It was during a tour of village breweries in Germany that Sam Preston’s dream to create a brewery of his own was born.
“As I travelled through Germany I noticed every town had its own brewery, and that locals were proud of their beer,” Sam says. “It gave me the idea of starting something like that in Kempsey.”
Twenty years and three kids later, Sam’s passion for the black stuff hadn’t waned, so in 2015 he and wife Amanda created Kempsey’s Bucket Brewery.
“I’d always had the dream but the timing wasn’t right when the kids were little,” he says. “We started out brewing in our garage for family and friends and were getting great feedback so we just kept expanding.”
Building on its early success, Bucket Brewery recently relocated from Sam’s backyard to a larger site in South Kempsey, giving Sam and Amanda the opportunity to expand their business operations. Today, they produce three beers that are stocked in numerous bottle shops and hotels both locally and state-wide,and interest continues to grow.
“I’ve been able to give up my day job, which is great!” Sam says. “The new site has allowed us to increase our canning production so we can supply all the venues that have been sending us enquiries over the past year.”
For Sam, living in the Macleay Valley has allowed him to enjoy a dream job and a lifestyle to match. He has also enjoyed watching his home town grow andattract more entrepreneurs and families.
“I think Kempsey is undergoing a rejuvenation,” he says. “House prices here are still within reach, which allows people to create lifestyles they love. The low cost of starting a business here and the fact that rent is cheap and the market is uncrowded are all factors that have made Bucket Brewery possible. I definitely enjoy the fact that I don’t need to slave my life away to pay a mortgage.”
After spending nine years living in the city as a young man, Sam also appreciates the perks of operating in a small but vibrant business community.
“There’s a really supportive ethos in this town.Other businesses are keen to support each other and stock local products,” he says. “The support we’ve received has allowed us to grow.”