After a "tough" year, a brewery at Bulli has taken out a prestigious state award for heritage restoration.
The National Trust (NSW) this week announced the winners for this year's National Trust Heritage Awards.
The 'Bulli Railway Guesthouse Restoration' was the winner in the 'Adaptive Re-use' category.
This category recognises projects that complement and utilise existing heritage fabric, re-purposed and new developments that are sympathetic to the traditional uses of a site and its structures, and protect the heritage integrity.
Brendan Dowd and Stephen House are the friends and business partners behind Resin Brewing, located inside the heritage-listed old railway guesthouse next to Bulli train station.
"It's been a lot of hard work - a lot of blood, sweat and tears at various times," Mr House said on Friday.
"The building was going to get knocked down by Woolworths to provide access to the new Woolies at Bulli.
"It was the community that saved it from that happening."
The duo spent more than a year and $2 million renovating the heritage building, which first opened in 1887.
This process included all the wooden flooring and joists being taken out and inspected for termites.
Any that passed muster were used in the construction.
The building has also kept and reused the original bricks.
The award win has been a welcome surprise for the owners, after Resin Brewing opened its doors in March, just in time to get shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions.
They re-opened the business' doors in June, with only ten people allowed inside at a time.
Since then, as restrictions have eased, they can seat a hundred people inside and 70 people outside.
"It's been a tough year for everybody, and it's been a real highlight for us to get that award," Mr House said.
"When we applied for it, we didn't realise just how prestigious it was, and the quality of the other submissions that were in there.
"So we're over the moon with it."
The National Trust Heritage Awards program aims to acknowledge and celebrate the sector-leading practice and outstanding projects in the field of heritage conservation, education, events and exhibitions, and advocacy in NSW.
The National Trust Heritage Awards is in its 26th year.
"This year, more than ever, it is important to acknowledge the importance of significant places for the community because these are the places that connect us and provide a sense of belonging and we have missed being able to come together as a community due to COVID-19," Debbie Mills, CEO of the National Trust (NSW) said.
"It's given us all newfound appreciation for the role heritage, culture and place has in our lives."
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