Mountain Goat
Cam Hines and Dave Bonighton

By Tam Allenby

Co-founder of Mountain Goat, Cam Hines, will be moving on from the company that he and Dave Bonighton started 20 years ago in the basement of a Geelong pub.

A spokesperson for Mountain Goat told Beer & Brewer that Cam will slowly wind up his role at Mountain Goat after two decades at the brewery.

Mountain Goat was founded by Bonighton and Hines in 1997. Bonighton, after a stint studying overseas in the US and travelling in Europe, was disappointed to return to Melbourne to find only bland, fizzy lagers on offer in Australia, and took up home brewing in his backyard.

Hines experienced a similar epiphany on a backpacking adventure around the world; despite confessing that he didn’t really like beer before embarking on his journey, in Vancouver he suddenly found himself enjoying full-flavoured, locally produced beer – and the seeds for Mountain Goat were sown.

“There’s certainly a number of breweries from around that time in the late 90s that just saw a chance to change the Australian beer category from the inspiration that they’d found overseas,” said the Mountain Goat spokesperson.

“The influence that Cam had in approaching Dave and setting up the groundwork for Mountain Goat was obviously a huge part, and when you pair that with other breweries across the country that were going through their own, similar journey, it’s pretty remarkable.”

Since being bought by Asahi in 2015, both Bonighton and Hines’ positions shifted into more of a consultancy role at Mountain Goat, passing over their respective knowledge bases in brewing and marketing to a new team.

Mountain Goat recently celebrated its 20th birthday and in honour of this milestone birthday, the Goats embarked on a birthday tour across Australia throughout October. They also launched a new Rare Breed just for the occasion, the Back to the Brewer Double Steam Ale.

The Mountain Goat spokesperson confirmed to Beer & Brewer that Dave Bonighton will remain at the brewery for the foreseeable future.

“Both Cam and Dave have created the culture of Goat, and what our business models are and where we sit today.”

Check out the Summer Issue of Beer & Brewer for an exclusive interview with Dave Bonighton and Mountain Goat Head Brewer Ian Morgan.

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