The deal comes after Merivale succeeded in the tender process to provide all catering and beverage services at both the SCG and Sydney Football Stadium (SFS) from December 2021 until September 2027.
For Grifter, it was a pleasant surprise to be offered the opportunity, according to co-founder Matt King.
“We are served in a few Merivale venues and a big part of what they wanted to bring to the SCG, to my understanding, is that they wanted to bring something different and unique which included a couple of independent breweries,” King explained.
Craft brands securing sports partnerships have been on the rise over the last few years with recent deals including BentSpoke Brewing and Capital Brewing securing supplier rights at Manuka Oval and Gage Roads at Optus Stadium.
Choosing to offer an independent brand as opposed to one of the major brewers is a sign of industry growth, as King explained.
“They [Merivale] didn’t have to include independent beers on their offering but they did, which speaks volumes about what they want to achieve. We’re really grateful.
“We all know the flow-on effects on supporting independent businesses, especially independent breweries. I feel like the drive from consumers has helped it get to this point,” he said.
For smaller craft brewers the benefits of having a partnership like this is the potential to increase brand awareness, according to King.
“I still consider us to be a medium-sized brewery. So I’m sure there will be people rolling through the SCG that see our beers on tap and they’ve probably never tried it before,” King explained.
“It’s a general consensus that people want local beer if it’s being offered. I think if we all get to this stage, we can prove that we would do well there.
“So I think it’s a great opportunity for us against some of those bigger breweries to show that we can match them in terms of sales and popularity.”
While Grifter will have its beer on one tap in one bar, the issue of supply is one the brewery had to think through when the opportunity first presented itself.
“My one major concern when this came across my desk was the task of supplying and it was probably more worry than excitement. But when we got over that hurdle, I felt really good about it.
“We’ve just had a bit of an expansion so I’m comfortable with the supply and dealing with Merivale, has been no different than dealing with a local pub if I’m honest. It’s very personable.”
Hear more about Grifter’s recent expansion on the Beer is a Conversation podcast.
For Young Henrys, the new deal will see its Newtowner pale ale poured across eight taps at the grounds.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity to have Newtowner poured at cricket and footy games and shows how far craft beer has come over the last decade,” he said.
Having this opportunity presented to the company is key for the brand’s awareness, as Adamson explained.
“This is about giving people the quality in food and drink they want to go with the unbeatable experience of live sport.
“It’s great exposure for our brand and for our tasty beer to be associated with memorable occasions at such a grand and historic sporting ground.”
Grifter’s beer will be in the ‘Brewers Bar’ on Level 2 in the Noble Bradman Messenger Stand while Young Henrys’ Newtowner will be in various taps across the grounds.