Champion brewer enters Australia
Firestone Walker beers started arriving in Dan Murphy’s storesthe very same week the Californian brewer won Champion International Beer at the AIBA.
The top international trophy of the contest went to Feral One, an annual blend of hand-selected, well-aged barrels from Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks Blending Centre.
The prize capped off an impressive showing for Firestone Walker, also including Feral One’s trophy for Best Belgian / French Ale and the trophy for Best Pilsner, won by its Pivo Pils.
“That beer’s won gold medals throughout the world, but never a championship trophy,” the brewery’s export director Adrian Walker said of Feral One.
“It’s amazing, we were absolutely blown away. But from a commercial perspective, Pivo was a massive win for us.”
The AIBA gongs coincided with the launch of Firestone Walker’s DBA British Pale Ale and Union Jack IPA in Melbourne Dan Murphy’s stores, with other states to follow imminently.
Walker, brother of brewery co-founder David Walker, told Brews News these products will be followed by trophy winner Pivo and Easy Jack Session IPA in time for summer.
Australians will also see an extremely limited quantity of the brewery’s Vintage and Barrelworks beers, such as Feral One.
“We’re now allowing small batches out into my markets. I’m hoping to get 40 cases for the whole of Australia, that’s going to be maybe 200-odd bottles,” said Walker.
Quashing grey imports
He said no expense will be spared on shipping the beers, ensuring they spend only 17 days on the water and can actually be on sale within about 30 days.
“We achieve it because we’re not afraid to spend the money to achieve it. It’s expensive to do,” said Walker.
He said freshness of the beers is further assured by Dan Murphy’s commitment to range them only in the fridge.
“We’ve been in Australia for about 12 years on the parallel import, grey market.
“Another reason for us to come here is to protect that,” said Walker.