The winner of the 2020 Beer & Brewer Awards Lifetime Achievement Award is Bintani founder Peter Meddings.
With a 50 year love affair with brewing beer, Pete Meddings is one of the trans-Tasman beer and brewing industry’s most influential people. Through the brewing ingredient supply company Bintani he founded in 1994 (then under his own name) he has not only opened up the world to brewers but in turn also helped put better quality beer inside the glasses of drinkers on both sides of the ditch. We sat down with Pete to toast a remarkable career. He also received an award of the same name at The Indies this year.
These awards feature in the Summer 2020/21 edition of Beer & Brewer. Head here to discover all of our great subscription offers.
Looking back on a lifetime of achievements, what are some of the standout memories?
There are so many wonderful memories I could tell. My journey began in 1972 with home brew and the memories of that first batch were so exciting. I couldn’t believe I’d produced beer, well maybe best called a beverage with bubbles. For whatever reason, the excitement of making that first beer and being part of the brewing industry has remained to this very day. As for achievements, there have been many over the years. The standouts include the team we have created at Bintani. They are the most caring, hard-working and loyal group of individuals any business could ask for. The other is most certainly having the opportunity to work side by side with my family, and still being able to thoroughly enjoy celebrating Christmas Day together!
There must be a great sense of achievement in playing a key role in helping brewers put great beer out?
Correct, there is no doubt about it. Seeing beers in breweries, on tap in venues, in packaged beer outlets, and knowing so many have been produced with ingredients we have supplied, it certainly makes me proud of the business we have created. However, no matter how great the achievements, very rarely does it come about by one person alone. At the very beginning of the business I had some wonderful people contribute in various ways, two original suppliers and two original customers who continue to remain very important to our business today. Yes it was me that had the drive and the passion, however I am forever grateful that other people had faith in me and in what I was striving to achieve.
What was the catalyst for you to devote much of your life to the industry?
I saw an opening in the market for high quality, and a more diverse variety of, ingredients that were unavailable in Australia at the time. And I wanted to do something I enjoyed and was passionate about. I am a firm believer that if you enjoy whatever it is you’re doing then it’s not a job. Of course there are other reasons, like the pleasure it gives to assist this industry and the people within it to grow and develop.
How much have you stepped back from the industry and how are your sons getting on with continuing your great work at Bintani?
This is a question that’s somewhat touching. Yes I have stepped back from the day to day running of the business. I’m sure you understand starting from scratch, enjoying what you started, watching it grow, most importantly creating such a strong team and developing strong customer and supplier relationships (and a love for Nashville) it’s a little difficult to totally walk away from. Phil and Dale continue to do a fantastic job managing the business together and ensuring the Bintani culture remains strong. I have every confidence that together they will continue to build upon the strong foundation that has been put in place during the past 25 years and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.