A heritage-listed sign provided the inspiration for the WA’s latest beer launch from startup Dingo Brewing Co.
Dingo was launched last night along with its flagship lager, contract brewed at White Lakes Brewing.
The branding was inspired by the iconic Dingo Flour sign which was painted on the Great Southern Roller Flour Mills Limited site in North Fremantle in 1940, and is now heritage-listed.
Founder Mathew Walker was originally involved in wheat farming at Great Southern Flour Mills and the Stone Axe Pastoral company which produces Wagyu beef.
He teamed up with farmers Spinner Brennan and Mike Shields, and brought in local beer writer and advocate Ross Lewis as a consultant.
Walker said his background and the iconic sign sparked the idea for the brand.
“The Dingo sign is such a WA icon that we believed it suited a product that is loved just as much by West Australians,” he explained.
“That is easy to say and a bit harder to do as I’ve learned. I brought two other farmers Mike Shields and Spinner Brennan into the grand plan and because of our rural backgrounds we wanted to not only pay respect to the Dingo sign but to our local farmers.
“We settled on a lager as the preferred style for our first beer – we just needed to get it made and that became the next, important phase.”
Walker originally applied for the Dingo Flour logo trademark in 2015 after previous owner Allied Pinnacle had ceased its use.
But a change of ownership in Allied Pinnacle prompted a rethink and the matter became a prolonged negotiation, culminating in Walker’s successful grant of the trademark late last year – under the proviso that it was not used for flour products.
Brewing Dingo’s beer
The Dingo team has worked with Gastev Group-owned White Lakes’ experienced head brewer Sean Symons. Gastev Group owner John Gastev is also a shareholder of Dingo.
Symons has previously worked at Malt Shovel, Lion and was the last brewing manager for the Swan Brewery before it closed in 2013.
“There is a strong love for lagers at White Lakes and Sean Symons knows more about them than most so his expertise would be critical to Dingo Brewing Company producing the beer it wanted,” explained consultant Ross Lewis.
Symons said that the Dingo logo is iconic, and he wanted to brew an ‘iconic’ beer to match.
“What better than an Australian Lager to capture perhaps a simpler time.
“As it happens I’ve been custodian of a number of these in my career, however, for this we wanted something uniquely WA – hence the all WA malt bill, combined with choice Australian hops.”
The brand’s 4.5% abv Dingo Lager was launched along with the beer company itself this week, and will be distributed to 10 pubs and clubs across the state, said the founders.
The Dingo team said they want the brand and business to stay true to its roots.
“West Australians love lagers but since the exit of Swan Brewery there hasn’t been a locally-produced heritage brand in that style,” explained founder Mathew Walker.
“We feel that Dingo could fill that void, especially as even the drinkers who have gone on to enjoy other styles of beer are coming back to lagers.
“Also, because of the agricultural background within the Dingo team we want to support Aussie farmers and have used predominantly WA barley and Australian hops in our Lager.”
While the Dingo team will concentrate on distribution intra-state, they said they would also be looking further afield.
“We’re going to concentrate on our home state initially but the Dingo sign has an affinity with plenty of tourists to WA,” Walker said.
“We want to build Dingo Brewing Company into a beer brand as popular as the sign but know that will take time and a lot of hard work.
“However, we’re inspired by a couple of other Fremantle beer icons – Matilda Bay and Little Creatures – which went on to big things after emerging from the port area.
“This will be a new and exciting chapter for Dingo and we want to make the sure the beer, like the sign, stands the test of time.”