Mountain Goat will launch a new ale later this year that will replace the India Pale Ale in its 330ml bottle range.
The IPA won permanent status in late 2012 but has not quite met Mountain Goat’s expectations, co-founder Cam Hines told Australian Brews News.
He said the beer was selling at a volume where it had arguably outgrown Mountain Goat’s own Richmond facility, yet it was not moving quickly enough to fulfil the minimum batch size at Laverton, the Asahi-owned brewery where Mountain Goat produces all its 330ml bottles and cans.
“The IPA fell in that in-between. Mid-sized beers, in terms of volume, are hard for us to do,” he said.
“You’d probably find that IPAs, even the more popular ones, aren’t doing huge volumes anywhere. Ours did OK but it was 6.2 per cent [ABV].”
The IPA’s demise follows the runaway success of Mountain Goat’s Summer Ale Cans, and would appear to substantiate CUB’s recent comments that high alcohol, hoppy beers will never cross over into the mainstream.
However, in a contrasting move, Feral Brewing recently added a Black IPA to its permanent range, albeit with a much smaller batch size than Laverton demanded of Mountain Goat.
“We hoped it would fire up and get more traction and build, but it’s not really growing,” said Hines.
“It’s stagnating and it’s just tending to sit around a bit long, and then we’re not very happy because it doesn’t smell and taste the way that we intended it to.
“We’re going to keep the kegs going for now because there’s pretty good demand for those.”
While the minimum volumes required to brew at Laverton might create some challenges, Hines said the arrangement is working well in every other way.
“We’re really pleased with the beer coming out of there and we’ve got a great relationship with their guys,” he said.
“We can easily do the bigger volume beers at Laverton and we can do the smaller volume beers here [Richmond] with our 640ml longnecks, so we can always do innovative stuff here.”
Hines said Mountain Goat is currently finalising a new ale that will likely be out in 330ml bottles in time for summer.
“That will take the place of the IPA in our portfolio, but it won’t be as big and as robust,” he said.