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Lithgow brewery with 129 years of history on the market

November 6, 2017

The Zig Zag Brewery was built in 1888 and is the oldest surviving brewery in Lithgow. Photo: Lithgow District Historical Society Collection

The oldest surviving brewery in Lithgow, on the market for the first time in almost four decades, has already attracted a lot of interest from other brewers.

The 129-year-old Zig Zag Brewery, which includes the Lithgow Valley Springs mineral water plant, has some heritage-listed buildings on the 16-hectare site at 1B Brewery Lane, Oakey Park.

Colliers International sales agent Peter Seeto, said interest in the regional NSW listing, about two hours west of Sydney, had been “enormous”, with offers being made for the business at “around the $1.5-million mark” and both the business and land at about $6 million.

The property is now the site for Lithgow Valley Springs and Zig Zag Brewery. Photo: Supplied The property is now the site for Lithgow Valley Springs and Zig Zag Brewery. Photo: Supplied

Inquiries had come from developers looking at the land, which is zoned general residential, and offshore groups who were interested in buying the property for its spring water, he said.

“Because there’s been a lot of a land subdivision in the surrounds of Lithgow, and also to the west of the Great Western Highway, I guess everyone’s just seeing the Sydney swell starting to grow over the mountains, so (developers) are just investigating it to see what is there,” Mr Seeto said.

The property occupies 16 hectares of land in north-east Lithgow. Photo: Supplied The property occupies 16 hectares north-east of Lithgow. Photo: Supplied

It could become a tourist attraction but there was a chance that the parts that do not have heritage protection could be converted to high-end homes, he said.

“We’ve seen in the past golf courses converted into luxury villas around it, this is of a similar nature.”

But the bulk of buyers were young brewers keen to get a foothold in the industry.

“The majority of people want to keep the business running as it is,” Mr Seeto said.

Siblings Adrian and Malinda Schindler, who operate both the brewery and the spring water business, grew up on the property their father bought in 1981.

The Schindlers are selling the businesses and property to have more time with their own families and to travel.

The brewery was built in 1888 by Henry Corbett, who owned the nearby Imperial Hotel, to compete with a rival that supplied beer to other local watering holes, including the Lithgow Workmen’s Club.

The Zig Zag Brewery took about 65 years to be fully developed and changed hands several times before the business closed in 1958, reopening as Dale’s Soft Drinks which continued until the 1970s.

It was also the location where the 1985 movie The Coca Cola Kid was filmed.

Expressions of interest close November 30.

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