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Sydney Brewery Sets Sights on Local and Export Market

Sydney Brewery Sets Sights on Local and Export Market

Sydney Brewery has invested in a new bottling line and cannery to help support growth over the coming months as it launches a new local distribution partnership and spirits arm and begins exports to China.

Already, the brewery has increased its production capacity from 250-400 cartons per week to 1,000 cartons per week with the new bottling line and hopes to eventually scale up to 2,000 cartons.

Head Brewer, Michael Capaldo, said, “Our current capacity is around 500,000 litres per annum of beer and around 300,000 litres p/a of cider. We have also installed a cannery, with five SKUs (three beers and two ciders) due to be rolled out simultaneously in 355ml cans around the end of January 2016.”

An increase in production is needed to support a new local distribution partnership with Young & Rashleigh, which is expected to double the brewery's sales in the first six months and triple sales after 12 months.

This will be bolstered by exports to China, with Sydney Brewery securing a prospective long-term ranging agreement with one of the country's supermarket chains. Exports to Japan and the UK could also be on the cards for the brewery before June 2017, according to Capaldo.

"We have just received an order for the first two test pallets of Sydney Cider and Agave Ginger to China. This will lead to a first container order in March 2017 and given ranging in China’s largest supermarket chain, expectations are for a container order every month beyond June 2017."

To support the expansion, the brewery has appointed three new brewers in the last three months. Capaldo is now supported by Lucas Leczkowski, Tom Fleay, Connor Williams, David Burgess, Jordan Krucler, and Zach Granger who has joined the team as ‘distilling professor’ to manage and increase its relatively new spirit manufacturing arm, Spirit of Sydney.

On site at Sydney Brewery’s Hunter Valley brewing facility, the team is ageing whisky and has also begun developing a couple of new spirits from its beer and ciders. The whisky won’t be released for at least another year, with the oldest only two years old at this stage. The whiskies are mostly being aged in French oak casks that were previously red wine and port barrels.

"We have also developed an Aussie Eau de Vie, a spirit distilled purely from our Sydney Cider. This will be launched as a pure spirit around March 2017, along with a passionfruit version. Beyond that, we plan to launch a spirit distilled from our Agave Ginger Cider, which will have some added complexity,” Capaldo added.

The brewery recently launched a Light Rail Ale, which is a California Common Lager 3.5% ABV that has been fermented at warmer temperatures. It is mid-strength but still complex and hop-driven, according to Capaldo.

The brewery also plans to release a pear cider in early 2017.

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