Mountain Goat started out in Dave’s backyard in the early 90′s. Dave was cranking out homebrews almost every weekend when a postcard turned up from Cam (backpacking through Canada).
Cam was travelling OS after quitting his music industry job in Melbourne. “When I turned up in Vancouver a friend took me out to some local bars serving a host of local microbrews on tap. I just suddenly got the picture and realised what Dave was striving for back home. My perception of beer got turned upside down right then and there. So I sent Dave a postcard that said something like Dave, we gotta talk, we need to start a microbrewery in Melbourne…”
After two years of frantic product development in Dave’s backyard and a lot of red tape the first serious Mountain Goat beer was born. The Hightail Ale hit the shelves (well around three shelves) in October 97.
Having no money they kicked off by contract brewing their initial batches in borrowed facilities when not in use. A good way to start but they really needed their own brewery.
So while Dave was living in a disused town hall in country Victoria overseeing the brews Cam wrote a business plan and started knocking on doors in Melbourne. “Plenty of people liked the idea of owning part of a brewery but when it came down to it we were two, young, overly ambitious guys without much business experience. We approached every banking institution imaginable and most of them wouldn’t even open our business plan. Our personal position statements included three surfboards, a couple of mountain bikes and Dave’s EH Holden” says Cam. Not a lot of security for the banks evidently.
Anyway, Dave and Cam learned to be persistent. Really persistent. They finally secured the required funds from friends, family and a business banker who wanted them out of his face.
Today the boys operate their very own microbrewery in Richmond (inner Melbourne). They craft the Hightail Ale, Organic Steam Ale plus seasonal beers in longnecks like the Surefoot Stout , IPA and Double Hightail.
“The plant is very labor intensive, but we can squeeze great beer out of it” says Dave. “And after hand filling, capping and labelling just on 2 million bottles you can well imagine we’re pretty happy about putting in a small, automated bottling line.”
Mountain Goat has collected a swag of awards over the years for their traditional, all natural ales and now has about 80 bars in Melbourne pouring their beers on tap plus bottled beer distributed nationally.
So why Mountain Goat? Well, a mountain goat’s a big hairy animal that’s never gonna fall over.
Contact Cam and Dave direct at Goat HQ.