FogHorn Brewery Hunter Valley, with founder Shawn Sherlock: S6E5

FogHorn Brewery Hunter Valley was born in August 2020 when the Newcastle company completed its acquisition and rebrand of Hunter Beer Co in Nulkaba.

The expansion has been made possible by FogHorn’s partnership with Founders First, the craft beverages-focused investment vehicle that listed on the ASX in 2019 and now has stakes in six breweries and three distilleries.




Founder Shawn Sherlock joins us this episode of Drinks Adventures to discuss this significant move for FogHorn, which until now has scarcely sold its beers outside the original Newcastle brewpub.

However, this is not the first time FogHorn has opened a second venue. Shawn and I discuss what he learnt from its previous expansion to open a taproom in Erina on New South Wales’ Central Coast.

Keith Grice and Shawn Sherlock at the newly minted FogHorn Brewery Hunter Valley
Keith Grice and Shawn Sherlock at the newly minted FogHorn Brewery Hunter Valley

And as a veteran brewer with more than 20 years’ of industry experience, Shawn reveals some of the beer styles he hopes to champion together with Keith Grice and the team at Hunter Beer Co, who have now become FogHorn employees.

First up though, we got talking about the dreaded C-Word. It wasn’t too long before the onset of the pandemic that FogHorn launched its first beers in cans.

I started by asking Shawn whether the packaged beer had helped FogHorn through this difficult period.

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Foghorn Brewery Hunter Valley founder Shawn Sherlock: Full transcript

SHAWN SHERLOCK: It was a lifesaver to be honest, in terms of the business. You know, being completely venue-based the King Street Foghorn venue’s a 250-seat brew pub and you know, we pump in there. We’re full, certainly in normal trading we’re full a lot of the time and that’s what really drives that business. And you know, we employ a lot of people. We had 32 people on the books, 32-34 including all the casuals at the time that the COVID situation eventuated. You know, and decent rent. All those overheads that come with running an inner city venue. But we were you know, trading well, all that sort of stuff. But bang, March the 22nd it’s all shutdown and we were allowed to keep trading takeaway. But you know, a lot of those casual stuff had to let go was just horrible experience. And that was in the pre-job keeper days so we didn’t know what was coming for them. My full-time team were fantastic and pulled in around me, and everybody worked you know, went back to working two or three days on rosters to try and keep going takeaway only. But we kept the place open and we kept trading, and that was great. But yeah, without the beer in trade and within the tinies, I think we’d have been really, really struggling. Because yeah, once everyone was drinking at home, tinies were critical and support from the local bottleshops and people you know, buying cartons direct from the venue. We started doing basic you know, ghetto delivery. We had our brewery van, we started delivering pizza and beer in that. You know, like every brewery in the country did. It was a similar story for us. But yeah, it was certainly an experience. 

JAMES ATKINSON: It’s quite fortuitous really to be here right as you’re opening the Hunter venue or re-opening it under the guise of Foghorn. Maybe you could just go back and sort of tell me how this opportunity presented itself?

Foghorn Brewery Newcastle: Background

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Yeah, well we started Foghorn Brewery back in 2014/2015. And about 12-months ago, just over 12-months ago I changed business partnerships. So I moved from my original business partner and partnered with Founders First, who are making a bit of a name for themselves with other brands in the craft sector. And as part of that, there was always a vision to start to grow the Foghorn brand and grow the wholesale side of the business. So actually, Foghorn traditionally had always been entirely brewpub focused and venue focused. We didn’t sell any beer outside the venue. Very, very rarely. A few kegs here and there, but certainly no pack beer at all. And I had the confidence and the potential with the Founders partnership to start growing that brand and growing into the wholesale arena. My past with the Murray’s brand had taught me a lot of lessons about the wholesale side of the business and some things, some strengths and weaknesses of that business model I guess and some things I wanted to avoid. And we’ve you know, got our ducks in a row now between myself and my current partners. And we’d been looking for an opportunity to expand to another site within the Newcastle/Hunter region. And this site here at Potters in the Hunter became available and I’ve known this site for a long time. I mean, I was drinking beer here way back in the very early 2000’s, late 90’s before I started my commercial brewing career. I was an obsessive home brewer in those days. And yeah, that’s how long this site has been producing craft beer. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Not that well known outside of the area though, you know, but there’d be plenty of craft beer enthusiasts in Sydney who wouldn’t be aware of the history of this site. So for people who’ve been in the area, what’s it kind of known for? What is its reputation?

