One of the best places to collaborate is in a pub. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that workplace collaboration in the brewing industry usually involves having a beer or two.
But what happens when you have a winning formula that sets you apart from other craft brewers? Is it time to call last drinks with your mates?
Absolutely not according to Scott Morgan, who is Head Brewer at the Rocks Brewing Company in Sydney. “Making beer is not rocket science but there is always something to learn when it comes to making a better product. That’s why Joined-up Innovation works really well amongst craft brewers. A lot of us are mates and we do bounce ideas off each other without giving away our secrets.”
“A lot of us are mates and we do bounce ideas off each other without giving away our secrets”
The Rocks Brewing Company is Australian-owned and an operated brewery led by fifth and sixth generation convict descendants.
What sets the craft company apart is in its effective use of technology and state of the art machinery that usually is only found in large-scale commercial breweries. While the technology isn’t new, the Rocks Brewing Company was the first craft brewery in Australia to purchase and install brewing equipment that uses a pneumatic filter press, known as a High Efficiency Brewing System (HEBS).
The new equipment and technology invested has allowed the company to cut brewing times down from seven and a half hours to around three and a half hours. The computerised system has helped to better manage water flows and temperatures, increase productivity and reduce labour costs all at the same time.
Scott Morgan said he is comfortable with sharing new and better ways of making beer because it improves the industry as a whole thereby encouraging greater customer demand.
“Collaboration definitely encourages innovation. A number of brewers have worked together in different plants and it is also local and international brewers that do it. It really helps to push boundaries and bring in new ideas. There’s always a different way to make beer.”
For Scott, innovation means being open to flexibility, taking a well-researched risk but also using technology to back what you are doing to enable growth.
Innovation means being open to flexibility, taking a well-researched risk but also using technology to back what you are doing to enable growth.
“The main bit of advice I would give to any other new or existing businesses is that you need to surround yourself with positive people. Working collaboratively gets results but being negative will only hold you back.”