New brewery lures former Green Beacon brewer

A Queensland winery has snared long-serving Green Beacon brewer Johann van der Walt to drive its new brewing operation.

Witches Falls Winery at Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast hinterland is set to launch its Boxer Brewing venture later this year.

Moving to a new brewery after 10 years was a big decision van der Walt said, but he was looking forward to the opportunity.

“Boxer Brewing is a family owned business,” he said.

“Most of the staff has been here for a number of years and they are treated as part of the family business, this means a lot to me.

“All decisions and operations are done in house which in turn creates a proactive work environment. All of this is extremely important to me.

“Not only can you enjoy your workplace, but you can have more control of your product and brand from grain to glass.

“This is quite the opposite from my experience working for a bigger brewery.”

The new brewery and taproom will be located at the same site as the Witches Falls winery, with wholesale distribution potentially available by the end of February.

“While the two operations will be in different buildings, there is much crossover between the two – particularly in a scientific, production and educational point of view,” marketing manager Helen McAteer said.

“There is much excitement about bringing the two worlds together.

“A ready-made market already knows this venue, and hundreds of customers visit this site every week.

“It is safe to say that a good number of existing Witches Falls customers will have an appreciation for trying other artisanal beverages and Boxer Brewing Co will offer them the opportunity to do this.”

Having both at the same site will also allow for sharing of resources and collaboration.

“We will use Tamborine Mountain water from our own bore for our beers, and source local ingredients for seasonal and limited releases,” McAteer said.

“Moreover, Tamborine Mountain offers a desirable lifestyle, making it an ideal place to live and work.

“Finally, it makes practical sense to have the brewery near the winery. Witches Falls has been in operation for 19 years and attracts hundreds of visitors each week.

“It will also allow sharing of resources, collaboration, and expertise between Witches Falls and Boxer Brewing Co.”

The new brewery will focus on distribution by utilising existing networks within Witches Falls across South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

“In addition, the team at Witches Falls Winery has an extensive network of wholesale accounts which have been built up over many years by their in-house wholesale team,” McAteer said.

“It is planned to utilise these networks to promote and distribute Boxer Brewing Co beers.

“The Witches Falls Winery team is accustomed to producing products not only of high commercial standard, but also in commercial quantities.

“Additionally, we have significant experience in building a portfolio over many years, in being dynamic with this portfolio, and experience in forecasting and delivering supply.”

When asked what his hopes are for the brewery, van der Walt said he wants to create authentic products and grow the business organically.

“I don’t believe Boxer Brewing is here to “take over the world” or to be the cool new kids on the block,” he said.

“I do believe that Boxer is here to produce quality products and grow the business organically.

“If we did “take over the world” or became the cool new kids on the block, my hopes are that it is because of our staff and customers who believe in our business and product.”

While no exact date has been given yet for Boxer Brewing’s opening, it is projected to be open by mid-2023.

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