News Article


   Monday 28th September, 2020

In four short years, Sailors Grave Brewing has created an iconic brand and a glowing reputation for their collaborative ways and genuine connection to community, with a loyal and ever expanding following of craft brew aficionados all over the world.

Since day one, founders Chris and Gab Moore have had an unwavering commitment to three guiding principles: using their location, packaging and beer style to stand out from the crowd.

This has played a significant role in their ongoing success, with distribution to every state in Australia, whilst also selling internationally to New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

Their success has impressed the judges of the 2020 Food & Fibre Gippsland Excellence in Agribusiness Awards, with a place on the finalist lists for the Excellence in Small Food & Drink Manufacturing Award sponsored by Latrobe City Council and the Excellence in Collaborative Partnerships Award, sponsored by TAFE Gippsland.

And in a personal nod to her contribution not just to Sailors Grave Brewing but across the entire region and sector, Gab has been named a finalist in the Female Agribusiness Leader of the Year, the prize for which is a place in a Women in Leadership program valued at $6,000, generously provided by Leadership Victoria.

There are already a few trophies in the Sailors Grave cabinet, and Gab says while the accolades are very satisfying and they are thrilled to be featured in the finalists lists, her every day passion is in collaborations and working with local suppliers, venues, and other makers throughout Gippsland.

A born and bred East Gippslander, Gab was delighted to return to her hometown with Chris to raise their young family after some time in Sydney, and she sees enormous potential for the far east to build a huge domestic and international profile as a wilderness experience and agritourism destination.

Keen to help like-minded fellow community members, Gab takes the role to help grow the local economy very seriously and is always looking for ways and means to combine logistics and resources to benefit all local producers.

With a quietly determined focus on creating a positive change, Gab works with a number of local businesses, supporting them in the development of marketing plans, as well as looking at labelling and a range of collaborations to put Orbost and Marlo on the map – naturally some of them involving beer !

To help raise awareness of the invasive sea urchin species in their local marine area, Gab and Chris teamed up with local fisherman and indigenous elder Uncle Noel Butler to create a sea urchin beer.

Brewed with the intention of it being the signature beer for the Wild Seafood Festival in Mallacoota this year, (sadly postponed due to bushfires then Covid), this Gose style with foraged lemon myrtle and sea urchin roe, has since been a big hit with their Japanese customers.

Sailors Grave sees their niche as being “women and people who don’t think they like beer and people who are curious about different beers”.

Together with Chris and their small team, Gab maintains the focus on four key beers being brewed throughout the year, while remaining agile and proactive in their continued rapid introduction of limited release beers.

With most of their hospitality trade decimated in the Covid-19 pandemic, Sailors Grave has used the situation to diversify and include online sales direct to customers, rather than through retail stockists.

Gab is enjoying the new experience of getting one-on-one feedback from the final customer and sees it as an opportunity to better understand their niche market’s desires and preferences.

Whilst 2020 has certainly had its challenges, Gab and Chris continue to see collaboration as the cornerstone of their business, and they happily share and connect with other craft brewers, industry colleagues and suppliers.

They will continue to focus on three key elements to make their business thrive; the authenticity of a genuine locally manufactured product, the flexibility of being able to bring new products to market quickly and the drive to attract non beer drinkers, particularly women, to their brand.

With Sailors Grave Brewing built on strong values the Moores will not compromise just for the sake of business growth, it is non-negotiable for them that everything they do supports the local region and environment.

Bursting with their signature creatively collaborative zest, the honour roll from 2016 to now already features 60+ beers, and there are many more in the pipeline, some that haven’t even been dreamt of yet!

With that deep love for place and provenance, a quality product in demand all over the world, and a trophy collection that might be expanded before the end of the year, the sky is the limit for this socially connected, community focussed enterprising family from Gippsland’s far south east.

The 2020 winners of the Excellence in Agribusiness Awards will be announced online November 20.