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Local connection at heart of new bar Batavia Brewing Company

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
Batavia Brewing Company owner Dennis Healy.
Camera IconBatavia Brewing Company owner Dennis Healy. Credit: Jamie Thannoo

Geraldton’s growing number of pubs and bars is set to see a new addition with the Batavia Brewing Company opening on Thursday.

The brewery, restaurant and bar hopes its main drawcard — its selection of drinks brewed on location — will attract those looking for something new, unique, and importantly, locally made.

In time, Batavia aims to have eight of its own drinks on tap.

“It’s craft beer, good local craft beer,” owner Dennis Healy said.

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The Batavia Brewing Company wears its local identity on its sleeve, with the building covered in murals, painted by local artist Phil Doncon, depicting the ship from which the bar gets its name, and the ocean environment of the region.

Mr Healy is a Geraldton local and wanted his business to reflect an affection for the region.

“My uncle used to crayfish the north islands, where the Batavia sunk. . . so it made sense for us to go down that path,” Mr Healy said.

Like many new establishments opening in Geraldton, Mr Healy said the Batavia Brewing Company wanted offer more than just the standard pub grub to those looking for a meal, with more modern bistro options on offer.

While the traditional favourites such as fish and chips and chicken parmigiana can be found, the menu also includes meals such as seafood linguini, braised lamb shoulder pappardelle and Abrolhos scallops.

Getting the brewery open has certainly been a challenge, Mr Healy said, with approval, licensing and finding contractors all taking longer than expected.

Even simply finding a location took a year and the chosen site on Fitzgerald Street opposite Geraldton Primary School threw up its own challenges over perceived impacts it could have on the school and local traffic.

Despite securing council approval, delays meant the brewery missed its intended opening in August, and to add to the headaches, a man was charged with burglary last Sunday after allegedly entering the building.

Mr Healy said the difficulties were all worth it in the end.

“You don’t get any business running without a running across some challenges along the way,” he said.

“It’s been challenging but at the end of the day we are hoping it will be rewarding, and hopefully the Geraldton people will embrace it and want to come along and enjoy it.”

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