Australia’s “original craft beer” Matilda Bay is welcoming back founder Phil Sexton to lead a relaunch of the brand in partnership with
Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) which acquired the business almost 30 years ago.
A new Matilda Bay range as well as classics such as Redback and Dogbolter will be brewed from a small-batch brewery to be built in Healesville in the Yarra Valley with a pub attached.
“Restoring Matilda Bay to its rightful place as Australia’s leading craft beer is unfinished business for me,” Sexton said
“I want to grow craft beer by showing people how special good small batch beer can be.
Sexton founded Matilda Bay in 1983 to offer Australians a “beautiful craft beer”. He believes the original craft brewery still has a special place in the hearts of Aussie beer lovers.
“It’s the right label to finish what I started and re-affirm what artisanal brewing should stand for: sessionable, flavourful beers that stand the test of time,” he said.
Sexton is a leading force in the Australian beer and wine industries, having also founded Little Creatures and launched Giant Steps and Innocent Bystander wineries. He will oversee everything from brewery construction to brewing and marketing of the new range.
CUB CEO Peter Filipovic called him a “craft beer visionary” who revolutionised Australia’s beer landscape.
“There is no one in the world more suited to delivering this venture than him,” Filipovic said.
“We’re meeting the changing needs of consumers by creating beautiful new beers in pristine surroundings that live up to Matilda Bay and Phil’s original vision. We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity and we
know beer drinkers will love it.”
Construction of the new brewery will begin in the coming weeks on the site currently occupied by Giant Steps winery and restaurant, which will close on Sunday. Tasting will re-open immediately at a new site in the town, while details of the new location for the winery will be announced soon.
“This is also about creating a beautiful new attraction in the town I love and live in,” Sexton said. “There is something special about drinking great small-batch beer where it’s brewed.”
Sustainability is a key element of the new project, with solar panels supplying power, all waste to be recycled and local Healesville water to be used in the brewery.