Brick Lane unveils beers, all-star cast

Former Lion NZ boss Peter Kean has joined the board of Brick Lane Brewing Co, the $9.5 million start-up revealed in April that now has its first beers on the market.

Kean is a 27-year veteran of the Lion business, which he left in 2014 following three years based in Melbourne as managing director of Lion Dairy & Drinks, and the previous six years as managing director of Lion Nathan New Zealand.

Brick Lane founder Paul Bowker confirmed Kean’s appointment as a non-executive director, after the company last week finalised its ownership structure.

Adding to the company’s drinks industry pedigree is non-executive director Roger Smith, who until 2007 was general manager of Independent Distillers, the multi-beverage company that was ultimately acquired by Asahi.

L-R: Brick Lane founders Andrew Scrimgeour and Paul Bowker with head brewer Jon Seltin

Also new on the share register of the company – now valued at about $9.5 million – is Andrew Walker, a long-term employee of SABMiller and before that Pacific Beverages, the Foster’s and Coca-Cola Amatil brewing joint venture.

Other high profile shareholders to add to the names identified in April include AFL player agent Craig Kelly, Collingwood president and TV presenter Eddie McGuire and former Wallaby Tim Horan.

The share register comprising 30-odd companies and individuals also lists Toll Group executive Saul Cannon and barrister Christopher Townshend QC among its owners.

Commissioning early 2018
In late June, Brick Lane lodged a $3.2 million development application for building and works at a 5000 square metre property on Jayco Drive, Dandenong South, where its brewery will be located.

The brewery will be the most technologically advanced and efficient brewhouse of its size in the region, director Paul Bowker told Brews News.

Fabrication of its five vessel 50 hectolitre BrauKon brewhouse is continuing in Germany with expected commissioning in early 2018.

A decal for Brick Lane Helles

In the meantime, Brick Lane has started contract production at Hawkers Beer, where Brick Lane head brewer Jon Seltin was employed prior to joining the new company.

The beers are a Helles Lager developed by Seltin using BrauKon facilities in Munich, as well as a Pale Ale featuring Galaxy, Mosaic and Amarillo hops.

“Feedback from the beers has been great. We went through a dozen kegs in Auckland over last weekend, which could have been helped by 30,000 thirsty Lions Rugby fans, but we’ll take it as good sign of making some very drinkable beers,” Bowker said.

“There has been a huge investment of capital, time and seasoned industry expertise in bringing this project together and we can’t wait to make our full range of beers available.”

Cans and bottles
Bowker said Brick Lane will have a state-of the art packaging line that will be able to fill both cans and bottles in multiple sizes.

Victorian venues where the Brick Lane beers are now pouring include Platform 28 in Docklands, Glenferrie Hotel in Hawthorn, the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in both Melbourne CBD and St Kilda, and Wandi Pub in Wandiligong.

Brisbane and Sydney venues are soon to follow for the company, which has clear ambitions to be a serious player in Australian and New Zealand.

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