Just over four and a half years ago, we sent our first Hawkers beer out into the market. It was February 2015 and our Hawkers family consisted of just four people, keen and optimistic for what could be achieved, and a brewhouse capable of brewing what seemed like an impossible 600,000 litres per year. We were part of a growing but generally inexperienced community of brewers and retailers and had a small, loyal audience of drinkers keen to try something new.
Today, Hawkers has grown to almost 50 amazing people and the last twelve months saw us produce more than 3,000,000 litres of beer. When we first fired up the kettle, we were brewing twice a week. Today we brew six times most days.
Five years ago, when I first arrived in Australia, I saw a beer scene that was completely different to the one I see today. Back then, Little Creatures Pale Ale was the go-to “craft” beer and, with a few notable exceptions, the quality coming out of many breweries was random at best. We were all eager to brew great beer, but we had much to learn as an industry. The drinker, too, had far less choice and the growth in new breweries and brands has grown to the point that the choices can now be bewildering.
If we stay in one place too long, we either go backwards or the world passes us by. This is no truer than in today’s dynamic and ever-changing beer landscape. Not only are new players entering the market and adding an amazing array of new beers to the shelves, but new styles of beer are emerging. But perhaps more importantly, our collective palate is also changing.
It is now time to move the cart into the shed and open the doors to a new-look Hawkers. Our new look features The Commonwealth Star. A symbol of Australia. A self-governing and sovereign nation, a place I am exceptionally proud to now call home. The star is also our nod to the history of beer. For centuries, it was customary for brewers to brand or paint a star outside the brewery and on the ends of their barrels, advertising “Good beer here”.
Expect some fantastic new beers from us, with a host of small batch, collaborative and innovative styles.
Our humble beginnings may be behind us, but the spirit of the hawker is still within us and takes us on to the next stage of our journey. We head into a future that promises many challenges and more than a few surprises as we navigate a changing beer landscape. We are ready. We look forward to you joining us.