Jonny Alexander – Wayward Brewing, Sustainable Stories

 In Collaboration, Sustainable Stories

Sustainable Stories No 9. Jonny Alexander – Wayward Brewing, high quality, small batch, local craft beer.

At Fish & Co we are dedicated to sustainability not only for seafood but also in business. We thought it would be interesting to share a little background on our sustainable partners so you could get to know a little more about the people and their businesses that makes it all possible for us to deliver our delicious sustainable experience here at Fish & Co.
We would love to hear what you think or on ways we can improve on connecting sustainable stories?

Your Name  Jonny Alexander

Where do you live?

I live within cycling distance from our brewery in Camperdown. Not too far that I can’t cycle with a couple of litres of fresh beer in my backpack!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I came from a wine background and made the jump into the craft beer scene in London before touching down in Sydney. I much prefer it as it’s more of an emerging industry. It’s young, dynamic & less formal that the wine trade and appeals to a much broader demographic of consumer. I am responsible for Business Development, but really I go by the name of The Beer Evangelist. I convert people from the blander side of life, turning them into fully fledged, Wayward fans. One step at a time, educating people on the benefits of enjoying good, fresh, local beer – showing them that there’s more out there than what already exists on the commercial end of the market.

Aside from craft beer, I enjoy cider, rustic home cooking, tennis, digging for vinyl records, bush walking in the Blue Mountains and a good drop of mature Chambolle-Musigny.

Tell us about your business:Wayward Brewing - Sustainable Stories

We started out as gypsy brewers, making our brews at other breweries whilst searching for the ideal premises to call home. Last September we moved into our site on Gehrig Lane, Camperdown which we’re really stoked about. We launched during Sydney Craft Beer Week and had a massive Oktoberfest party so the timing was spot on! It’s a large warehouse space, split in half between the production side and the brewery bar.

At Wayward we strive to make high quality, small batch, local craft beer. Living up to our name, we aim to brew classic, in demand styles which are slightly left of centre. We create tasty brews which are not complicated, but appeal to a wide variety of beer drinker.

Our Keller Instinct Bavarian Lager is based on a traditional German style recipe and is refreshing & accessible enough to appeal to all types of palate. Whereas our Fat Charmer Double India Red Ale or new Dad Rock DIPA are full flavoured and very hop-forward so generally reach out to the more discerning consumer. We cover most styles from our Camperdown 1 Pale Ale to our Midnight Barley Cowboy Hopped Porter. There really is something for everyone!

What are your longer term goals for the business?

Our longer term goals, first and foremost is to install more tanks. We have some on order which we’re really excited about. We can’t grow our business without increasing capacity, but don’t worry, we’ll always continue to operate with the same high standards. It’s natural to reach a point where we have more venues who demand our beer so the new tanks will help increase production for keg sales. We plan to also launch bottle product for the first time in a few months so those little bad boys will be hitting the shelves of all good restaurants and bottle shops in your local area. All I can say is, watch this space!

Ultimately, I think the aim for most craft brewers would be to reach a point where their presence in the market place is substantial enough to have nation wide distribution. It takes time, but finding the balance of maintaining the ethics and principals behind producing craft beer and serving the people beyond the local area is key.

Who are your customers?

Good pubs, small bars and not forgetting our hard core faithful of locals (and their dogs) who come to our bar week in week out!

What does ʻsustainabilityʼ mean to your business?

Sustainability means a lot in our industry. We have a couple of key suppliers for our hops and malt. We try and use Aussie ingredients where possible in order to reduce transportation and to support local suppliers.

We’re close to installing solar panels on our roof to reduce energy.

At Wayward, we also try to be ‘green’ in our approach to other aspects such as using systems to reduce water wastage. We also responsibly dispose of our used hops and spent grain which gets sent to local farms for cattle feed.

What is your businesses biggest achievement?

Having created a successful brand and limited range of beers whilst gypsy brewing. Making that jump into our first brewery is always a huge step-up, enabling us to do everything in house from the creating new recipes, increasing marketing, employing more staff, running a busy brewery bar etc.

If you could chose, what would be your last meal and with who (dead or alive)?

Haha, that’s a tricky one. I’m trying to avoid cliched examples of musicians like Gil Scott-Heron or Terry Callier who I admire. James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem, an all round dude and NY restauranteur and lover of natural wines is a hard one to avoid. Ok, well, as today is Sir David Attenborough’s 90th birthday, he has to be one of the most well respected personalities out there. Anyone who devotes their lifetime to raising awareness of the environmental things that truely count, is surely worthy of a mention. I think he’d be up for some good old grub too so I’d go for the seared scollops paired with a good Saison, rack of lamb with a black IPA followed up by a tasty Doppelbock matched with the chocolate tart. (LCD will have to make do with just playing quietly in the corner!)

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