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Crafty Pint

Your Guide to Australian Craft Beer / Saturday 26 July 2014

Craft On The Rise

Crafty Pint / 24.07.14

Flodge-3

New figures just released from a nationwide survey seem to support what we know: craft beer is on the march. Figures from a pool of approximately 20,000 Australians questioned about a range of habits by Roy Morgan Research indicate that the number of people in Australia over 18 drinking a “craft beer” in any given four-week period rose from 3.5 percent in 2010 to 5.7 percent in 2014. They believe this means the number of Australian adults trying craft beer has crept past the one million mark for the first time.

Before we go on – and without wishing to be drawn into any debate over exactly what craft beer is or isn’t – a little clarification as to how the research was carried out. The questionnaire completed for Roy Morgan by 20,000 people includes questions on a whole range of topics, including habits surrounding alcohol. In both 2010 and 2014, respondents were asked if they had consumed any of the following five beer brands in the preceding four week period: Matilda Bay Beez Neez and Fat Yak, Cascade Pure (now discontinued), James Squire and Little Creatures.

Leaving aside how “crafty” you might consider some of these, that the same spread of people responded to the same questions about the same brands four years apart and the results indicated an increase of more than 60 percent over the four years is a positive sign. What’s more, respondents told researchers that those of them consuming mainstream beer had declined from 36.7 percent to 31.9 percent, with imported beer consumers up from 14 per cent to 17.3 percent. This research is different from that measuring volume of beer consumed, where total “craft beer” consumption is believed to have crept beyond 3 percent, including Matilda Bay, James Squire and Little Creatures, with approximately 1 percent of beer volume consumed in Australia produced by the country’s small, independent breweries.

According to the report from Roy Morgan, entitled “Nothing bitter about craft beer’s rising popularity”, the growth is strongest among 25 to 34-year-olds:

“The growing popularity of local craft beer is being driven predominantly by those under 50, with 25-34 year olds leading the way. In 2010, 7.9 percent of 25-34 year olds drank craft beer in an average four weeks, but this has since grown to 10.7 percent.

People from New South Wales and Queensland have taken to craft beer with particular zeal. Between 2010 and 2014, NSW’s craft beer drinkers grew by 186,000 people, while in Queensland an extra 99,000 developed a taste for it.

Lead researcher Angela Smith told The Crafty Pint: “You are seeing most alcohol in decline, so it’s a nice story to see [craft beer] is growing. There is a lot more interest. The good news is that it’s got over that one million mark.”

You can read more about how they carried out their research – and find out how to order more detailed reports – here.

Roy-Morgan-craft-beer-research

The rise and fall of Aussie beer habits

Dave Bonighton, co-owner of Melbourne’s Mountain Goat and head of the national Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA), says: “Those figures don’t seem crazy. It’s really hard for me to speak with any certainty [without knowing more about the research] but I’m really optimistic about where craft beer is going. We’re still working off a low base and still have a long way to go to catch up with countries that we compare ourselves to, such as New Zealand and the US.

“But if we can double the number of people drinking craft beer and double it again then we can start talking about good numbers.”

In Spring, CBIA will send out its own surveys to all Australian breweries as it looks to assess the size and growth of the local industry, measuring employees, total output and the like. The first survey was sent out in September last year.

*Anyone wishing to find out more about the Roy Morgan research can reach Angela Smith on (02) 9021 9101 or by emailing Angela.Smith@roymorgan.com.


Melbourne's Top Pubs

Crafty Pint / 22.07.14

Termi-time-out-pubs

Several of Melbourne’s top craft beer venues were among those honoured at the inaugural Time Out Melbourne Pub Awards. Pub of the Year went to The Terminus in Fitzroy North, People’s Choice went to The Local Taphouse St Kilda and Best Beer List went to the startling success story that is The Park Hotel in Werribee. Other gongs on the night went to Fitzroy’s Rose Hotel, which picked up the Legend Award, the Builder Arms took Best Pub Food and the owners of Footscray’s Reverence claimed Publican of the Year, with Best Family-Friendly Pub going to the Edinburgh Castle in Brunswick, Revival Award to the Savoy Tavern in the CBD and Best Entertainment to Mick Thomas' Yarra Hotel.

