Mountain Goat Brewery
Kicking off in 1997, home-brewer Dave Bonighton and music industry booking agent Cam Hines proved that two good mates can start a successful microbrewery with no money, but with unlimited enthusiasm, dogged perseverance and guerrilla-marketing tactics. Legendary brewery open nights once a month certainly kept their heads above water during leaner times and, wisely, they have steadily up-scaled the brewery’s output over more than a decade in line with increased demand, while concentrating on their local market. Mountain Goat has been a lagerfree zone throughout and the business has grown on the back of securing beer taps for their cloudy ales around Melbourne. In 2005 they moved a few blocks down the road in Richmond to larger premises and purchased an automatic bottling line (after hand-bottling more than two million stubbies over the years). Along the way, the self-styled ‘goat guys’ have inspired and mentored a new wave of craft-brewers, both informally and as the main proponents behind the VAMI (Victorian Association of Microbrewers Incorporated). They have also pioneered environmentally aware craft brewing, installing huge rainwater tanks and a bank of solar panels, and rewarding their employees either for cycling or walking to work (‘A fit Goat is a happy Goat,’ says Cam Hines), or using public transport. Recycled timber and building materials were used, largely, to fit out the new building and bar area, and even the men’s urinal is second-hand! A pint of cloudy, fruity Hightail Ale drunk at the brewery on a Friday evening is a must-do for any serious beer lover.
Mountain Goat is notable for its cloudy, hoppy and flavoursome ales and stouts, which are both unpretentious and the antithesis of large-scale commercial beers.
Mountain Goat Hightail Ale
Behind the Label
‘A mountain goat is a big hairy animal that’s never gonna fall over,’ says Cam Hines. Whatever first inspired the Goat Guys to come up with the quirky name doesn’t really matter because they’ve spun it off in many directions, including brands like Hightail Ale, Surefoot Stout and its larger brother Bigfoot. The Goat Army is an on-line forum for loyal customers and ‘bottled but not tamed’ adorns their labels. Moreover, the funky and colourful goat’s head tap-tops announce their presence in a singular way in dozens of Melbourne pubs and bars.
Cnr North and Clark streets, Richmond 3121 Tours by appointment; bar (Fridays and Wednesdays)comments powered by Disqus