Froth catches up with Kaiju! in the lead-up to Good Beer Week
Since late 2013 the Kaiju! Beer crew have been producing high-quality craft brews direct from their lab in Melbourne’s south-east. When we last caught up with the Kaiju! team (captained by beer nerds Nat, Callum, Lea and Clara) their hoppy Double IPA, Aftermath, had gained local applause within the Melbourne beer scene, quickly grabbing the attention of thirsty beer enthusiasts and booze stockists across the state.
Currently Kaiju! are prepping for a Good Beer Week degustation with Japanese restaurant Kumo Izakaya in East Brunswick, mixing the deliciousness of Japanese cuisine with the frothiness of Kaiju’s hand-crafted beers. Bree Stewart caught up with head Kaiju! scientist Nat Reeves to chat Good Beer Week, the importance of brand identity as well as his views on the craft beer climate.
Hey Nat (& Co)! What’s news at Kaiju! since Froth last caught up with you?
That was a while back now! We were only just set up in our new brewery then. Since then we’ve doubled our capacity (about to increase it by another 50% in three months), we’ve released our first can beer [Kaiju Krush!], run a few events at the brewery, turned my office into a rubbish dump … you know, the usual.
You’ve got about eight froths in the family now … is KRUSH! still the fan favourite?
KRUSH! has made a huge difference to how the brewery functions. We never expected there to be such a massive demand for it so at the moment we’re really just trying to keep up with it. It sells out far faster than we can make it. Hopefully with increased capacity and our own canning line we can satiate the hordes.
Any upcoming drops from the Kaiju! crew to keep an eye out for?
We will have an old favourite coming out in a can for Good Beer Week – I’m super excited about this one!
Kaiju!’s visual appeal is still top-tier – do you feel you guys prioritise branding a little more than some of your competitors?
I think there are some brands out there who think just having a great tasting beer is enough. And there are a lot of people who can’t afford great branding after setting up their business so branding is less of a priority. We have been lucky in finding Mikey Burton (mikeyburton.com) as he is pretty unique and his work is worth far more than what we pay him. With all the beers on the shelf these days you need something that stands out and Mikey certainly finds a way to do that.
Now to Good Beer Week – Kaiju! are providing a degustation, what can the beer fiends expect from your collab with Kumo Izakaya?
Awesome food, awesome beer, what else do you need to know?
Fair point! What’s your overall view on Good Beer Week’s effect on the industry during its seventh year?
The variety of events means it’s not all just for beer geeks, so brewers can get in front of people they don’t usually whilst broadening consumer’s horizons. It’s also a great reason for international guests to come out, do some collaborations as well as get into judging for the AIBAs [Australian International Beer Awards].
What do you think is lacking in the Australian craft beer market at present?
I think there’s too much emphasis on imported beer that should be drunk fresh. It’s great to support local breweries by drinking their IPAs, Pale Ales etc, with the bonus that local beers are often also in better condition.
That and Stoner/Doom/Metal Beer festivals.
Interview by Bree Stewart ~ Instagram @breezuslives