UPDATE: Tuesday, October 18
FIRE has ripped through the Murray’s Craft Brewing Co’s cellar door and kitchen but it has failed to deter the team from business.
Firefighters from across Port Stephens responded to the blaze last Friday morning that caused the roof to collapse but spared the nearby brewery.
Within 24 hours Murray Howe and his team were into the clean up.
On Sunday it was even able to provide wine tastings and sales, as well as pre-packaged beer sales, at a make-shift cellar door.
By Tuesday the team had even hosted it’s first lot of international tourists.
“We have come a long way in four days,” Mr Howe said.
“But there is a way to go as we plan and hope to start rebuilding quickly.”
Fire scene investigators combed through the charred remains on Friday but they had not released the cause of the fire at the time of press.
Firefighters who responded to the call said that the fire was at its most intense in the kitchen area.
“Thankfully the brewery area was no affected so we can keep brewing,” Mr Howe said.
“And we’re still running brewery tours.
“The best thing anyone can do is visit us and buy some wine or beer.”
The fire has taken out the cellar door’s beer taps. A temporary system could be in place by the weekend.
“We’re really hoping we may be able to… this weekend and offer some simple food,” Mr Howe said.
UPDATE: Saturday, 3pm
THE cleanup has begun already at Murray’s Brewery, only 24 hours after the fire crews extinguished a blaze at the cellar door and restaurant.
The team will have a temporary set up to serve customers on Sunday, for wine tasting and sales, as well as packaged beer sales, and will continue to operate that way all next week.
The owner Murray Howe said it “won’t be long” before staff will again be pouring beers and serving food at the premises.
“The cellar door has been badly damaged but we managed to get through [Friday],” owner Murray Howe said in a brief statement.
“Thank you to everyone for their heartfelt messages of support. It’s been amazing.”
Mr Howe said he should soon be able to announce plans to re-open the bar and kitchen.
FIRE has ripped through the restaurant at popular Bobs Farm tourist attraction Murray’s Brewery.
Firefighters received the call just before 6am on Friday morning and fought to quell flames that were most intense in the kitchen area.
Rural Fire Services from Soldiers Point, Anna Bay, Fingal Bay and Medowie joined Nelson Bay Fire and Rescue at the scene. A heavy pumper was dispatched from Bolwarra near Maitland, as well.
As can be seen in the photos, the fire has brought down the roof.
The fire was contained to the cellar door and restaurant.
The owner Murray Howe said it had come as a shock to him and his hard working staff.
“It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happened,” he said.
“Our bar and cellar door operations have been devastated.
“But we’ve got to look at the positives; there’s no injuries and our staff are OK.”
The brewery itself only a few metres away was untouched.
“The local police and firies have been more than helpful through this,” Mr Howe said.
“It’s business as usual this morning in the Brewery. Production is unaffected.”
Investigators will comb over the scene to prepare a full fire report.
Only hours after the blaze, Mr Howe has vowed to bounce back.
“We have a tight knit team here,” he said.
“Our focus now is to reopen as soon as possible in some way.
“My whole team will be on that. Customer is king and we’ll move heaven and earth to make that happen.”
The brewery often makes headlines for its award winning beers.
In July it entered six beers into this year’s Craft Beer Industry Association awards. All of them won medals.