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NSW Success Stories - Mountain Culture

Mountain Culture Beer Co., KatoombaCREDIT: Destination NSW

Craft beer from Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

NSW Success Stories
- Mountain Culture

Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba CREDIT: Destination NSW

Craft beer from Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

When the pandemic took hold just months after Mountain Culture Beer Co. was launched by husband and wife, Harriet and DJ McCready, they were forced to hit the reset button on their fledgling Blue Mountains brewery and veer into an online business. The success of their pivot was so swift and staggering that, to keep up with demand, by the end of 2020, Mountain Culture had increased the capability of its brewery from 60,000 litres of beer per year to half-a-million litres. 

But even that wasn’t sufficient to satisfy customer thirsts and soon production outgrew Mountain Culture Beer Co.’s beautifully renovated heritage building in Katoomba. Mountain Culture now brews their innovative tipples in a new one million-litre-capacity facility in Emu Plains and the McCreadys hope to increase brewing up to an enormous three million litres in two years’ time.  

For a business that didn’t have a website or any plans to sell beer online, the pandemic has forced a momentum that has delivered incredible accomplishments for Mountain Culture. “I can categorically say, there is no way we would have achieved such fast growth if we hadn't pivoted online,” says Harriet McCready. “Sending our beer across Australia opened us up to a much larger customer base. While someone might've come to the brewpub to see us once or twice a year, they can order online ever single week – and they do.” 

On the current trajectory, Mountain Culture Beer Co. is bound to meet their target given the heart-pounding pace of their growth since last year. “In the first lockdown, we were stoked if we cracked 50 orders a week, but this lockdown has been nuts and we're regularly packing 400 orders a week,” says McCready. They’ve also invested in their own canning line, lab equipment, employed more locals, and are now able to purchase the very best hops available. 

While the McCready’s vision for Mountain Culture Beer Co. was always as a destination bricks-and-mortar brewery with products inspired by their mountain surrounds, as the pandemic took hold, they found themselves behind closed doors with tanks full of beer that couldn’t be poured. It became clear they needed to shift focus. 

Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba CREDIT: Destination NSW

Craft beer from Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba CREDIT: Destination NSW

Craft beer from Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying craft beers at Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying craft beers at Mountain Culture Beer Co., Katoomba.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

The pair quickly engaged a mobile canner to salvage their brews. What followed was seven sleepless days as they hastily built a website, designed labels, and learnt shipping processes. “We knew we weren’t going to get it right the first time, but if we could just get something out, we could reiterate it later,” says McCready. It didn’t take long to smooth any creases and soon Mountain Culture was popping up on craft beer Facebook groups thanks to enthusiastic locals spreading the word.   

Maintaining their original philosophy to craft interesting beers with perpetual new offerings, the couple committed to canning at least one new beer a week and, today, have released more than 100 different beers. “Our idea of doing cool beers, doing them frequently, and getting them into people’s hands hasn’t changed – it just looks different,” says McCready.    

Each new brew is put online on Thursday and is habitually sold out by Friday, but often much sooner. Mountain Culture also holds virtual tastings on Zoom every couple of weeks, where 300 or so participants can log in and ask questions about the samples they’ve been sent. “We didn’t want to lose our philosophy of the brew pub. So, we just tried to make that model work in people’s loungerooms,” says McCready.  

Needless to say, in a post-pandemic world, Mountain Culture will continue to sell online, but the McCreadys are looking forward to getting back behind the bar at their Katoomba brewery to pour patrons a frosty beer in real life. “Sometimes when things are a bit heavy, you need that lightness. That’s what we focus on, it’s a connection point for people and that’s more important now than ever." 

mountainculture.com.au
Instagram: www.instagram.com/mountainculturebeerco
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mountainculturebeerco
Untappd: untappd.com/MountainCulture 

For more information on things to see and do in NSW go to www.visitnsw.com

Share your favourite holidays in Sydney and NSW on social media using @sydney #ilovesydney @visitnsw #lovensw 

The NSW Government via Destination NSW is sharing a series of NSW Success Stories – businesses of all types that have adapted their offerings to face the current environment and continue serving their community with a fresh approach and shining success. These innovative initiatives are nothing short of inspiring.

 

 

 

 

 

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