The awards took place last night (Monday) at the Gasometer, opened by Time Out editor and recently published author of Cherry Bomb, Jenny Valentish, before the mic was handed over to Good Beer Week co-founder Miro Bellini for the remainder of the evening, which, in a neat touch, ended with him handing the top prize to the owner and manager of the pub that has been Good Beer Week’s Festival Hub for the past two years.

Being named Pub of the Year continues a fantastic run for The Terminus. Long renowned for the quality of its restaurant, it was transformed little more than a year ago when a drive-thru bottleshop was demolished and replaced with a “craft bar” and beer garden. Now it has 32 taps pouring 16 frequently changing beers, two kitchens offering differing cuisine and staff that know their stuff – yet remains a pub where you go and watch the footy too. In the space of six months, it has been named Melbourne’s best by both the Herald Sun and Time Out Melbourne.

“I was shocked,” said owner Russell Griggs (pictured above holding the award), who teared up while accepting the award with manager Edward Harley. Having invested heavily in improving the pub over the past four years, he said: “It’s great to win it against a fantastic list of pubs; I said beforehand I thought it would go to the Great Northern.

“We invited a load of the staff along, not because we thought we were going to win but as a thanks, so this is great for them. At the end of the day, as good as the beer is and as good as the food is, the main thing people take away is the type of experience they have and that is down to the staff – they make the place.”

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The Park crew celebrating Best Beer List

For the team from The Park, which opened in nothing less than a craft beer desert less than two years ago promising to bring 16 taps of quality beer to Melbourne’s west – plus heaps more in bottle – it was yet more confirmation that there was method in their apparent madness. Seriously, who would have forecast a pub in Werribee winning Best Beer List in Melbourne two years ago?

“I’d have said, ‘Bullshit!’,” says Park co-owner Isaac Zietek.

“We’ve had as many as 500 beers on our list and they fly out the door. With each week that goes by we sell more of the good stuff.

“People [in that area] were asking for a good place to go and have appreciated what we are trying to achieve and enjoy the variety of what we offer.”

The People’s Choice Award will have to squeeze into the trophy cabinet at The Local Taphouse alongside all their others, with co-owner Guy Greenstone saying: “It means that people are enjoying what we’re doing.”

Taphouse-Time-Out-Pubs

Another gong for The Local Taphouse

It’s no mean feat, with the venue opening as a dedicated 20-tap craft beer bar seven years ago – well before the craft beer scene took off in earnest and south of the Yarra where the beer scene lags well behind the north – and it has continued to blaze a trail, coming up with a host of firsts in terms of events, tap takeovers and more. The secret to keeping things fresh, says Guy, is “encouraging our staff to come up with new ideas, whether that’s in the kitchen or behind the bar.

“Ultimately, it’s about great craft beer, great food and a great environment but also about having fantastic staff.”

The winners appear alongside other pubs in a new publication from Time Out Melbourne: a guide to the city’s 50 Best Pubs according to their writers.

The full list of winners from the Pub Awards is:

Best Pub
The Terminus

People’s Choice
The Local Taphouse St Kilda

Legend Award
The Rose Hotel

Best Pub Food
The Builders Arms
Highly Commended – The Fitzroy Pinnacle

Best Beer List
The Park Hotel
Highly Commended – Gertrude Hotel

Best Entertainment
The Yarra Hotel
Highly Commended – Northcote Social Club

Family Friendly
Edinburgh Castle
Highly Commended – Reverence Hotel

Revival Award
Savoy Tavern
Highly Commended – Prahran Hotel

Publican of the Year
Reverence Hotel
Highly Commended – The Terminus


Beer Me In, Scotty

Crafty Pint / 21.07.14

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Technology has been used to enhance beer tastings in Australia before. Venues such as The Local Taphouse St Kilda have beamed in brewers and experts via Skype or other means to take part in their appreciation sessions from wherever they are in the world. But now a Sydney bottle shop is planning to take things a step further and beam a brewer into the homes of anyone around the country wishing to take part.