Potters Hotel Brewery Hunter Valley: A ‘hidden gem’

SHAWN SHERLOCK: It’s a bit of a hidden gem like you say. And it’s been producing really high quality beer for a long time. But unusually for the first and the second wave of Australian craft beer, this was almost completely venue based. Again, it was a brew pub before brew pubs became the cool thing. So unlike most brands, like for example Murray’s in my past or you know, Four Pines or Feral or whatever it might have been from the 2000’s era, it was focused on brewing beer and selling it onsite. So didn’t really package and see offsite. So its reputation and its brand didn’t really grow much outside the region. But for people who have been around the craft beer industry for a while and people who have been craft beer lovers you know, beyond the last few years. It’s had a really strong reputation. Keith Grice, before him Luke Scott have produced some fantastic beer here over the years. And Keith in particular has been winning awards quietly, his dark lagers. His Bock for example, would be one of the more awarded dark lagers in the country. Certainly in recent years. At AIBA level and so on. So yeah, a great site and right in the Hunter Valley wine region. And this was brewing and being a footprint for craft beer, a bit of a standard beer back in the days, back in the early days of the industry in what’s a very wine dominated region. There’s been a few breweries open in recent years but you know, this site here has really punched above its weight for a long time. That said, it was starting to show its age a little bit. And what we’re all about basically is taking the best parts of what’s already here and you know, bringing what we do well at Foghorn to the site. And hopefully using this site to help grow our brand and ultimately you know, build a slightly bigger brewery and bring a packaging line in. And it gives us, you know, we’ve got space to grow in a way that the King Street site where Foghorn starter. Great brew pub, don’t want to mess with it. Myself and my original business partner James took our time to really redevelop that building and make it into the great space that its become. There’s no value there in trying to force a bigger brewery and a larger scale packaging and so on into that site. We can do that here. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Did that brewpub model play out the way that you were hoping?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: By and large, yes. The brewpub model is a better cash flow model from a business point of view and that you’re producing your product and you’re selling it through your own taps. You’re kind of owning the means of production, distribution and exchange. To go back to the old Marxist terminology. But you’re producing, selling, all onsite. And it’s expensive to get into and there’s challenges with hospitality to run, absolutely. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Especially now.

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Oh yeah, this is all… I should have prefaced all this. This is the pre-Rona world of course. Yeah, COVID beside. But yeah, it’s a model that is capital intensive up front but then is able to pay its way. And it does then, from a beer purists perspective. As long as your product is good and you know really quickly if it is or if it isn’t. Because the public is literally tasting it at your door, next to your brewery. You get instant feedback. There’s no sending it out to market and needing to have focus groups to find out whether things are working or not. It’s instant. But if the products good and what you’re presenting to market is good, you know, it’s a sustainable business model. Which ideally then puts you in a position to grow and that’s kind of really what we’re doing now. And I think the early, really super charged quick growth of a brand to become national and that kind of thing, is harder and harder to achieve. And for someone like me, maybe less and less desirable to achieve. I think you can really focus on the quality of your products and focus on the quality of your offering and get, get what you do down to an art that you’re really proud of and can do really well. And then look to grow, with the brew pub model. But that said, as someone whose been a brewer and a head brewer for a bigger brand and you know, we had a bit of a national presence by the time I left Murray’s. Hospitality, I thought I knew it going in but I absolutely didn’t. I didn’t understand the challenges of running kitchens and all those sorts of fun things.

JAMES ATKINSON: Did you original business partner bring that to the table?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: No, his real strength was in the development side of things and getting the fit out done in the first instance. And dealing with councils and that kind of stuff. You know, I have done a bit of that with Murray’s but James, that’s his background. He had a developer background and he was able to handle a lot of that side of the, the start-up phase. You know, we made our share of mistakes on the hospitality side early, certainly. As most people do when they start new venues and new, particularly restaurant side of things. But having learnt a lot of those early lessons, I think we’re kicking some goals there which is you know, given us the confidence and the ability to grow and do what we’re, where we’re sitting today in the Hunter with Foghorn Hunter. 

