15 February 2024

Enjoy a beer with the brewer at Goulburn Farmers Market

| John Thistleton
Start the conversation
Tribe Breweries

Tribe Breweries fulfilment manager Shannon Proudman, chief executive Heath Baker and head of customer service James Walker with some of the brands produced in Goulburn. Photo: John Thistleton.

Most people enjoying award-winning craft beers would be unaware much of it has been developed and brewed in Goulburn. Brewing beer for other brewers and retailers is the core business of Tribe Breweries, a busy producer operating in an enormous warehouse on Goulburn’s southern edge.

The partner brewer operates 24 hours a day perfecting brands for other companies and big retailers including the supermarket giants.

But over the past 12 months, coming out of voluntary administration Tribe Breweries has reset its focus, putting the Goulburn community firmly in its sights from where it draws key ingredients – staff and water.

On 24 February, which coincides with the industry-wide Local Beer Day – Tribe Breweries will be at the Goulburn Farmers Market promoting its brands, selling cases of what it makes and offering tastings.

Tribe’s fulfilment manager Shannon Proudman said the aim of Local Beer Day was to bring a positive light and cheer to people. “Following that we will head off in town and buy a round for the customers who happen to be there, at all the venues where our products are being sold: Southern Railway Hotel, Soldiers Club, Goulburn Club and Empire Hotel. That should be a bit of fun I think,” she said.

READ ALSO ‘We grow, we mine, we manufacture’, we’re Goulburn

Tribe’s chief executive Heath Baker said the closer community engagement began with the Goulburn Rugby Club, and the recent Goulburn Rodeo, and Tribe would be at the Goulburn Show on 2 and 3 March. It is donating back to community groups to ensure the community knows who they are, and to make their staff feel proud to work there.

“The Farmers Market is a good (event) because it is local produce; we produce locally, everything is made here in Goulburn. We may be a lot bigger than some of the other (producers), it doesn’t mean we cannot get out there and push ourselves,” Heath said.

Using Goulburn water, propagating yeast on site at Duck’s Lane and adding Australian pearl malt and hops from Victoria and Tasmania, and some from the United States, about 20 million litres of beer a year is made.

Tribe has a team of technical and development brewers researching market and consumer trends and developing flavours. They have made one of Tribe’s own brands, Duck’s Lane lager, a more consistent beer.

“What we have now is a redevelopment of that product, a 3.5 per cent mid-strength; it’s easy drinking,” Heath said.

Technical and development brewer Rodrigo Ricco keeps an eye on the production process at Tribe Breweries.

Technical and development brewer Rodrigo Ricco keeps an eye on the production process at Tribe Breweries. Photo: John Thistleton.

“People, particularly in Goulburn, are moving towards a lager over a pale ale or a harder craft beer. So we redesigned and developed that in-house here to get consistency and to what the punter actually wants. Hence Duck’s was reborn,” he said.

READ ALSO One Raceway revved up to drive Goulburn racetrack back to viability

Tribe’s head of customer service James Walker said Great Northern still had the lion’s share of the mid-strength market in Goulburn, but Tribe was making inroads. “At the rodeo the other day we were saying, ‘Give the Duck’s a go, see what you think’ and everyone who got on it stayed on it. People can be really proud it’s been brewed in Goulburn and want to see it succeed locally.”

Tribe Breweries closed its Marrickville operations and now produces the Stockade brand which came from there, entirely in Goulburn, where all its workforce is now based.

“We have bought our old brewhouse from Marrickville down here, a test kit, one of our brewers is brewing something for the Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival (16 March), which will be a good chance to get out and mingle with other brewers,” Heath said.

Shannon Proudman and James Walker inside the operations section of Tribe Breweries, Goulburn.

Shannon Proudman and James Walker inside the operations section of Tribe Breweries, Goulburn. Photo: John Thistleton.

“It’s really important we still have our brands, but it is still important we focus on our core – we are a partner brewer,” Heath said. “We take other people’s ideas and implement them. We had a team here yesterday who have a really great proposition for some interesting beers. They were pretty confident in what they had; we have ramped it up even more for them and they are going to launch soon and they are really excited. We tweak their recipes; we make the beer better for them, better for the consumer and that’s what we are really good at – that is probably 90 per cent of our business.”

Tribe Breweries can facilitate smaller production runs from 2200 cases of beer upwards to others who want to sell 100,000 cases a year.

Goulburn Farmers Market, 8 – 11 am, 24 February, Peden Pavilion, Goulburn Recreation Ground, Braidwood Road, Goulburn.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.