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Karkoo Nursery snaps up the Old Johnston Brewery

Landmark Adelaide Hills property changes hands for only the second time

Karkoo Nursery has acquired the well known historic Johnston Brewery in the Adelaide Hills in a $2.4million property sale. 

Colliers’ Nick Goode, Tim Altschwager & Nick Dean facilitated the sale of the landmark property in the picturesque Oakbank region in the Adelaide Hills for only the second time in its history. 

The iconic Johnston Brewery site is situated at 18 Oakwood Road in Oakbank and was sold on behalf of award-winning Clare Valley winemakers O’Leary Walker, who utilised the property as a cellar door and events centre and the continued historic manufacture of Johnston cordials.

“The sale of Johnston Brewery, for only the second time, represented a fantastic opportunity with self-evident appeal to a broad target market,” Mr Goode said. “Located in the heart of the Adelaide Hills, only a 35 minute drive from the CBD, and well known amogst the Hills community, the site was always going to be popular”.

Johnston Brewery is strategically located just off the major tourist thoroughfare of Onkaparinga Valley Road. 

The Adelaide Hills region, known locally as ‘The Hills’, accommodates multiple land uses because of its temperate Mediterranean climate and its proximity to the amenity of the city.

The Johnston Brewery site was established in 1843 by the Johnston family. It was originally listed for sale in March 2020, at the beginning of Covid lockdowns around the country. 

“Interest in the property was fantastic, however the launch of the marketing campaign co-incided with Adelaide’s lockdown, which certainly affected our progress initially. Fortunately we were able to work through a few challenging months and negotiate a result that exceeded our expectations.” Mr Goode said.

The eventual sale to popular Blackwood-based plant nursery Karkoo Nursery was subject to a change of use application from cellar door to nursery and café.

Neighbouring towns include Balhannah, Woodside and Hahndorf. The Johnston Brewery property is surrounded by residential and rural land uses, including vineyards, and is adjacent to the famous Oakbank Racecourse.

Related Experts

Nick Goode

Senior Executive | Agribusiness


Nick is a Senior Executive in the Agribusiness Transaction Team in Adelaide. Nick predominantly specialises in the divestment of wine industry assets across McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek.

Some recent notable transactions include:

Old Johnston Brewery, Oakbank - $2,400,000

Possums Wines, McLaren Vale - $5,305,000

Hares Chase Wines, Barossa Valley - $4,050,000

Owens Own Vineyard, Barossa Valley - $3,500,000


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Tim Altschwager

National Director | Agribusiness


Tim has been part of the Colliers Agribusiness transaction team since the creation of the division in 2007. Tim specialises in the sale and marketing of large commercial assets within the sector including the wine industry, forestry and horticultural industry. 

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Nick Dean

Consultant | Agribusiness


Nick has had a long career in non-residential property brokerage and agency administration and since 2002 has specialised in the Rural & Agribusiness sector with a focus on wine industry assets.

Nick holds directorships in the wine industry, including Project Wine Pty Ltd, and enjoys a parallel honorary career in the not-for-profit sector, including governance roles in the Australian Paralympic Committee and Disabled Wintersport Australia.


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