JAMES ATKINSON: You were saying that it was really important that Keith and Daniel came with the deal. Why was that?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: For a couple of reasons. One, the last thing you know, I wanted to be doing or Founders wanted to be seen to be doing was coming in, ripping everything out and starting again. In terms of what has been an established local business here. Secondly, Keith Grice again, for those in the industry. He’s a very well known brewer and one of the better brewers in the country I would say. Keith would be horrified to hear me say that but it’s true. He and I have known each other a long time. He used to brew beer in my backyard in the home brew days, back in the 90s and early 2000s. We’ve wanted to work together a long time. This was an opportunity that came up. And for an original brewing business, there’s only so many brewers out there. And I’m really, really particular with the way I like things done and haven’t spent the time I’ve spent building a reputation or a brand, a personal sort of brand if you like in the industry for quality of beer to then throw it away with not having the right team. So you know, it was critical for me to have the brewing team available to me to help grow the brand. And yeah, we could have advertised and could potentially have brought people from out of the area. But this is a local brand, we’ve got local people working in the brand and that’s really important to us as well. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Now going back, you expanded the Foghorn brand to open the Erina, let’s call it a taproom I suppose. And that was closed maybe a year or two ago now, probably around just before you did the deal with Founders First. 

SHAWN SHERLOCK: It was about 12 months before. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Yeah okay, tell me about that experience? I’m assuming that you know, the reason that it’s not there anymore is because ultimately didn’t end up working out for you?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: It was really successful at various times of the week, but it wasn’t successful seven days. A lesson that we learnt, certainly that I took out of that was being closer to the business in terms of the rent and return on investment and so on. The leases. We took a lease on it, we took a punt on the location. And again, weekends it was great. But the rest of the week, it was really difficult to get the numbers there to make the venue work properly. And we put a good few years into it and had some really good times there. I was quite proud of a lot of the things that we were able to achieve on that site there. But ultimately when the lease came up for renegotiation, we decided not to renegotiate the lease. So it wasn’t a situation of the thing going bust as such. It was just that you know, we were not doing the trade there as consistently as we wanted to and needed to. And certainly with agents talking about increases in rent, we just decided that no maybe, you know. And to be fair, we opened that roughly 12-months after we started Foghorn in King Street. And that was probably a case of us biting off more than we could chew a little earlier than maybe we should of. So a little bit of that. But that said, it wasn’t one of those complete disaster experiences. It actually worked quite well. I mean you’ve drunk plenty of beer there yourself. As you were saying. It was a good venue and we did some really good things there. And the Central Coast is a great area. Again, demographically though that was part of the issue for us, was that there’s kind of no real obvious centre on the Central Coast. There’s quite a few people, decent population base.  But it’s really spread between Newcastle and Sydney. So to get the numbers that you need for that kind of a venue to really work, and really pump, you’re drawing from a wide area. And you know, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights it was difficult to get them there. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Yeah and tell me about the canned range?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Yeah, the Young Americans IPA is our flagship IPA and that was gold medal winner at the RBA and so on, and it’s our biggest selling takeaway beer; had been for some time. We were only doing Growler and Squealer takeaways at that point, but it was two to one our biggest seller. So we put that in can first and its been really successful for us. It’s still our biggest selling packaged product. But the New England pale ales was the second beer we put in pack and it’s our second biggest seller and it’s going really well. The Sligo Extra Stout, you know, it’s a 7.6% ABV American stout. Again, it’s won its share of medals and trophies at awards. It’s a really, I think a really high quality beer. Stouts are not something that everyone jumps at to put in pack. You know, they sell reasonably well in winter but not so much outside it. We’ve had it in pack for 12 months now and it’s really holding its place. In fact across the COVID period anyway, I don’t know whether isolation and shutdowns turned people into dark beer drinkers or not. But it’s probably our number three seller at the moment and going really well. Certainly my model and my approach has just been brew whatever style you’re going for and whatever ABV, whatever market you’re going for with the beer. Brew something that you’re really proud to stand behind and is a really quality beer. And it is a little bit of a build it and they will come kind of an approach and you don’t always get it right. But if you put something out there that’s quality and that is really full flavoured, different to what else is on the market. But still drinkable to the point that if someone wants to have more than one of a 6.8% beer, their palate isn’t so wrecked by the first glass that they can’t come back for a second. That’s the ethos behind my brewing, the whole way through. Whether it was with Murray’s or with Foghorn. Is to have big flavour and big aroma, and innovative beers. And different beers. But drinkable beers. That’s really what I try and do. I’m consistent. I think that’s why a beer like Young Americans has been successful because yeah, okay. It’s not your go-to beer for your mainstream lager drinker, but if you’re a craft lover and you want that IPA character, it’s got it. The bitterness like I said, helps make it that little bit more drinkable. People don’t think of bitterness in that way, but it is really important. I think your beers without a requisite level of bitterness depending on style become really cloying. And cloying hinders drinkability, as much as bitterness does. So it’s about getting that balance right. But yeah, no real science to it. But for us, that’s how it’s worked out. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Sure. How do you see the beer scene evolving in Newcastle? I know that Modus Operandi are planning to open there. Do you kind of see that there’s room for some other venues?


