In the fine words of beloved dad to us all, Homer Simpson, “A woman is like beer. They look good, they smell good and you’d step over your own mother just to get one”.
Dandenong South sibling brewers, Callum and Nat Reeves took this notion very seriously when developing their self-proclaimed ‘unashamedly intense, devastatingly good’ range of craft beers and ciders.
Established in the infancy of the Australian craft beer takeover in 2013, the Reeves brothers quickly made a bold mark on the industry with their fresh approach to design and branding. Their brightly coloured world of monsters designed by New York artist, Mikey Burton, stand out on shelves amongst the masses of over 700 craft brewer selections in Australia.
“Colour was never really a part of [Burton’s] designs, neither were monsters before his work working with us,” Callum Reeves explains. “We came up with the name Monster Mash to start off with and had this monster that Mikey had designed. When we had to change the name, we came up with the name KAIJU! because that was the name that we were referring to for the monster.
“That opened the floodgates for creativity for all of us in terms of what we can do for the brand and really encapsulated in the word itself our brand – it’s bold, it’s fun, it’s colourful, it’s creative.
“With the name KAIJU!, it’s a big world and it’s almost a limitless world with elements that inform what will work as the brand which has been really helpful with how we’ve progressed.”
Their approach to beer making was just as adventurous, creating a high alcohol content, uniquely hoppy style of beer that was unseen in the Australian market.
“It was risky to make the kind of beer we were making at the time because hops were expensive and the level of expertise in making the hoppy style wasn’t quite there in Australia, but we just pushed through. It was hard work and we lost a lot of beer just through hop absorption in the tank, but over the course of a couple of years we were known as one of the hop-driven brewers of Australia,” Reeves says.
The duo also experimented with flavour fusions to create their flagship pale ale, KAIJU! Krush. The tropical blend is the brand’s most popular brew and a recommended introduction into the beer world for the novice drinker.
“When we first came out with Krush, a few elements fed into that success. First of all, it was our first pale ale, even though we call it a tropical pale, it was under 5 per cent of alcohol which made sense for a wider audience of beer drinkers and it was in a can, so we had all of this extra real estate for putting our amazing designs on.
“I think it just really hit the mark well of where beer was for a while – of people wanting to have a lot of flavour but realising that drinking beer upwards of 6 per cent of alcohol one after another isn’t the best thing for your health or for the next day,” Reeves laughs.
As it turns out people are stepping over their own mother to get their hands on the cans. Across 2019, over 3.5 million cans of their flagship brew were sold, signalling an impressive 35 per cent growth. The boys are also on track to produce a whopping 1 million litres of beer this current financial period.
In 2018, KAIJU! Krush was ranked number eight in the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer poll, and with a nomination in the current rounds, the boys are hoping to smash that slot. Expansion is also in clear view for the brand, as they set their sights on opening a brewpub in Melbourne this year. Watch out mothers of Melbourne for when the announcement comes through.
Check out everything KAIJU! Beer are up to at their website, kaijubeer.com.au.