Beer Cartel has long been at the forefront of using technology smartly on its award-winning website and now plans to use the site to run beer appreciation / meet the brewer sessions that anyone can attend without leaving the comfort of their armchair. The first of their Sofa Sessions will feature David Padden from Riverside Brewery (pictured above), who will be filmed at Flat Rock Brew Cafe – where there will be a live audience – discussing his brewery and the four beers being showcased on the evening, with the video streamed live over the Beer Cartel website. Those wishing to play along at home just need to order a mixed pack of said beers from the bottleshop, which will arrive on their doorstep in time for the event.

We posted a listing for the event a couple of weeks ago but figured we should find out a little bit more about what the guys at Beer Cartel hope to achieve with this new concept so posed a few questions to one of the store’s owners, Geoff Huens.

Where did the idea come from?
Geoff: A couple of years ago I was on a beach in Fiji thinking of ways we could do things differently with our tastings utilising technology. The idea of ‘Skyping’ in brewers who were in situ in their breweries to an audience sitting in our tasting room came to mind. However, within a week of being back, The Local Taphouse in Sydney announced their first Ale Star Skype session with Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery!

Fast forward a couple of years and the initial idea had stuck with both Richard and I. Building on this, Richard suggested instead of ‘Skyping’ brewers in, why don’t we ‘Skype’ them out to peoples' homes and mail them out beer packs prior to the event using our existing relationship with Australia Post. We then went about approaching Riverside and Flat Rock to see if they would be interested in being part of the first Sofa Sessions Tasting event.

Has it been done before elsewhere?
As far as we can tell this is the first time in the world this format has been done, i.e. a live in-venue and in-home online beer tasting run concurrently with beers sent out prior to the in-home audience, encouraging those at home to host friends for the event to make it more social. The format will also be very interactive for participants and we will be recording it too so that anyone can then view it afterwards.

How interactive will the sessions be?
In a nutshell: very interactive! During the event the platform will not only allow us to broadcast live audio and video but it also comes with the following functionality:

  • Q&A board for the home audience – they will be able to type questions that we can ask Dave live during the event.
  • Voting polls during the event, e.g. how they rated each of the beers they are tasting or ask them what they thought of the overall event

Further to this we will be:

  • Encouraging attendees to ask questions via Twitter – this can be from either the live audience or the in-home audience
  • Encouraging attendees to send photos via Twitter or post them to our Facebook page. For those hosting a few friends on the night at their house and participating in the event we’ll have a prize to give away which they can enter simply by tweeting us a photo on the night of the group enjoying the beers.
  • We will have a roaming microphone allowing the live audience to ask Dave questions which will also be broadcast live.

Flat-Rock-Brew-Cafe-1

Home from home for the Sofa Sessions

Do you think people will set up their own groups at their homes?
Yes, we’ve already had people buy a couple of packs to be delivered to the same location indicating that there are multiple people heading to the one person’s home to participate. Also, initial chatter on social media has also indicated people will be getting together to make a night of it, which is great as craft beer is better when shared with like minded people.

If it goes well how often do you plan to do them?
After this event we have another one already in the works for Sydney Craft Beer Week with an innovative international brewer. Once the SCBW team have listed the events online (July 28), tickets for this will be available – we’ll keep the brewer under wraps for now!

Once these two are done we’d be looking to make it a regular thing, with the main consideration being lead times to ensure we can get beers out to people before the event, so it’d probably run every two months.

