THE team behind Little Creatures beer has unveiled major expansion plans for 2009 including a new drop from an east-coast brew house.
White Rabbit will be made at a newly built brewery at Healesville in Victoria's Yarra Valley from March.
Four months ago, a new, larger German-built brew house began production on the Fremantle site, and the old brewery was shipped to Victoria for installation on the White Rabbit site, where construction was completed three weeks ago.
Mr Cearns said launching the new White Rabbit brand instead of setting up a second Little Creatures brewery on the east coast reflected an older ethos of craft brewing.
"We like the idea of the return to breweries when they were part of the village and the neighbourhood -- it had a personality and a soul and the characteristic of the region," Mr Cearns said. "When you start spreading your production everywhere it becomes harder to control and manage the palate of the beer. The water and ingredients can be different, so you're not getting consistency."
White Rabbit aims to be a "distinctive, exceptional beer", Mr Cearns said.
"The White Rabbit brewery will be the same size Little Creatures was initially. It will be a hand-sell, on a small scale," he said.
"It will only brew once a week at first -- the brewery will have a capacity of 1 million litres per annum but we've got to work our way up to that volume over several years."
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