WA craft brewer to ramp up production
By James Atkinson
Western Australia's Billabong Brewing plans to create new styles in its boutique beer range after launching a new 12 hectolitre brewhouse (pictured).
The Myaree craft brewer recently installed and commissioned the brewhouse along with fermenters and bright beer tanks, increasing its brewing capacity by 60 per cent or more, managing director Alan Proctor told TheShout.
"Head brewer Rob Murphy says it is now a pleasure to brew on the new system as our previous equipment was antiquated and difficult to use; the new brewhouse allows not only for ease of use, but we are also seeing an increase in quality and quantity," he said.
Proctor said that once the brewer has re-established its current portfolio of award-winning beers, it will move on to creating new styles in the boutique range, including its special gluten free range.
"We are actively looking to expand our market in Sydney and Melbourne," he said.
"We are seeking refrigerated storage in those states and distributorship, by doing this we can lift production to suit the demand by at least 50 per cent."
He said Billabong at present deals mainly direct to retail, other than in Queensland, where Fluid Liquor Group handles distribution.
"We are looking for the correct distributor to each other state," he said.
Proctor said he believes Australian craft brewers are slowly making inroads into the mainstream beer market by producing some unique, innovative beers.
"One draw back for small brewers is the production costs and packaging as related to small production scales," he said.
"However the excise in Australia for small craft brewers is the most restrictive aspect – we have excise relief to 30 thousand litres as compared with other countries such as the UK, where small is considered to be 300,000 litres."