By James Atkinson

McLaren Vale Beer Co is now one of the top five privately owned brewers in Australia, proclaimed managing director Adam Trippe-Smith, as he made a number of exciting announcements about the company's future.

Trippe-Smith this week announced he will leave the business he founded three-and-a-half years ago.

He will stay on as a shareholder of the company, but both he and co-founder David Prescott have resigned from the board of directors, effective at the end of this month.

Trippe-Smith will hand over the running of the business to three of his team: Josh Stuart, general manager of brand & operations; Michael Hanton, GM of finance & logistics; and a GM of sales to be announced next year.

Over a period of two years, an upbeat Trippe-Smith said MVBeer has moved from one product, VALE/ALE to a portfolio of four, with a fifth, VALE/WIT, on its way, and the company now employs 16 people with a dedicated beer sales team of six people across three cities.

"As a result, we have built a business that is now in excess of one million litres per annum and we believe it to be one of the leading top five privately owned beer companies in Australia," he said.

"We have transformed from a one-person business to a leading craft beer business at the forefront of the craft beer wave."

Majors circling McLaren Vale?

Trippe-Smith would not confirm or deny reports MVBeer had recently rejected an offer from a major Australian brewer to acquire a share in the company.

As to whether he and the company's other shareholders would consider an offer at the right price, he said it was never their intention to set the business up for sale.

In more exciting news, Trippe-Smith said MVBeer has started commissioning of a new 35-hectolitre brewery at Willunga with initial capacity or more than one million litres, scalable up to five million litres.

"Going forward, brewing will commence in January at our new Willunga Brewery, we will add sales people in Brisbane and Perth to complete our national footprint, and we will relaunch the Salopian Inn (McLaren Vale's original 1851 inn, purchased by MVBeer in 2009) as VALE/INN Taphouse & Kitchen," he said.

"We have also just invested to double our keg fleet in order to overcome the capacity constraints we currently have."

After taking a break with his young family, Trippe-Smith told TheShout that he intends to explore some new opportunities in next year.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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  1. Why would he leave the business?? Surely a reason should be given. I have supported this product while it has been produced in NSW with an SA presence. Isn’t he the expert behind it and the owner??

  2. Its difficult to make money from brewing. Pure and simple. You have less than $20 million to blow away, you ain’t even in the race to survive. And that just for a niche craft player.

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