Well another year has passed, and it’s been another huge one in the short history of Five Dock’s Akasha Brewing Company. I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on some of the big ticket items that made 2018 what it was.
We brewed a lot of beer! After a modest start to the year the brewery really hit its straps in the second half of 2018 brewing almost 70% more beer than the previous year. What a huge achievement that wouldn’t be possible without one of the most dedicated team of professionals in the local brewing industry, led by our Head Brewer, Gab Porto and National Sales Manager, Matt Denholm.
Akasha Brewing Company has a simple, but very important mission: Brew High Quality, Hop-Forward, Consistent Beers. It’s no secret we love our big hoppy beers - and it seems our customers do too! It really is a privilege to do what we love each and every day and call it a job! But it is the quality and consistency of our beers that perhaps is the most important aspect of what we do at Akasha.
From Day 1 we recognised the importance of quality and the need for a full scale laboratory in the brewery. From very early on we have had the capability to measure key criteria of each and every batch of beer to ensure the highest of quality and consistency. This gives us the confidence that once the beer reaches you in a schooner at the bar, or a can at the beach, you can be confident it tastes just the way we as brewers intended it.
Over the past 3 1/2 years we have brewed 54 unique beers and over 324 batches - 129 of them we brewed during 2018 alone! This continual quest for quality and consistency in every one has resulted in a few ‘pats on the back’ from our customers and peers recently. Some of the accolades included:
2017 Best Australian Brewery - RateBeer
2018 Sustainability Award Winner - Canada Bay Council
2018 Best Sydney Beer (Hopsmith IPA) - Sydney Beer Week
2018 Best Brewery Cellar Door - Sydney Beer Week
2017 Best Sydney Beer (Korben D. IIPA) - Sydney Beer Week
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Hottest 100 Australian Craft Beers
2018 Best Lager (Tradewind Lager) - Australian Beer Festival
2017 Best Pale Ale (Freshwater Pale Ale) - Australian Beer Festival
2018 Best Sydney Brewery - SydneyBeer People’s Choice Awards
2018 Best Sydney Beer (Hopsmith IPA) - SydneyBeer People’s Choice Awards
2015, 2016, 2017 - Best New NSW Beers - Crafty Pint
Our beers are now available in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, ACT, Tasmania and South Australia. Whilst our home town of Sydney and Canada Bay will always be our No.1 focus, our brand is now recognised around the country and demand in other States is increasing every day. Once again, the quality of our beer is crucial to ensure that every can and pour tastes as close as possible to a glass in our very own Tasting Room in Five Dock.
Our local community has always been an important part of the brewery. We were ecstatic to be honoured with the Sustainability Award for Innovation for 2018 which recognised the crucial part we play in our community, becoming a hub and common meeting place for locals, both young and old. We also released the Canada Bay Ale - a beautiful beer brewed especially for our locals and only available in and around the Canada Bay area. The popularity of the Canada Bay Ale has blown us away, quickly becoming the “beer we drink around here”!
As mentioned earlier, Akasha would not have achieved much at all without our incredible team of 14 people across all parts of the business and we work hard to ensure they are happy and safe in their environment. Breweries can be quite a dangerous place to work, so during 2018 we implemented a wide ranging safety program to make sure every employee goes home to their families in one piece. Whilst this is an ongoing program over the next few years we have already made big changes which have been embraced by all staff, and ensures safety is a part of our culture at Akasha.
Personally, 2018 saw the end of my term as a director of the Independent Brewers Association. During my term I witnessed an industry mature and grow to over 500 breweries today and was honoured to play a part in developing and transforming an industry association to keep up with and support the vibrant independent brewing industry. I will continue to play a part on the IBA Quality Committee, but leave the IBA in good hands ably led by Alexis Roitman and a Board of very capable key industry members.
Looking forward to 2019 we have big plans for the brewery! Whilst focusing on our mission of brewing High Quality, Hop-Forward, Consistent Beers, here are some of the exciting things we are working on:
Increasing capacity to support further growth in capacity - in other words, more big shiny tanks are on their way!
More brand new beers and seasonals - keeping our small pilot brewery on its toes and pushing new boundaries, especially in the area of hops!
Promoting 1 or 2 of our existing beers into the core range and into cans - Stay tuned for which ones!
A bigger and better Tasting Room - we about to embark on a big makeover in recognition of the important role it plays in our community. We can’t say too much, but we know you’re going to love it!
Further expansion into the remaining Australian States and Territories to ensure all of Australia can get hold of our awesome beers!
...and much, much more.
Finally a big thank you to all of the pubs, bars, restaurants, bottle shops and customers that continue to support everything that Akasha Brewing Co. does. Your continued support is humbling and our success is built upon these special ongoing relationships.
I wish you all a very successful and prosperous 2019!