All Inn's wort kit diversification

As breweries across Australia look to diversify their offerings, Brisbane’s All Inn Brewing Co. has successfully turned to fresh wort kit to augment its core brewing business.

Last year, Sea Legs Brewing Co. announced it had launched a mobile canning business, whilst Melbourne’s Moon Dog Craft Brewery has expanded into seltzer dispensers. Brisbane’s All Inn, meanwhile, has been working in the homebrew space for a number of years after launching its fresh wort kit offerings in 2013, and has only seen demand grow during the pandemic.

“It all started from a chance conversation with an associate of [All Inn founder Harley Goodacre] who was in the homebrew business,” according to All Inn’s head of sales Luke Phillips.

“Fast forward a few months and All Inn Brewing Co was making wort and putting it into plastic containers (cubes) for sale in homebrew shops. Since then, we have not only added some technology but seen the kits be distributed not only nationally but into New Zealand and Asia,” he explained.

Homebrewing saw serious growth during COVID-19, according to All Inn, and as a result demand for the wort kits grew even further.

“If anything homebrew sales in general have been stronger as a result of people not being able to go out due to COVID and lockdowns,” Phillips explained.

The wort kit side of the business has grown “extremely well”, he said, to the point where All Inn is now producing five times the amount of wort compared to finished beer.

This has been particularly helpful to balance the challenges that the hospitality side of the business has faced during COVID.

All Inn, like other breweries, turned to wholesale during the pandemic and bringing on Phillips last year has allowed All Inn to focus much more heavily on wholesale as well.

“The goal for 2022 and beyond is to increase the amount of finished beer for sale in both taproom and wholesale whilst still producing fresh wort for our home brewing partners,” Phillips said.

All Inn fresh wort kits

All Inn is not the first brewery to dabble in the homebrew market. There has always been a strong link and movement between the two, of both ideas and people, and homebrewers get added expertise when they buy from a brewery, explained Phillips.

“Fresh wort kits are a great learning curve for aspiring homebrewers, most start out as extract kit brewers with syrup cans and quickly realise they can only achieve a certain amount of quality.

“The next step is to purchase wort which is ready to ferment, where they can make changes to yeasts or adjust hops to suit and experiment how they will.

“The end result is a craft brew-quality beer for consuming at home.”

All Inn offers wort kits for a huge range of its beers, but also has a popular FWK single batch programme for brewers to expand their knowledge.

But developing wort kits in the brewery comes with its own challenges, such as oxidation.

“[So] in 2018 we converted over to a custom made system which replaces the plastic cubes to a bag-in-a-box which is essentially a carboard box with a bladder style bag containing the wort.

“Not only is it easier to produce at the brewery but given the boxes stack better and we are lowering our greenhouse emissions from transportation, and not purchasing all this HDPE which is hard to melt down and recycle,” Phillips explained.

This focus on homebrewing supply has been a huge benefit to the growing business, and the support works both ways.

“Let’s face it, homebrewers are massive supporters of craft beer and you only have to look into nearly every brewery in the country and you will find either a brewer or even an owner that started out as a home brewer.

“At All Inn we try to support all of the homebrewing community from either education at store level to help at homebrewing conferences and events. Who knows, the next champion home brewer may become a future employee of ours or one of the other breweries in Australia.”

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