Vale Brewing 'faceless no more'

Brothers behind Vale Brewing (l-r) Pete Collin, Tim Collin and Michael Collin

Caption: Brothers behind Vale Brewing (l-r) Pete Collin, Tim Collin and Michael Collin

The buyout of the shadowy business formerly known as McLaren Vale Beer Company puts to rest any doubts over its true motives as a craft brewer, owner Tim Collin says.

Collin last week said that having taken complete ownership of the business, he and brothers Pete and Michael could now put a face to the Vale Brewing name and brand.

“Where there’s seemingly faceless partners or faceless men in the background sort of calling the shots, then people are potentially a bit sceptical about the motives,” he told Radio Brews News‘ Matt Kirkegaard.

Kirkegaard had asked whether Collin agreed that Vale had possibly not had the respect it deserved from its industry peers, in spite of the quality of its beers.

“We weren’t necessarily brewer-founded, which I think has been a key trait of a lot of the other craft breweries out there,” Collin said.

“Because that hasn’t been the case, there’s been some questions about what the clear intentions are for the business and whether it’s focused around… the quality of the product.

“Putting a face to the name and a face to the brand… means that we’re putting our credibility on the line for the business and for the brand.”

Big guys did come sniffing
Asked about the relentless takeover rumours linking MVBeer with suitors including Carlton & United Breweries, Woolworths and Coca-Cola Amatil, Collin confirmed the company had received unidentified approaches in the past.

“There’s been some talk and some interest out there. It hasn’t been a driver for me, Pete and Mike. Our interest was always to be long-term shareholders and backers of this business,” he said.

“From our point of view it was never really on the cards. We, for the last five or so years have been majority owners of the business, so anything on that front has needed our approval to get over the line.

“We’ve got a vision for this business and I think staying independent is very important to that.”

Collin suggested that he and his brothers may have been at odds with the other shareholders on this issue.

“One thing that’s important to keep in mind in terms of shareholder groups is peoples’ timelines,” he said.

“For us, we’re relatively young in the whole scheme of things and we’ve got a long-term time horizon in terms of our involvement in this business.

“If that doesn’t necessarily match with your other shareholders and your partners then sometimes those interests aren’t aligned and that was the scenario in this case.”

Vale launches Fox Hat Brewing
Also in the episode, Tim Collin explains Vale’s recent decision to change its contract brewing partner.

And head brewer Jeff Wright gives the rationale behind Vale’s new offshoot label Fox Hat Brewing, a moniker that falls flat with Radio News News‘ Pete Mitcham.

“Are you prepared for the flack over the name?” Mitcham asks Wright. “Who came up with the idea so they can take the blame?”

Episode 49 of Radio Brews News is available here.

Why you should try Vale Ale: Pete Mitcham

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