The huge popularity of Furphy Refreshing Ale has lead Lion to roll the brew out nationally.
Demand for Furphy has been growing at 300% year-on-year since it was launched in a handful of Geelong pubs in 2014.
The beer was named after the Shepparton-based Furphy family, who supply the fermenters and tanks to Little Creatures’ Geelong brewery. It prides itself on only using ingredients from surrounding regions.
“It is very Victorian, it’s got that little ‘V’ on it, it’s got the blue. I always said no-one in Queensland or NSW is going to drink this!” head brewer Warren Pawsey told Australian Brews News in 2015.
“But I’d like to think it was going to go national – at this stage it’s a Vic brand but who knows what’s going to happen.”
Pawsey’s hopes are now a reality, as Lion doubles the capacity of its Furphy brewery in Geelong and has started brewing the beer at its Lidcombe brewery in Sydney.
Pawsey told The Geelong Advertiser he had to take on 21 new workers in 2017.
“The demand for Furphy has grown so much over the last few years that the Geelong Brewery is bursting at the seams,” Pawsey said.
He believes the secret to its success is that its taste is between mass-produced mainstream beers and full-flavoured craft brews.
“When we designed it, we wanted to make an easy-drinking beer that appealed to people — not that Little Creatures doesn’t, but Little Creatures have a lot of hops in them and for someone who’s used to drinking something more mainstream that’s a big change,” Pawsey said.
“We were looking for something that was an easy step for people who were into mainstream beer.”