Interview with Richard Adamson
Founder & Director @ Young Henrys

In 2012, after a long search for a permanent home, Young Henrys Brewery was officially born in Newtown. With a few friends and a small brew kit, they set about ensuring no local would ever go thirsty again! Now in 2016, the brewery is growing at break-neck speed, with a bustling tasting bar and servicing hundreds of local and national watering holes. Young Henrys has most recently incorporated a distillery into the family, with their gold medal winning Noble Cut gin and more hand crafted spirits to be released soon. Young Henrys stands behind an unwavering vision to create beer and gin loved by their local communities and like-minded mates around Australia are proud to call their own. By keeping things local, reducing environmental impact, and collaborating with likeminded, passionate, creative people, Young Henrys helps turn up the volume on diverse (sometimes smaller) voices in our community.
Hi Richard!! Could you please tell us a bit more about your journey founding Young Henrys? What was the first beer you brewed in the brewery?
Hi, I'm Richard from Young Henry's brewery in Newtown, Australia. Young Henrys started about seven years ago. Originally the concept was to get in touch with the people that are drinking beer. I've been in the beer industry for some time before that with a company called Barons, and before that, working in IT and way back before that I was playing in rock n roll bands. Young Henrys is all about expressing our passion of our local community and the things that we're really interested in, whether it be good food, music or arts. Music, arts and culture is our focus. The first beer we made was our natural lager which we still make today, it is still a very popular beer. It came in at number 31 in the Hottest 100 poll that just happened this weekend. It is great to see that that beer is still rocking and rolling.
What role has Young Henrys played in bringing the Australian beer scene to the 21st century?
What role has Young Henrys played in bringing the Australian beer scene to the 21st century?
How does today's iteration of Young Henrys look different from what you originally imagined the brewery would look like 6 years in?
Our original sort of business plan and vision of the company was to have a small restaurant here on site and to brew beer for that venue and maybe sell a little bit outside of that to some pubs around town. We're now a business that sells beer nationally, and we've done some work overseas. We employ about 70 people within the company, so it's a lot bigger and a lot bolder than I thought it would ever be.
What are your weekly tasks with Young Henrys? How much of your week is spent dealing with all of the administrative facets of the company, and how much of your time is spent brewing in the brewery itself?
My role in the company has changed pretty dramatically over the journey. To start off with I probably made every beer, probably the first 200 to 300 brews all myself. I then trained a group of people to take that mantle and keep brewing the beers that we make here. Currently, I'm overseeing the quality and the technical side of the brewing and giving some advice to the brewers. I'm also working on some special projects, that could be anything from partnering with Foo Fighters to make a beer for their tour, or working on research and development programs within the brewery.
What's next for your work with Young Henrys? What are the main events, partnerships, and brews you'll be focusing on in 2019?
We've got some really exciting partnerships happening this year. The ones we can talk about are Download, which is the metal festival coming to Australia which will be happening in Sydney and Melbourne, and we're really looking forward to that one. We're partnering with the South Sydney Rabbitohs as the official beer partner. We've got a whole bunch of programs we'll be doing and some exciting stuff for the members of South Sydney to get amongst it. Along with that, we're working on an innovation program with UTS and looking at using algae in the brewery in an innovative way to turn waste streams into a positive impact on greenhouse gases. If we can prove that one, we could save the world by drinking beer.