Urban Alley ‘Knox’ on new doors

National Australia Bank

The duo behind Urban Alley Brewery are set to open a new $5 million brewery and gin distillery at Knox Westfield in Melbourne next week, as part of their bullish growth plans.

Developing a recovery plan following the global pandemic has been the focus of many businesses across Australia this year, especially those in hospitality.

Urban Alley, a brewery located in Docklands Melbourne, is a NAB customer and one of many businesses that NAB has backed to diversify and grow as the industry looks toward strong growth again.

Humble beginnings

Dean Grant, who co-founded Urban Alley Brewery with Bruce Davey, began his entrepreneurial journey as a diesel mechanic in country Wangaratta. He quickly identified the “smartest person in town” as a small business owner and decided that he wanted to follow in their footsteps.

From his initial investment in a small pizza restaurant through to the creation of the well-known Bridie O’Reilly’s and Elephant & Wheelbarrow pubs in Melbourne, Dean’s journey has been marked by a series of creative moments, calculated risks and well-timed decisions.

Success story

Dean’s latest passion, Urban Alley Brewery is set to open its second venue next week with NAB’s backing.

Located in Knox Westfield’s new Ozone precinct, the new $5 million brewery will combine family friendly venue with live music, trivia nights and a modern pub menu. It comes complete with a dedicated gin distillery by internationally awarded Tasmanian-born gin producers Dasher + Fisher

Achieving fourteen international awards in its first year of business, Urban Alley Brewery’s expansion into Knox will allow the brewery to double its volume as a means of keeping up with increased national demand.

“The local community has long missed having a local brewery to call their own. Urban Alley Brewery will become the new local institution to fill this gap,” Dean said.

Urban Alley is one of thousands of businesses NAB supports with expert advice and flexible banking solutions and products. And at the core of that is a focus on deep relationships between the customers and their banker.

All about relationships

NAB Business Banker, Matthew Spangler is Urban Alley’s banker.

“Dean made it clear to us from the outset that a good relationship between him and his bank was crucial. We’re incredibly proud to be part of Dean’s journey and are dedicated to finding the right solutions for Urban Alley as they move from strength to strength,” he said.

NAB’s Group Executive for Business and Private Banking, Andrew Irvine, has been consistently impressed by the impressed with the resilience of business owners over the past few years.

“It’s been a tough period, but I’ve never seen so many businesses focussed on growth and realising opportunities in new markets.”

Andrew attributed the success of NAB’s Business and Private bank at this point to the team’s focus on strong relationships with businesses, and the appointment of more bankers to be on the ground supporting customers.

“This has all helped NAB’s Business and Private Bank grow despite intense competition.

“We’ve managed to extend our market leadership over the last six months, with a $124 billion increase in business lending. And our efforts to digitise business banking are certainly paying off – the number of transaction accounts opened online are up from 23% to 35% over the last 12 months to 31 March 2022.” Andrew said.

See NAB’s 2022 Half Year Result ASX announcement here.

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