29 September 2023

On the road to recovery: Tumut brewery looks forward after four years of crises

| James Day
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Tim Martin inside the Tumut Brewery truck, and Richard Neale holding a beer outside the front of it.

Tim Martin and the Junee Liquorice and Chocolate Factory’s Richard Neale next to the brewery’s truck last Friday (22 September). Photo: Rhiannon Neale.

From crisis to crisis, now fundraiser to fundraiser, Tim Martin is doing whatever it takes to get his Tumut River Brewing Company (TRBC) out of the financial pits.

Over the past four years Tim and Simon Rossato have endured the worst in trying to keep alive the business they created in 2012, and their 27-strong team employed. First the 2019-2020 bushfires, then COVID-19, and to top it off, roundabout works which blocked off the brewery’s two access points until December 2022. Even that was delayed until midway through this year, due to flooding in November 2022.

With more than a million dollars of debt accrued in trying to keep the business and its employees afloat, Tim and Simon decided to ask the community for help.

“When a local business closes there’s always a group of people who say, ‘If I’d only known, I would have supported them’. So I thought, let’s make sure they know,” Tim said.

READ MORE Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory to host fundraiser to help brewery get back on its feet

So far they’ve raised more than 50 grand, with a new goal set to 75. Each contribution they get pushes them a little closer to their dream of redeeming the 800 required to return them to a normal pattern of operation. But Tim isn’t waiting around for things to improve, he just wants to get back into the swing of things.

“I’m worried about everything now: interest rates, bushfires, lost clients. But I can’t let that stop my business, you just have to keep going.”

On 22 September he joined the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory for an evening fundraiser which was fortunately a smash hit.

“Last Friday night went really well, there was a great turnout. I was kept busy the whole time and had a great chat with a lot of local people with messages of support and sold a fair bit of beer as well!

“It probably couldn’t have gone better. If it had, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it on my own.”

The Tumut Brewery truck set up to serve, seen through the entrance archway to the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory.

The Tumut Brewing Co. truck sat at the front of the Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory last Friday (22 September). Photo: Tim Martin.

Tim’s hoping the coming hot months into the new year will bring back the usual busy period the brewery has seen in years past, and isn’t planning any more fundraisers at this stage.

“I’m trying to forget this experience, we’re past it now. Let’s not dwell on it. Let’s just move forward.

“And I think in a way the fundraisers just remind people of a s*** time, and I don’t want that to be what people think about us anymore.

“Just having the road open and sun out is great.”

You can continue to support the Tumut River Brewing Company on their website.

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