The first Sofa Session kicks off at 7pm on August 19. Anyone wishing to take part can order packs of beer for $25 via the Beer Cartel website here, where they’ll also find details of what technology is required – essentially a working computer with internet connection and sound should get you where you need to be. There are tickets available for anyone wanting to attend the event at Flat Rock Brew Cafe too.


Barossa Beer Is SA's Best

Crafty Pint / 19.07.14

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An IPA from a brewery located in the heart of South Australian wine country has taken out the top beer prize at this week’s Royal Adelaide Beer Awards. The Canis Majoris from Barossa Valley Brewing, named after one of the largest stars in the known universe, won the Most Outstanding Beer in Show trophy. The Tanunda brewery (pictured above) also picked up the trophies for Champion India Pale Ale and Champion South Australian Exhibit.

Other trophy winners included WA’s award hoarding masters of malt Nail Brewing, which took out the Champion Small Brewery title as well as Best Porter for its HUGhE Dunn Imperial Brown Ale and the Publican’s Choice for its Imperial Porter. The latter has been out for a few weeks now, while a fresh batch of the epic HUGhE Dunn, which also won Best Porter at this year’s Australian International Beer Awards, is out this week.

Brewer John Stallwood said: “It’s a great honour winning gold and even a greater honour to get Hugh Dunn’s name on the trophy. Hugh has been a mentor for myself for many years as he has for most of Western Australia’s young brewers.”

Past winner Goodieson Brewery, a family brewery based in McLaren Vale, picked up a trophy for its Brown Ale, while perennial SA favourite Coopers collected the Champion Large Brewery title, Champion Other Ale for its Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale and Champion Stout for its Coopers Best Extra Stout.

The Chief Judges Award – awarded to the beer exhibit which achieves the most improved score on the previous year – was awarded to West End Brewery for its Hahn Superdry. The remaining two awards went to newcomers Prancing Pony from the Adelaide Hills, which won the Champion Amber/Dark Ale class with its Prancing Pony Amber Ale, and Matilda Bay Brewing Company, whose Redback Pale won the Champion Wheat Beer medal.

The awards are an initiative of the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of South Australia and were presented on Friday (July 19) at The Gallery on Waymouth in Adelaide. For the first time in 2014 cider was included, with the Champion Perry (pear cider) trophy going to Flying Brick Cider Co, from Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula and the Champion South Australian exhibit going to the Adelaide Hills’ Sidewood Estate for their Sidewood Apple Cider.

Chief beer judge Simon Fahey said the number of entries had increased substantially on the previous year, with 152 entries judged over two days.

“Of the total number of entries, seven percent received gold medals, 28 percent were awarded silver and 41 percent received a bronze medal,” he said.

TROPHY AND MEDAL WINNERS

THE CRYERMALT MEDALLION for CHAMPION INDIA PALE ALE
Barossa Valley Brewing – Canis Majoris

THE CELLARBRATIONS MEDALLION for CHAMPION AMBER/DARK ALE
Prancing Pony Brewery – Prancing Pony Amber Ale

THE BINTANI AUSTRALIA MEDALLION for CHAMPION OTHER ALE
Coopers Brewery Ltd – Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale

THE ECOLAB MEDALLION for CHAMPION WHEAT BEER
Matilda Bay Brewing Company – Redback Pale

THE AIR LIQUIDE MEDALLION for CHAMPION PORTER BEER
Equal first medals awarded
Goodieson Brewery – Goodieson Brown Ale
Nail Brewing – Nail Hughe Dunn Brown

THE ANDALE MEDALLION for CHAMPION STOUT BEER
Coopers Brewery Ltd – Coopers Best Extra Stout

THE LANCER BEVERAGE SYSTEMS TROPHY for CHAMPION SMALL BREWERY
Nail Brewing Australia

THE CELLARBRATIONS TROPHY for CHAMPION LARGE BREWERY
Coopers Brewery Ltd

THE KINGS TROPHY for CHAMPION SOUTH AUSTRALIAN EXHIBIT
Barossa Valley Brewing – Canis Majoris

