No beer lover's visit to Melbourne is complete without an hour or three in the Mountain Goat Brewery enjoying a beer in the shadow of the tanks in which they are brewed. Well into their second decade producing some of Australia's finest tipples, founders Cam and Dave are two true trailblazers of the craft beer revolution.
At a time when microbreweries had almost disappeared from the Australian landscape, they began a guerilla fightback against the mundanity of commercial beers. On a trip to North America, Cam was inspired by the local micro scene, sent home brewing pal Dave a postcard saying: "Let's open a brewery" and, on his return, they did. Dave's ever-expanding home brew set up spilled into his backyard, they began holding Friday night BBQs, word got out and a Melbourne legend was born.
Today, Mountain Goat is based in a large warehouse in Richmond and attracts hundreds of Goat Army faithfuls through its doors from 5pm on Wednesdays and Fridays to sample the full range of fresh beers, regular limited release specials and, of course, Randy the 'Hopinator' ' a Heath Robinson-esque machine that's filled with fresh hops, fruit, coffee beans (well, anything really) that add a last minute hit of added flavour to your beer.
Their distinctive goat head taps are found all over Melbourne and increasingly across the country, with the brewery one of the largest craft operations in the land. Over the years they've collaborated with a number of international breweries, both here and abroad, and have explored international markets too.
In recent years, to cope with their growth, they have outsourced production of much of their beer. All Steam Ale plus packaged Hightail, Pale Ale, Summer Ale, Fancy Pants and Surefoot Stout is now produced at Asahi Premium Beverages, with all other draught beer and limited run bottled beers produced at their Richmond HQ.
In their 18th year, they celebrated winning Champion Australian Beer at the 2015 Australian International Beer Awards for their biggest ever beer, a Lark Barrel Aged Barley Wine. And, on September 28, 2015, Cam and Dave announced that they had sold the business to Asahi. They are staying in their roles as the next stage in the Goat journey begins.