Yesterday, West Australian brewery Beerfarm announced the appointment of former Stone & Wood sales lead Viren Goundrie as its new Head of Sales, the latest in a series of business moves that will allow the business to expand its footprint nationally.

The announcement follows news just last month that Beerfarm acquired Feral Brewery’s facilities in order to triple its production capacity and better meet the supply demands of Australia’s larger liquor distributors.

In speaking to Beer & Brewer ahead of the announcement, Beerfarm Founder and Director Ian Atkins said: “It’s a pretty exciting day for us with lots of pieces of the puzzle starting to come together. Appointing Viren as Head of Sales is a big part of that, and a big part of our national and international strategy.”

Prior to joining Beerfarm, Goundrie held multiple sales roles at Stone & Wood between 2012 and 2023 including National Sales Manager, in which time he drove business growth before the company was bought by Lion. Most recently, Goundrie led sales for Cape Byron Distillery.

For Atkins, being able to harness the vision and get the right people on board is a big part of the brewery’s mission, and Goundrie, with his industry connections and knowledge, is a welcome addition to the team.

“We’re incredibly excited to have a seasoned professional like Viren onboard. Along with several other recent appointments, it shows that Beerfarm is attracting national talent from across the beverage industry. We’re aiming for growth and people are wanting to be a part of that story.

“The beer industry is littered with passionate people, it really is, but it’s about finding people who have the credentials, and have got that desire to create something special. You can look at [Viren’s] track record in terms of where and what he has delivered,” he added.

While Beerfarm already has great coverage across Western Australia, Atkins says the initial stages of Goundrie’s role will focus on people and strategy as he gets to know the team and expand on their work with a national footprint.

Explaining what he hopes Goundrie will bring to the table, Atkins said: “Having the credentials of being able to work with Viren, and some of his relationships and pathways which we wouldn’t necessarily be aware of in terms of national growth. He’s got some great connections and it’s about having that national footprint ready for when our production is in place.”

A crucial part of that national expansion is the brewery’s ability to increase its volume in line with its growth ambitions, and Beerfarm recently entered into a binding agreement for the purchase of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ equity stake in Feral Brewing’s Bassendean production facilities earlier this year.

While Feral Brewing will continue to operate as an independent brand and maintain its own production needs, the acquisition has seen Beerfarm use the facilities to produce its own range of products in higher volumes. Atkins says this move was a necessity for where the brewery wanted to be.

“The reality is, we were struggling to make enough products out of our Metricup site. We are going through plans to increase the capacity at Metricup as well, but it’s not in line with what we needed it to be. An acquisition was always on the cards in some shape or form, and this seemed to be the best fit for us in our home state,” he says.

Beerfarm is well established in Western Australia, but according to Atkins, the brewery doesn’t want to be known purely as a Western Australian brand, and the Feral Brewing sites close proximity to Fremantle is an opportunity for Beerfarm to play into international markets.

Looking to its national expansion, Atkins also explained that the business has a development application in New South Wales.

“We’ve been on a long and arduous road for a development application over in New South Wales, and we’re hopeful that will be very imminent, and then it’s onto the next.

“We’re conscious that there’s only so much you can do, so those two streams together will build us out from a production capability in New South Wales, and also a venue, which is a big part of who we are and being able to showcase our products.

“We’ve always said we want to have pockets of production and venue throughout Australia. There is a real national play to what we’re trying to achieve here, with a localised feel, and bringing Viren on board will help us achieve that.”

While the brewery has big plans for New South Wales, Atkins is conscious that this is likely to occur over a 12-to-18-month window considering external pressures on the brewing industry.

“We’re not blind to where the market is at the moment, it’s very tough. Many of these things are out of our control, high interest rates, consumer confidence, all of these things will affect a beer brand and the hospitality groups that we’re dealing with.”

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