lounge so people can sit in our granite cellar and taste the local product.
“We’re hoping to have everything ready for summer holidays including restoration of the building and being back to producing alcohol.
“The community has done an amazing job of supporting us, so we really want to keep people up to date with the progress.”