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Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 11.33.43 AMA year ago Gage Roads Brewing Co. kicked off its ‘Returning to Craft’ five-year plan after buying back its company shares from Woolworths and heading down its own independent road.

Recently the Western Australian brewery published its results for the 2017 financial year, which showed a really strong performance and Managing Director John Hoedemaker said the results justify the share buyback and put the company in a really strong position for the future.

“The result really supports our Returning to Craft strategy, in October 2016 we regained our independence when we bought back the Woolies shares,” Hoedemaker said.

“The strategy was to create a sales and marketing capability and with us bringing on Scott Player, our National Sales Manager, we’ve brought the sales and marketing headcount up from five to about 20 people.

“A lot of those are working hard across the east coast and WA, representing our brand to the independent trade in both the off-premise and the on-premise and that’s been really well received. So those results have been fantastic in helping to generate some good profit and some good cash flow.”

“What we have found our key strength is, that with the scale of our business, the quality of the people we have here and the systems and the quality assurances that we have in place, all these mean that we can put out very good quality beers and we can do that efficiently. And rather than keep that efficiency 100 per cent to ourselves, we have a philosophy that we would like to pass on to our customers and give them really good quality product for a reasonable price.

“We don’t brew craft beer for a select few, we brew craft beer for everyone and I think that is where the market is going. Consumers are flocking to all sorts of different beers, whether they are exotic, high price-point beers through to the likes of ours, which represent really good value at around $57 per case.

“We do want to brew beer that everyone will enjoy, you look at our Little Dove beer, the best beer at the 2016 Australian International Beer Awards. But the standout for Little Dove is that I get all sorts of people coming to tell me that they love it. Whether they are really into their craft beers, or just entering the market, it is a very accessible beer and it wins Best Beer of Show, because it’s a genuine, good quality craft beer.”


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