FogHorn Brewhouse co-owners James Garvey and Shawn Sherlock are serious about the use of renewable energy in the everyday operation of their Newcastle and Erina venues.
The multi-award winning craft brewers have installed a combined total of 348 solar panels across both sites in what is just the beginning of a long-term approach to bettering the business’s accountability of their own carbon footprint.
Unbeknownst to most diners is that both FogHorn venues operate with a 70kW solar energy solution that assists with daytime power requirements and has battery storage at the ready to meet increased demand as each site’s power needs grow.
“We launched King Street the same week as the major storms and floods of 2015,” James said. “So many people were without power, including Shawn and I and all our staff, but FogHorn had power. It was like a beacon of hope in a dark city and, rather ironically, that same venue is now able to operate entirely on solar power.”
It’s typical of the innovation James and Sean have brought to Foghorn Brewhouse since 2015.
A start-up concept built on a labour of love, they transformed an inner city Newcastle warehouse from an empty, pigeon-inhabited shell to a rustic, 250-seat restaurant, complete with Newcastle’s longest bar, full industrial kitchen and exposed 1800-litre brewery, winning a swag of building awards along the way.
“We’re very proud of the recognition our business has experienced in such a short time, but of more importance to us is our approach to environmental sustainability at each of our venues,” James said.
That same sense of excellence, integrity and ambition extends to the beer as well.
With a truly mixed demographic making FogHorn Brewhouse their new local, it’s no wonder Sean –Australian Brewer of the Year for 2012 – is committed to offering such a wide variety of craft beers for patrons.
“Even though we specialise in high-end beer, which is very uncompromising in its style and flavour, it’s still an egalitarian product. We offer 16 different beers on-tap at Newcastle – with four served straight from the 1800-litre serving tanks behind the bar,” he explains.
“With such a range, we’re finding that we’re enticing mainstream beer drinkers to craft beer, and we’re only limited by our team’s creativity as to what we can produce next.”
That creativity extends to monthly, three course dinners designed to help you match (and try new) craft beers that you might not have expected to become your all-time favourites.
They also collaborate with other reputable brewers that bring about healthy competition and add a bit of Novacastrian spirit to the calendar of events.
“The idea of serving freshly-brewed beer onsite, just metres from where it’s produced, and ensuring it’s continuously refrigerated from fermentation to the glass, was just one of the innovations we set out to achieve at our Newcastle FogHorn Brewhouse,” James says.
In 2017 FogHorn Brewhouse took out a number of national and international craft beer and brewery awards. Beer and Brewer also awarded FogHorn Brewhouse 4th best Brewpub in Australia.
Open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and drinks, FogHorn Brewhouse has a bar-only area and abundant room for large bookings. For private functions, complete with AV facilities, there’s a dedicated area known as ‘The Unmade Bed’ after Roy and HG Nelson’s nicknaming of Andrew ‘Joey’ Johns’ unruly hair style.