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Hiker Brewing Co.

Hiker the Brand – Part II

Quick Progress Update (as at 25 April 2022)

Things are progressing really well with the build of the brewery, and it is pretty much on track (as per our project plan).  Last week we had the concrete cutting for all the drains completed – a total of 150 meters (not really looking forward to that invoice, but it had to be done). Our cold room was also pretty much completed and will be commissioned once the new main switch board is installed.

This week we will have the concrete removed and drains installed, in preparation for the concreting, as well as installation of our settlement tank.  We will  also hopefully start work on our new toilet block, which will be exciting after many revisions to comply with the building certifier (who would have thought the distance from the fire hydrant out of the road would cause so many issues – we were 1 meter short – got to love red tape).

Anyway back to our roadmap on Branding.

Hiker’s 4 Step Approach

In our first blog post on the topic – I spoke about our Brand Name and Brand Development, particularly around the journey of our name and finalising our logo.  Work has been progressing on our visual identity and we feel it is coming together nicely.  We have commissioned Liz Roesler – an up and coming Brisbane graphic designer who has completed some designs for our other Brisbane based breweries to assist with this project, and we look forward to seeing what she comes up with for Hiker.

Whilst this has been happening, we have also dabbled with Fiverr in developing some of our initial graphic design, mainly for a large banner (14m x 3m) which will hang over our cold room and office.  We also have repurposed this work and have used elements of the art contained within it to develop our first t-shirt – more on that below.         

Mock up of Banner Placement

Stage 3 – Brand Awareness

The third step in our approach is around getting our name out there.  It’s definitely a slow burn, as we don’t want to build the hype up too early, but also don’t want to leave it too late.  With no real advertising and marketing budget (build a brewery is very expensive!), we have started the journey to grow this organically, which I feel is the right approach.  I have taken a lot of guidance from the likes of Black Hops who documented some of the below in their book Operation Brewery on how best to achieve brand awareness.  Below are the key areas we are focusing on at present.

Website / Blog

Our website (and this blog) is obviously up and running, and provides us with a good platform to start to communicate with our early supporters.  At the time of writing, our traction is slowly growing with an average of around 100 unique visitors to the site mainly to read these blog posts.

We hope to continue to grow these unique visits over the next few months, as our opening date draws closer, and as we start to get products into the market.

Mailing List

As part of our strategy, we are building our email list.  We currently have 36 subscribers and each week we continue to build on it.  Based on all the experts in this field (I listen to alot of podcasts!), the mailing list is the best way to engage with our audience, as it is direct to the consumer, and we are not beholden to the algorithms of the social media platforms.

We have yet to send out a newsletter, but we will start this in the near future when we feel the time is right.  

If you haven’t signed up to our mail list, why not do it now?


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Social Media

Social Media is one of the best avenues to engage with people, and we have decided to focus on two of the most popular platforms: Facebook, and Instagram for the demographic we want to engage with.  Obviously there are other platforms like Tik Tok and SnapChat, but our current content is not really conducive to these platforms, but who knows in the future where we will head.

Our likes and engagement is continuing to increase, and as they say “Content is King”, so we will continue to publish content to social media such as these blog posts.

We have yet to start engaging with the local community around the Salisbury area via Social Media, as we feel it is a little too early, but as we get more certainty as to when we will open it is definitely part of our strategy to engage with them and build the hype around our brewery and taproom – as the local community will be our regulars and the lifeblood to our success.


First T Shirt Design

To date we have held off producing any merchandise, but the time has come to start the ball rolling, as we finalise our brand identity.  Our first shirts will hopefully be produced in the next couple of weeks (I finalised the design yesterday!), and hopefully we will be able to wear them to GABS Brisbane to start the conversation with the many beer geeks that will be attending.  I have sent off the design to the legends Em and Kev at Thirsty Merchants, and hopefully they can deliver the goods in time for GABS.

I am really happy with our shirt design, and was able to use elements from the artwork we had produced for our banner to really come up with a cool design (well I think so anyway!).  Always good to repurpose things like this, particularly when you are on a tight budget.

Once received, we will add these to our on-line store, and use the skills of Daniel (avid Bird photographer) to get some good photos for use on the store, using my daughters (and their boyfriends) as models… (they don’t know it yet, and I am sure they will love it…lol).   

Product in Market

Whilst we have been focusing on the build of the brewery and taproom, we have also been discussing at great length brewing our first beer to launch our brand into the market prior to the opening of the brewery and taproom, (once we receive all our licenses).  We have penciled this in for June or July depending on production schedule availability at some of the breweries we have had initial discussions with around using their equipment.  

Daniel has been working through a number of ideas for our first beer, and we are keen to do a pilot brew first.  I have moved my Brewtools B80 pro and half barrel SS Brewtech Unitank (which I purchased from Gary at Newera Brewing when I did the TAFE Course)  to Base Camp in preparation (this system will be our pilot system moving forward).

Things have been held up with electrical work being finalised at Base Camp, and the need to find a glycol chiller for the unitank, as mine recently died. We don’t really want to purchase another one, as the final solution for the pilot system will be to plumb it into our commercial glycol chillers when it arrives.

So if anyone has a glycol system we could borrow for a few months, we would be truly grateful, and the reward will be free beer, a cool shirt and our eternal gratitude!  What more could you ask for?

We intend that our first brew will be available at independent bars, and for purchase in cans via our website as part of a broader “Hikers Herd” (current working title) Membership Pack, which will have ongoing benefits to people who purchase, such as ongoing discounts at the taproom.  We are working on the finer details on what this pack will contain, so keep an eye out in the near future for details.

Stage 4 – Brand Advocacy

Sharing the Love!

The final stage in our branding process will take some time.  Brand Advocacy won’t happen overnight.  We need to get up and running first, and just as important is to ensure we are delivering high quality and delicious beer. In the end we want people that come to our taproom do enjoy our beer and the environment we have created, and tell the world how get our beer and venue are!

Daniel and I are constantly talking about this topic, as it is what we are both passionate about.  We spent a lot of time ensuring the equipment we purchased was fit for purpose before we signed off for it to be manufactured.  

We are now working through things like our systems and processes based on both our learnings from our personal brewing experiences and the various breweries we have worked at, the type of lab equipment that we will have initially (and additional equipment we plan to have when funds allow us to purchase), and whom we are going to source our raw materials from to ensure we deliver on our promise around quality and our desire to be transparent around where our ingredients come from).

Things are starting to really come together, which is extremely exciting.  In my next blog post I will discuss our thoughts about our beer line up – core range and seasonals.

Until next time…

Cheers to the journey