Title: Chief Brewer – Malt Shovel Brewery
Annual output: 4.74 million litres*
The craft beer market in Australia is flourishing and, based on recent trends, I believe it will continue to go from strength to strength.
In my view, the key question in relation to defining craft brewing is: “Do the brewers have the mandate and freedom to make unique craft beers?”
At Malt Shovel Brewery, the answer is most definitely yes. Our brewers have complete independence and freedom and are able to deliver a portfolio of craft beers, each of which has been created with the needs of our loyal drinkers firmly in mind. Over the years we have released a number of small run, limited edition craft beers including James Squire Hop Thief, James Squire Pepperberry Winter Ale and James Squire Sundown Lager. The latter was so popular, consumers convinced us to make James Squire Sundown Lager part of our permanent craft beer portfolio. This was a similar path to that followed by Golden Ale a few years previous, a beer which is now our biggest seller. We also continue to push the boundaries with regular limited releases under the Mad Brewers banner. These limited release beers are developed primarily to stimulate the market & test the reaction of Australian beer lovers. Adopting that ethos, of exploring new directions as well as showing reverence to classic styles from the past, is essence of what craft brewing should be about.
For our point of view the word craft, should also communicate something about the style of beer and the flavour it delivers to the Australian beer drinker. In essence we consider craft beers to be an important subset of the premium beer market and a step up from mainstream in delivering flavour & innovation in flavour. From my contact with consumers around the country, I believe that is what Australian beer drinkers understand the word craft to mean, rather than any reference to the size of the brewery involved.
More on the definition of Craft Beer.
*Nielsen ScanTrack Data used to relate comparison. Does not reflect total output, but packaged sales.