THE ORORA GROUP TROPHY for MOST OUTSTANDING BEER IN SHOW
Barossa Valley Brewing – Canis Majoris

CHIEF JUDGES AWARD
West End Brewery – Hahn Superdry

PUBLICAN’S CHOICE AWARD
Nail Brewing Australia – Nail Imperial Porter

THE ASHTON VALLEY FRESH TROPHY for CHAMPION PERRY
Flying Brick Cider Co – Flying Brick Pear Cider

THE WINEQUIP TROPHY for CHAMPION SOUTH AUSTRALIAN EXHIBIT
Sidewood Estate – Sidewood Apple Cider


A Very Crafty Beer Book

Nick O / 17.07.14

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In a couple of weeks, copies of 150 Great Australian Beers – Your Guide To Craft Beer and Beyond will appear on shelves across Australia. It is written by the founder of The Crafty Pint, James Smith, a situation which posed a minor dilemma at Crafty Towers. Namely, when you spend your life writing about other things, what do you do when it comes to writing about yourself? So, we decided that the best approach was to hand the reins over to Crafty Pint NSW, Nick O, to carry out the interview…

Nick: I hear you’ve got a book due out about Australian beer. I occasionally write for an Australian-based beer website that’s focused on craft beer and I’m sure our readers would love to hear your thoughts about the upcoming release. If you could spare a few minutes out of your busy schedule, I’d like to pose the following questions to you:

Getting asked to write a book about beer seems like a pretty tough gig. How does one find themselves being presented with such an opportunity?
James: A couple of years back, a chap from Hardie Grant, which publishes the James Halliday’s Wine Companion Magazine that I write for, asked over pizza whether I’d ever considered writing a book. That planted the seed, a while later I pitched couple of concepts to their head of books, we agreed upon a way forward and, just before Christmas last year, I got the green light.

I’d always figured that launching The Crafty Pint could lead to spin-offs in the beer world and, along with opportunities such as becoming involved in Good Beer Week, the chance to write a book has proven that to be true.

There have already been plenty of books written about beer in Australia. What makes yours different?
It’s the most recent. It’s the only one with cover artwork inspired by Primal Scream’s epochal Screamadelica album. And it’s probably the only one to reference Fozzie Bear.

On a more serious note, I’d like to think that my travels of the past six years to, I’d imagine, more Australian microbreweries than anyone else on the planet means there is a broader representation of Australian breweries and beers than in any book of its ilk. And that, in keeping with my overriding mission of promoting good Australian beer to a broad audience, it is pitched at a level that is approachable and entertaining enough for newcomers to non-mainstream beer yet has enough to interest the hardcore beer geeks too. What’s more, it’s beautifully presented – really beautifully.

A decade ago you might have struggled to find 150 Australian beers but now there is more than that number of breweries. With the choice having never been so great, how do you go about whittling the list down to 150 beers?
Some of the practicalities surrounding the book helped with the whittling. The idea was that each of the 150 beers in the list should be available to anyone in Australia – even if they were only released in bottle once a year and had to be ordered direct from the brewery. Therefore, any one-offs or draught-only beers were excluded. Aside from that, on top of the beers I had already sampled, I tried to get my hands on as many bottles as possible to ensure as many breweries that had a beer worthy of entry (that I had tasted, obviously) were included.

There is a section at the end listing a number of breweries that don’t have any packaged beer that are worth checking out although even this approach means that there are some brewing companies who make some great beers, such as Grifter or Doctor’s Orders, who have neither bottle product nor a brewery at which you can visit them (yet), thus are only mentioned in passing. And, despite my best efforts over the past six years, there remain breweries still to be visited and a fair few who have appeared on the scene in the months since the list was compiled. That said, if the book doesn’t make you thirsty, inspired to check out more breweries, and excited for the present and future of Australian craft beer then I don’t know what will.

