By James Atkinson
Mountain Goat has appointed three new sales representatives as the Melbourne-based company continues its expansion to become a national craft brewer.
Co-founder Cam Hines told TheShout that Mountain Goat has appointed Luke Dowling, formerly of Little Creatures, as its second Sydney sales representative alongside Ed Clarke.
"He has great contacts and great knowledge," Hines said of Dowling.
"That's the key for us because we don't really have the time or resources to be able to train people up to be reps. He can just hit the ground running."
Meanwhile, Mountain Goat has appointed Simon Frake as a rep in Victoria and Oliver Sustek in Western Australia, both of whom also happen to be ex-Creatures employees.
Sustek is Mountain Goat's first full-time rep in WA. In Victoria, Frake now has responsibility for Geelong, the Surf Coast, Ballarat and Bendigo, which Hines said "are becoming little hotbeds of craft beer as well".
"We're lucky because Little Creatures really had a knack of finding good quality people and training them extremely well," he said.
"They're very passionate about craft beer, so we've certainly been very fortunate to pick some of these guys up at this time."
Hines said Sydney's thriving small bar culture is driving a lot more support for craft beer, and he believes there is plenty of room for local microbreweries and national players to co-exist in the city.
"I think you need a good number of different brands in there to get the momentum going for the sector," he said.
"For our first 12 years, Mountain Goat was flying the flag in Melbourne, almost alone.
"It's been since the proliferation of microbreweries fired up in the last few years that it got easier for us – together we can have an impact faster."
He said the India Pale Ale – the latest full-time addition to the Mountain Goat range – is off to a good start in the independents, and he is hopeful of getting some good support from the chains.
"It seems now that the bigger players in retail are getting interested in IPAs and other more challenging styles as well, which is really good," Hines said.
He said the next release in the brewer's Rare Breed single batch series – of which there are four releases a year – will be the brewery's recent collaboration with US outfit Brooklyn Brewery.