Craft beer Newcastle: Modus Operandi is coming

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Absolutely. There’s a couple of other brands and venues that are, certainly pre-Coronavirus were talking about opening and talking about coming. I know Modus definitely are. Newcastle and yeah I’m the proudest Newcastle local there is. But Newcastle has punched above its weight in craft beer for a long time. Again, back in the Murray’s days when we were building that brand and when Murray’s was at its strongest, per capita we sold more beer into Newcastle than other markets. Even Melbourne. We were strong in Melbourne at the time. We would sell more actual litreage there, but in terms of percentage of population, Newcastle was stronger. So there’s a really strong beer drinking culture there, but there’s also contrary to what the outside world sort of sees about Newcastle, it’s got quite a discerning beer palate. People will take a few more risks locally on their beers and will approach craft and full-flavoured interesting beers in venues and areas of town that you might not expect. There’s better penetration of craft into the western suburbs of Newcastle, than there is in other cities. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Why do you think that is?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Yeah, I mean I guess being a working class town to start with, it’s a beer culture. And always was. Traditionally and growing up, dark beer was always really strong. Really strong homebrewing community in Newcastle. I’d reckon Canberra’s probably got the strongest homebrewing community in the country and I reckon Newcastle would probably be close second. And they couldn’t be more different cities from a demographic point of view. So I don’t know exactly why that is, but you know, there’s just more acceptance that beer isn’t just pale, mainstream lager. So back in the earlier days, when we were really fighting that anti-lager battle, which we’re not so much doing these days. Newcastle had already kind of won it. Because you know, beers like Toohey’s Old and dark ales were strong in Newcastle. Stouts, porters. The coal mining tradition may have had something to do with it. You know, once people can approach a dark beer you’re halfway there to getting them to try other styles in my experience. If the beer world has been totally dominated by you know, whether it’s VB or Carlton in Victoria. Or Toohey’s New in NSW or XXXX in Queensland. If that’s what they know in beer, it’s a big step for them to come across and drink some of the more full flavoured products. But if they’re already drinking dark beer, which is Newie with beers like Tooheys Old back in the day, they were. Maybe that’d open them up to be a bit more receptive, I don’t know. But yeah, if you talk to Corey Crooks from the Grain Store when he opened the Albion, which was his venue before the Grain Store. Yeah, he and I worked, certainly in my Murray’s days had a fair bit to do with him in that period at the Albion. And he slowly but surely, that pub was one of the roughest, most mainstream pubs in the roughest area of town in Newcastle. It was right on, in the wharf area. Right in the docks. And he took that on and slowly but surely he just started replacing all of the mainstream taps. Until it was 100% craft and back in the Murray’s days we were selling the original Nirvana Pale Ale and when it first became Angry Man Pale Ale, that was his go to pale ale in that venue. And we sold lots of kegs. And this was in the, you know, people get very excited about selling the… as they should, the Stone and Wood Pacific Ales and the you know, the XPA’s and so on in the current market. I put it to you that Angry Man was a much more hop forward and assertive and bitter, and cranky little beer than they are. And yet, you know, the high vis crowd would sit there on the front bar at the Albion knocking back plenty of Angry Man back in the day. And that’s a different with Newcastle, to other craft beer markets that I’ve seen. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Where do you want to take the beers? Do you have any ambitions of doing anything like barrels and all that sort of thing?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Absolutely, and that’s another great attraction to this site. Again, at King Street we haven’t gone down that track. I’m a real purist with brewing in general and with the barrels, you know, Belgian styles and the bigger aged beers. Again, in the Murray’s days we did some of the earlier barrel-aged beers in the market and I was really proud of those beers. But I’m not really set up to do them consistently and well at King Street. So we’ve just decided not to do them, rather than do a half-arsed version. We could sell plenty of it, you know. There’s so much excitement about saying that something’s barrel aged or something’s you know, soured or whatever. People sometimes buy the beer on the excitement of the branding, rather than on what’s actually in the glass. I just decided not to do that at King Street, because we weren’t really set up to do it well. Here, we’ve literally got barrels. We’ve got space. We’ve got… so absolutely there’s a barrel program coming. And again, Keith Gross here, I mean he and I have both been playing with barrel aged beers for a long time. So we’ll get a few runs on the board and I think we’ll do it properly, we’ll give it the time it takes. You know, we’re not going to do the same type of thing but I look at what Will’s doing with Van Diemen brewery down in Tassie and I look at you know, what Topher’s done with Wildflower and so on. And what Will Irving was doing, and Brendan Varis, with their barrel program at Feral Brewing. That you give things the time that they need and you do it properly. And the results are spectacular. You rush into it, you try and push it out to market quickly and you end up with some pretty average product. I’m not about average products. 