Beer drinkers can be fiercely loyal and generally not shy of an opinion. Are you concerned about the book’s feedback? For example, if you’ve left out someone’s favourite beer and they accuse you of being tasteless?
I fully expect there will be the occasional: “Why the hell is that beer in there?” but taste in beer, like any art form, is subjective. I once cracked an aged bottle of beer with friends at a barbecue that had spoiled so badly over the years it tasted like a combination of battery acid and cheap sherry. Two of the people at said barbecue thought it was fine. What’s more, debate is great anyway.

On that note, should we expect any controversial inclusions?
Define controversial. I guess Twitter will reveal all…

Do you think the book has appeal beyond beer drinkers?
If by “beer drinkers” you mean the dedicated beer drinker, then that’s the plan. As my wife has pointed out, however, she’s unlikely to be buying a copy for her aunt…

As I said above, the aim has been to write it in a manner that is entertaining as much as informative. I’m still very much learning about beer – both the product and its incredible millennia-long history – so in many ways, outside of the 150 beer entries themselves, the other sections of the book are an attempt to pass on as much of what I have learnt to date to people in a way that will fast track them to a greater level of understanding of what beer is, why it is what it is, and why it matters. And hopefully they’ll enjoy the odd chuckle along the way at some of the stories and characters that make the contemporary Aussie beer scene such fun. If it inspires people to further reading, great. If it just makes them more adventurous on their next road trip or visit to the bar, then that’s a win too.

150-BEERS---3D

It’s being launched in time for Father’s Day as well so will hopefully land in the laps of the few non-beer drinking dads, pique their interest, and we’ll find them attending the headline Beer Geek events at next year’s Good Beer Week.

What’s the best beer to have when you’re sitting down to write a book about beer?
Generally, it’s best to have a beer when you’ve finished sitting down to write a book about beer. Unless you’re suffering writer’s block, in which case it’s the one closest to hand.

How many beers do you think it took to make this book?
God knows how many different Australian beers have been sampled since I ordered a Mountain Goat Hightail on my first full day as an Aussie resident in 2008; it was the only beer on a very short list at the restaurant I hadn’t heard of and I remember being amazed at its colour. “A dark beer in Australia… Well I never!” If only I’d known then what lay ahead…

That said, an equally appropriate question would be: “How many drugs do you think it took to make this book?” A fortnight after the book was commissioned, I suffered a herniated disc in my spine and spent the subsequent two months writing it in rather a lot of pain, lying flat for most of the day, and munching on various pain medications of increasing strength.

This had its benefits, not least in occasionally giving me what was effectively a fresh set of eyes when editing early drafts as there were a couple of occasions when I would read over my writing and have absolutely no recollection of writing the words on the screen. I guess, referring back to an earlier question, this may also make it unique among Australian beer books – the first written while under the influence of something other than beer! It does mean that, should this first run sell out, there are a couple of minor revisions required for the second edition. It will be fun seeing if any of the beer cognoscenti spot them… I also owe a massive thanks to editor Rihana Ries who kept assuring me everything was fine and no one was fretting at Hardie Grant when I missed deadlines as a result of said incapacitation – only to admit once it was done that there were plenty of people fretting but she’d sheltered me from the storm.

Lastly, when’s it out?
It will be on shelves in good bookshops nationwide from August 1 and is available for pre-order via Bookworld online here.

We’re also holding a very laid-back launch at Moon Dog Brewery on July 31 where there will be books for sale as well as a one-off beer on tap I’ve created with the guys there for the night. More details are in the events diary.


The Bigger They Are...

16.07.14

Wayward-winning

One of the new breed of high quality New South Wales micros is celebrating after coming out on top in a two-year battle with one of the world’s global brewing giants. SABMiller India, a subsidiary of the company that owns brands including VB and Carlton Draught, challenged Wayward Brewing’s application to trademark the name Wayward on the grounds that the name would cause confusion among Australian drinkers with their brands Haywards 5000 and Haywards 2000; yes, those beers you may have spotted in the fridge of the odd Indian restaurant.

