The old Zig Zag Brewery site and business Lithgow Valley Springs are up for sale, with owners Adrian and Malina Schindler saying they’ve done everything they hoped to achieve on the historic property.
“I think for us now it’s time. We’ve been doing this for 25 years, my sister Malina and myself. It’s time for someone to take this business to the next level,” Mr Schindler said.
“We’ve put the name of Lithgow on millions of bottles circulated throughout the country. I’ve loved being here doing it.”
Real estate agent Paul Seeto of Colliers International said current interest from buyers suggests a selling price of around $6 million for both the property and the business.
“We’ve had input from offshore buyers, we’ve also had keen interest from some locals and interest from people who have similar businesses in New South Wales. They all have views to grow to a bigger operation attracting more tourism and making more jobs for the local community,” he said.
Mr Schindler said the majority of prospective buyers he has met intend to capitalise on the site’s 129 year-old history and scenic position in Oakey Park.
“Its on 40 acres and it’s beautiful bushland, which has historic features scattered throughout it like what we think is an old slaughterhouse and sandstone dam, with a beautiful trail leading up to it.
“The majority are looking at developing it for tourism, and maybe adding to the property some accommodation. Others are looking at expanding the brewery and have the idea of setting up eateries, cafes or a restaurant.
“That’s really good because that that was our vision of the next step for the brewery, so it’s been great to see other people recognising that.”
Mr Schindler said he is confident the bottled-water business, which employs 20 people, will continue.
“It's the major source of turn-over for the site, they’d be crazy not to.”
Adrian and Malina Schindler’s parents bought the brewery in 1981 with the vision of setting up a hobby farm on the 40 acre block.
“My dad was a carpenter and needed to store his building equipment, he just loved the masses of storage area,” Mr Schindler said.
The family began their bottled-water business in 1991. Recently, they’ve returned parts of the property to their original use.
“We’ve started experimenting with brewing beer here over last few years. It works very well and can be a very successful but we’ve just tried to keep it as a hobby because its more enjoyable that way.”
For Mr Schindler the sale does not mean the end of his connection with the brewery.
“I’m hopeful that I could still have a position within the brewery, I would love to see it get developed,” he said.
“I love Lithgow and I want to stay in Lithgow. We’ll probably see if we can do something towards tourism again.
“I think Lithgow is full of natural beauty and full of heritage. Tourism here is growing already on its own without any real marketing or input. I love it here.”