JAMES ATKINSON: How do you feel about Kettle Sours?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: I hate them. With a passion. No, that’s a simplified answer. I’ve drunk some really high quality, good kettle soured beer. 

JAMES ATKINSON: There’s a lot more uninteresting ones though, aren’t there?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Oh mate, that’s really what I’m talking about you know. And that’s really hit and miss. You can produce high quality, kettle soured products. Absolutely, not saying you can’t. And I’ve drunk plenty of them. But I’m a real fan of wild brews and you know, spontaneous fermentations and all the rest of it. Love that product. Belgian brewing in particular and that Belgian tradition, is what really excites me about brewing. It’s what really floats my boat. I’ve probably made more of a name for myself brewing bigger dark beers and big IPAs and so on back in the day. But the beers I’m consistently most proud of back in the Murray’s times and with Foghorn have been our Belgian-inspired brews. But you know, it takes a bit of time, particularly with the wild brews to get them right. You’ve got to be able to blend, you’ve got to you know, it’s not something you can turn around in a month. And if you try and turn it around in a month, you end up with some pretty mediocre product, most of the time. Again, the caveat is there that some people do it well and seem to be able to produce better quality than others. But yeah, as a generalisation kettle souring’s not for me.

JAMES ATKINSON: Have you done… I saw there’s a saison in there, but have you done a lot of Belgian style beers in the Foghorn era?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Yes, again they don’t, because it’s a brewpub they’re consumed onsite. But at one stage there we had five [24.12 unclear] at the same time, five variations. We’ve done a lot of Belgian styles and people have this view that you can’t sell them. Outside the for want of a, it’s a term I don’t really like, but “sours”. You know, wild brews, whatever you want to call them. They’ve got some popularity behind them at the moment as a general style. But the Belgian tradition and the classic Belgian styles are not, they’re not cool at the moment. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Yeah, Belgian Golden Strong Ale for example?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: We brew some crackers mate. If I do say so myself. Next time you’re up you know, we’ll make sure there’s some for you. And again, an attraction of working with Keith is that same thing you know. He’s brewed some really great ones here. I really can’t wait for 12-months down the track, to see what Keith and myself and Joe, Joe Lappin whose been working with me now for the last few years at King Street. And Daniel Gayner here at Foghorn Hunter. The four of us together are going to produce some really cracking beers. You’ve got brewers in charge, making beer related decisions. Okay, it’s a marketplace. We’ve got to have beers to sell to keep the business alive. But you know, I’m a really passionate advocate for not dumbing things down, you know. Okay, not every beer needs to be a 10% imperial stout. You’ve got to have beers that are for every occasion and session beers are really important. Love my Pilsners, love my sessional pale ales, etc. But let’s have good ones.

