Lion has announced that Byron Bay Brewery has reached capacity, with kegs and cans of one of its beers now in production at West End Brewery in Adelaide.
The Hazy One, a Cloudy Pale Lager, is the first beer that has graduated to off-site production, just under 12 months after the brewery re-opened under Lion’s ownership.
“We’ve grown in keg sales – the venue’s obviously selling a decent chunk of the beer we brew, but we’ve got Byron Bay on tap in the surrounding geographies, north and south of Byron,” Lion general manager of craft, Gordon Treanor told Brews News.
“It’s going really well in those venues and that’s led us to the point where we’re at full capacity.”
Treanor said Lion was keen to get on the front foot and inform all stakeholders of the development, given the controversy that surrounded the move to brew off-site under the previous ownership.
“We’ll be very transparent about the fact that the beer is being brewed at Byron, but also in other locations around Australia,” he said.
“We’ll call out that fact clearly and transparently on the packaging, as we do with all of our beers.
“It will allow us to share The Hazy One a little bit further afield, and in canned format as well.
“Cans are nine or ten per cent of total craft volume, so we’re really excited about bringing Byron into the can format.”
Lion’s announcement contrasts with the approach Carlton & United Breweries took in licensing the Byron Bay brand but concealing the fact it was being brewed off-site.
CUB was fined $20,400 by the ACCC for this misrepresentation, following a campaign by Brews News for the company to improve its transparency.
Why West End?
Treanor said Lion had originally intended to brew and can Byron Bay at Little Creatures Geelong, once it outgrew its own facility.
But he revealed the Geelong canning line is already operating 24/7 just to keep up with the huge demand for Furphy within Victoria.
West End was the only other logical choice, he said, because it has the filter bypass and other equipment to brew and can a cloudy beer such as the The Hazy One.
Treanor said The Hazy One has consistently been Byron Bay’s number one seller since Lion relaunched the brand last year.
It will be available in cans in NSW and Queensland starting in September.