By James Atkinson

Little Creatures will launch a new Geelong-specific beer and is also planning the addition of more one-off products as a result of its added brewing capacity in Victoria.   

At the launch of the new $60 million Geelong facility on Monday, Lion head of craft Brett Grebert told TheShout that Little Creatures’ Fremantle brewery will continue to supply the needs of the entire WA market, as well as supplying a select number of beers nationally including Rogers, the new IPA and the single batch series.

He said Geelong will produce all other Little Creatures beers along with White Rabbit Dark Ale, which was formerly brewed at the White Rabbit brewery in Healesville, Victoria.

“That frees up capacity so that we can start doing some experimental brews for White Rabbit out of Healesville,” Grebert said.

“At the moment we don’t have capacity to do new brews for White Rabbit. We think there’s a real opportunity for White Rabbit to start producing some unique and interesting beers for the small bar channel,” he said.

Little Creatures Geelong head brewer Warren Pawsey (pictured above left) told TheShout his team is also planning a new beer using exclusively Victorian ingredients that will initially be available only at venues in the Geelong locale.

“Some of the bigger breweries in the US will do a radius beer, which you can only buy within a certain radius of the brewery. We’ll start that way and then we’ll roll it out,” he said.

The popular single batch series will continue as a Fremantle-only product. 

“Single batch is a Fremantle thing,” said Pawsey. “We’ll probably have something similar, but it won’t be called single batch.” [continued below]

L-R: Lion Beer Spirits & Wine regional sales director Frank Arangio, national sales director Mark Powell and managing director James Brindley

Two breweries, consistent product

Pawsey told TheShout he has complete confidence in the consistency of the beers coming out of the two breweries thanks to weekly blind tastings involving both teams. 

“We do a phone hook-up every Wednesday with Freo, and we taste all of our beers against their beers, but we don’t know which they are,” he said.

“By doing that we’ve been able to eliminate all the subjective elements – we now know that on our brewers’ scores we are scoring the same for our Freo beers as we are out of Geelong.” [continued below]

L-R: Victoria Premier Denis Napthine, Lion CEO Stuart Irvine and Lion head of craft Brett Grebert

Creatures to remain "brewing led"

Lion marketing director Matt Tapper told TheShout the company will ensure Little Creatures retains its “brewing-led philosophy”.

“We encourage our brewers to experiment and try new things, look overseas for inspiration, find the best possible ingredients and take those great beers to market,” he said.

“We’re just there from a marketing point of view to enable that to happen.”

In terms of distribution, Grebert said Little Creatures has already experienced some good growth since coming into the Lion fold, but the company will be taking a considered approach to the brand’s future expansion.

“We need to ensure it’s in the right places, places where there’s already a craft audience. The freshness of beer is so important, we want to go into places where there is immediate demand,” he said.

The Shout Team

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

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