JAMES ATKINSON: Obviously there’s a few difficult months, maybe a difficult year, maybe longer ahead with the whole industry right now. How optimistic are you about how 600 breweries we’ve currently got are going to fare through this difficult period?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Right as we speak right now, I mean obviously in Melbourne it’s horrific for the industry what’s going on down there. I mean, I was running a venue that’s been through one lockdown and I know how hard that was. Going into it again, I’d dread that. And as we speak, you know, we’ve had a few cases in Newcastle in the last few weeks and everyone’s really jumpy. Because we’re really worried about it coming back and going into that lockdown again. I always have been an optimist for the industry. I’m not one of those people running around saying the sky’s falling, because there’s too many breweries. I think while ever the brewery has a reason to be. So while ever there’s a passionate person behind it, that really importantly is also a really great brewer, that can produce high quality products, that’s producing it for a reason. That has a reason beyond just oh I think this might be an easy way to make a dollar. There’s nobody that’s been around the industry for more than eight minutes that thinks it’s an easy way to make a dollar. It’s absolutely not. But the people that survive and that ultimately do go on to make a dollar and that are you know, can make a career out of it and can be around the industry for more than five minutes, are people that are passionate. That are skilled, that are producing quality product, product with a point of difference. Something to add to the drinks adventure and I think there’s plenty of room for growth still. That though is you know, in a normal environment. Whether there’s room for growth in the COVID environment, I don’t know. You know, it’s too early for me to really say. I think the only positive light out of it all has been pack product that because of shut downs and because of people being nervous to go out and so on, drinking at home selling pack has grown a little. And if you’re in that market, that’s been a bit of a lifesaver. But for all of us with venues and with those of us that are reliant on draft beer, on keg beer it’s been very, very hard. And I can’t see that changing in the immediate future. You’ve got to be optimistic and think we’ll come out of it and when we come out of it, I think good breweries will always have a place. Success in our sector is being able to survive and to make a living and to be comfortable and happy in what you’re doing. Success doesn’t need to be defined by being a national brand and starting to export to the world and you know, success can be defined by that. And the bigger members of our industry and some of the guys that have been recently bought out and so on, great. That’s a model of success, but it’s not the only model. And you know, I think sometimes people need to go back and look at why they got into the industry a bit in the first place. And what it was that was that passionate driver that got them there. And look at what success might really mean to them going forward. And if it’s having that comfortable life, being able to pay the bills, being able to produce a product that you’re really proud of. Being able to have that artistic connection to your product. I mean, for all the science that we focus on with beer and brewing, and science is vital to what we do. The thing that gets me out of bed everyday is coming up with the new recipes, for want of a better term. The artistic side of what we do. It’s the innovation and so on. If the trade off for that is that you’re not a multi-millionaire and you’re not building a Toohey’s scale brand, well. We don’t all have to be that size, you know. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be ambitious, but it’s, there’s not just one model of success I guess. 

JAMES ATKINSON: Sure, and Shawn where else can we find the beer?

SHAWN SHERLOCK: At the moment, we’re in all of the best local independent bottle shops. So in Newcastle and the Hunter, and just recently we’ve started to sell a little bit in the local area through some of the Woolworths and Coles stores. We’re not state ranged or nationally ranged, or anything like that. But we have got a presence in local BWS and Dan Murphy’s and local, a small presence in some of the local Liquorlands and Vintage Cellars, that sort of thing. You can buy online, again through some of the local Newcastle and Hunter bottle shops. They’ve got, so I know Tighe’s Cellars and Warners at the Bay for example. They’re just two that come to mind, that have quite strong online presences in the local Newcastle and Hunter area that you can order. And they’ll ship out. But also we sell in Sydney through Beer Cartel and Craft Cartel and we’ve done a little bit with Bucket Boys as well. Again, that you can buy online through those. So part of this project of taking on Foghorn Hunter here is to grow. Not just grow the brand, but literally to build a new brewery and bring a new packaging line in which gives us more volume. Which ultimately will see us being able to sell a little bit more into Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane. Bu it’s not a race to get there. We’re going to do it right and do it sustainably, and do it so that when the beer gets to those markets it’s in good shape and it’s quality product. That is as good as if they were buying it in Newcastle, close to the source.

JAMES ATKINSON: Well Shawn, congratulations on the new venue and best of luck with everything. Best of luck with COVID and best of luck with all your future ventures. 

SHAWN SHERLOCK: Alright thanks mate, and thanks for the opportunity and thanks for coming up to Newcastle and the Hunter mate. Always good to have people such as yourself up here. 

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Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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