LITTLE Creatures is anticipating a trebling of the production capacity of its Fremantle brewery in order to meet increasing demand for its boutique beer.
The expansion plans come following the appointment of a full-time sales and distribution representative in Queensland to expand what the brewer sees as significant potential.
Little Creatures co-founder Howard Cearns said the company was approaching the completion of its initial business plan and was now looking towards the future.
“We had a three to five-year plan and we have done that and had a lot of fun,” he said.
“It’s is now heading towards a point that, in the next year or two, we will be pretty close to capacity.
“In the next couple of years we will upgrade the brewery with extra tanks and logistical support and that will enable us to brew a fair bit more. We could triple the capacity.
“The brand is growing in the eastern States and Melbourne in particular, which has been a fairly slow market for us, is suddenly kicking.”
The company has sales and distribution staff in Sydney and Melbourne and its recent Queensland appointment is expected to open up a new market.
Mr Cearns said the company was well placed in a sector enjoying significant growth.
“We produce about half a per cent of the WA beer market; we are small,” he said.
“But what is becoming apparent is the premium crafted beer market is growing at 20 per cent per annum and the forecasts are for further growth.”
But Mr Cearns said Little Creatures was cautious about growing too big, and dismissed the likelihood of setting up production operations on the east coast.
“It was always about a certain scale so we tend to think more like a small single estate winery than we do a beer company,” he said.
“It has been tempting [to set up production on the east coast] and we’ve been offered sites on the east coast but we want to be based here and to be known as a Fremantle brewer.
“As our beer becomes more established it will become more of an institutional place.”
Mr Cearns said the company would consider launching new product ranges to join its Pale Ale and Rogers Beer varieties early next year.
“Early next year we will look at new products and see how the capacity is going. Rogers was launched almost 12 months ago and has performed above our expectations,” he said.
“We will look carefully at how this goes over summer. Whether it kicks and how much it kicks will depend on whether we have the capacity to do new brands.”
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