The battle cost Wayward’s founder Peter Phillip approximately $15,000 to fight – plus an estimated $10,000 in lost time – but proved worthwhile when the Hearing Officer ruled this month that the Wayward trademark could be registered in Australia. Costs were awarded against SABMiller India, albeit nowhere near the costs incurred. But, says Peter (pictured above left after winning Best Beer at last year’s Australian Hotel Beer Festival): “It was almost worth the $15,000 to win.

“It’s not like something where you can just say, ‘This is stupid – I don’t want to defend it.’ If I didn’t, it would have been decided against me. You just wonder whether they think that [Wayward] is a one-man band which doesn’t have the money to defend itself, but it pissed me off so much I kind of thought, ‘Screw you!’. As much as anything, I wanted to defend it on principle.”

Funnily enough, this wasn’t the first trademark issue Peter had faced with his brewing company. Initially, he had planned to call the business Square Peg Brewing but discovered that in Australia wine and beer are considered the same product and there was already a Square Peg wine brand in existence. Thus, Wayward became its replacement – a name that he he has grown to prefer and one that still infers the same sort of meaning upon the brewing company’s ethos: being off the beaten path and having a sense of adventure.

“I found it wasn’t trademarked in Australia, the UK, the USA or Canada so I got up at 4am one morning and said, ‘I’m going to register it everywhere!’,” says Peter. “Three months later the trademark office accepted it then during the advertising period SABMiller India’s lawyers challenged it.”

Initially it was challenged on every ground possible, although as the process developed the argument came down to the Wayward / Haywards issue.

“We always believed that the opposition was totally without foundation as our WAYWARD trademark is completely different in sound, appearance and meaning to their brands,” says Peter. “For me it was always personal as I have put my heart and soul into building this business.”

His hasn’t been the only notable trademark issue involving small Aussie brewers in recent years. The most high profile saw Melbourne’s Thunder Road challenge CUB over the use of a number of the latter’s unused heritage trademarks. That case was decided in favour of CUB, although Thunder Road will no doubt have taken succour in the fact that since then they have been named Champion Medium Australian Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards – the first time they have entered a beer competition. It’s a win that sets up an enticing possibility should the people behind the awards continue with their policy of inviting the Australian Small, Medium and Large Brewery champs to brew a collaboration beer as the winner in the Large category was… CUB.

More recently, Melbourne start-up Monster Mash was forced to change its name to Kaiju! Beer after a challenge from the maker of Monster energy drinks.

Wayward_Brewing_Company_01

As for Wayward, which has hit the ground running with a series of high quality beers, such as the Charmer India Red Ale (pictured right), Keller Instinct Bavarian keller bier and Raconteur Biere de Garde, there is much more to celebrate too. Having operated as a gypsy brewer – brewing on other people’s systems – until now, Peter has just secured a site in Camperdown, directly across the road from the Malt Shovel Brewery, and hopes to start brewing their early next year.

“We can’t wait to open our doors to the public and finally have our own brewery”, says Peter. “We have been holding back on releasing a number of new Wayward brews that we think people are going to love.”

The plan is to have a small tasting room alongside the 20 hectolitre brewhouse. It will require Peter stepping back as much as possible from his first business, which deals in superannuation technology. He had originally stepped down as CEO a year ago to focus on Wayward only to watch the business getting busier than ever, increasing from 35 staff to 90.

“The intention is that I’ll spend at least two days a week in the brewery but I’ll be taking on a full-time brewer and a sales guy,” says Peter. “My wife will be working in the business too.

“Whatever happens, I’ll be there two days a week to cause trouble.”

Something at which SABMiller India presumably think he’s rather good.

You can keep in touch with progress on www.waywardbrewing.com.au or via the brewery’s Facebook page.


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