Cheeky Monkey eyes expansion as new brewery opens
By Charlie Whitting, Editor, Beer & Brewer
Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co. has completed construction of a new production brewery in Vasse, Busselton, WA. The new site, which is located around 30 minutes away from the original brewery, was built from scratch by the team.
The brewery is housed inside a 15,000sqm shed and a four-vessel Premier Stainless 25 hectolitre brewhouse, capable of producing 10,000 to 20,000 litres per day. Initially Cheeky Monkey is targeting the brew of one million litres per year, but there is considerable room for future growth, with a potential capacity of four million litres a year.
Managing Director of Cheeky Monkey, Brent Burton, said: “Because the shed is so big, we have plenty more room to expand and grow. It’s a purpose-built production brewery. When you’re constructing a new building and installing new equipment there are delays that keep popping up, but we’re finally at the end of the road now and we’re rolling out the beers over the next two to three weeks. It’s really exciting stuff for us.”
The site also features a fully automated bottling and canning line, as well as an in-house laboratory and a small bar located in the heart of the brewery.
“We want our customers to be immersed in the production brewery experience,” Burton added. “You can go to a lot of brewpubs these days where you can see the brewery through the bar, but we thought we’d like to take that one step further and put a little bar in the middle of the production brewery. That will be quite interesting to see.”
The original brewery will continue to brew as a “product development site” with the beers brewed there only available at the venue.
To complement the new brewery opening, Cheeky Monkey has undergone a rebrand. As well as changing the name from Cheeky Monkey Brewery to Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co., the company has changed its branding as it looks to go national and international with its beers.
Burton said: “With a new brewery, we thought we had better invest in the brand as well. We wanted to compete with market-leading products like Stone & Wood and the like. That’s the main reason we’ve invested in the brand. We went through a brand identity and design stage and then designed it from there.”
The expansion and rebrand has been funded the company’s existing sharebase of the family and friends who initially got the family brewery off the ground back in 2012.
Looking ahead, Cheeky Monkey has set it sights on WA first, before looking to other states, as well as other nations like Singapore.
“(WA) is our backyard, so we want to dominate this market first then naturally, we’ll look to the eastern coast market,” said Burton. “They are pretty congested at the moment, but we’ll get our beers over there whenever there’s an opportunity to do so.
“We’re also looking to export our beers as well – to Singapore, Hong Kong and south east Asia. We’ve had a contract with Singapore Airlines since last year. Our Pale Ale is served in business class flights between Perth and Singapore. We’ve got a good relationship with the airline there that’s opened a few doors for us to creep into the Singapore market when we’re ready.”