There will be no major changes at Mountain Goat, according to new general manager, Matt Grix, who joins the business from new owner, Asahi.
“The short-term plan is business as usual. It’s as simple as that. There is no other plan than operating the business as it currently is,” Grix told Australian Brews News.
“There are no plans at this stage to change anything in the business and all the staff will be staying on.”
Grix brings extensive experience to the business, saying he has his whole working life in beer.
“I spent a lot of years working for CUB and have been at Asahi for three-and-half-years, setting up an on-premise channel for them when they started moving their own product through the old Independent Distillers [acquired by Asahi in 2011],” he said.
He believes Mountain Goat is a strong addition Asahi’s line-up.
“Asahi is, first and foremost, a premium beer company. This really complements our portfolio and helps us get further into the craft space, which is difficult to build yourself and these guys have done an amazing job building a great product that we love,” he said.
“I like to think that we have a good offering of beers that suit the venues and that look for their products in their venue types. Mountain Goat is another great product that is a good fit for particular venues and we’ll be looking for those venues and trying to get the product ranged.”
Mountains Goat’s recent growth has also been a big part of the attraction, something Asahi was able to see at close quarters.
“That’s where the interest [in the takeover started] started from, from knowing each other’s businesses and a lot of mutual respect,” he said.
“[Craft] definitely has broadening appeal. The data over the years shows that the share of premium, imported and craft beer is growing. While people are drinking less they are willing to pay more for what they are buying.”
While he wouldn’t be drawn on sales prices or any conditions around the founders staying on, Grix said he will be working closely with them.
“Cam and Dave are fully involved and I am going in [as general manager] to ensure that it is business as usual. I am going to be around gleaning information and hoping that [Cam and Dave] are around to continue to innovate and to make sure the beer is of the quality it is now,” he said
But he also confirmed that his role as General Manager was to manage the brewery.
“Yeah, as General Manager of the business, but it will be a team effort. I report through to the chief operating officer of our alcohol division in Australia and we’ll be in control of everything that goes through, but using the great people and minds that are there now.”