Western Australia’s Cheeky Monkey Brewery has announced a total rebrand to coincide with the opening of its new production brewery in Vasse, Busselton this Wednesday.
Located in Western Australia’s Margaret River region, Cheeky Monkey says it is now the State’s fourth largest craft brewery after Little Creatures, Gage Roads and Brewcorp, which produces Feral and Nail beers.
Cheeky Monkey Managing Director Brent Burton told Brews News that the company had reached capacity at its existing microbrewery and restaurant more than a year ago.
Instead of contract brewing, Burton said that the team decided to commit to the Cheeky Monkey brand and invest in its future with a purpose-built production brewery and rebrand.
Cheeky Monkey’s Vasse production brewery, which will also house a small bar offering pizzas and brewery tours, is located about 20 to 30 minutes drive from its existing site.
“We bought a block of land in Vasse and we built a purpose-built 1,500-square-metre shed,” Burton explained.
The new facility will house a four-vessel Premier Stainless 25hL brewhouse capable of producing 10,000 litres per day. Initially, Cheeky Monkey aims to brew one million litres a year of its proprietary brands.
The new facility has a capacity of nearly four million litres per year, which will allow ongoing growth at the brewery including opportunities to contract brew and increase wholesale and package production.
Cheeky Monkey was producing 250,000 litres per year at its original site. Burton said that there are currently six 8,000-litre fermentation tanks with plenty of room to grow into.
“It’s a really exciting time for us and for the industry as it has continued to evolve and grow,” he told Brews News.
“Basically, we’re just taking a leap of faith and the next step for the brand and competing on a national stage now with all the big breweries.
“And that’s where the new branding comes into play, which we’ve been working on for a while now.”
From May 1, Cheeky Monkey Brewery will trade as Cheeky Monkey Brewing Company.
The expansion has been funded by Cheeky Monkey’s existing share base and some capital gearing as well.
Founded in 2012, Cheeky Monkey has been brewing beers on an 11hL microbrewery. A predominantly hospitality-focused operation, the launch of its larger, second brewery will allow the company to expand its wholesale and package distribution interstate.
Burton said that while Cheeky Monkey is an established and trusted brand in Western Australia it wasn’t ready to compete on a national level.
“I never felt we really communicated our brand values and qualities quite effectively, we’ve always engaged a local graphic designer and never gone through the whole brand identity and design process,” he explained.
“I just felt that the current branding or the existing one couldn’t compete on that national level against other market-leading brewers.
“[The brand] wasn’t clean cut or professional enough in my opinion.
“So when investing all this money in a new production brewery, we felt that we had better invest in the brand as well.”
Cheeky Monkey’s canning line will move to the new site, joining a new bottling line that has just been commissioned.
Burton said that the decision to offer consumers both cans and bottles came after Beer Cartel’s 2018 Australian Craft Beer Survey results, which indicated that a third of drinkers prefer bottles and a third prefer cans with the remainder undecided.
“It was quite significant, there were 18,000 people who took part in that survey,” Burton said.
“That’s 18,000 craft beer enthusiasts, that’s not even the mass craft beer market, which we’re trying to compete in now.
“We don’t want to restrict ourselves just to that small, pointy end of the market, the niche end of the market.
“We felt that we were missing half the market.”
The company said that hop-forward styles will remain in cans only, such as its West Coast IPA, while its Pale Ale and lagers will be available in both formats.
Cheeky Monkey has engaged former national sales manager for Gage Roads Scott Player to help run its new national distribution network.
The company has also recruited former innovation brewer for Little Creatures Brett Newman, who will assist the Cheeky Monkey team in maintaining high-quality standards across all brewing procedures.
Cheeky Monkey’s microbrewery and restaurant is located at 4259 Caves Road, Margaret River, Western Australia 6285.