University of Wollongong: Australian craft brewing industry benefits from iAccelerate success story

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The first yeast lab for craft breweries in NSW officially opened its doors at a special launch party on Saturday 10 September.

Mogwai Labs is an Illawarra-based yeast lab associated with the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) iAccelerate program. The innovative yeast production company offers fresh, small batch locally produced liquid yeast cultures and laboratory services for craft brewers and beverage makers.

Mogwai Labs is the brainchild of UOW graduate Joshua Allen, an experienced scientist and brewer.

“Yeast plays a major role in creating the iconic flavour profiles of beer and other fermented beverages around the world. These characteristics allow us to define a beer to a particular region,” Joshua said.

“It is our mission to give brewers better access to these yeast cultures. Whether it is to replicate these classic styles, pushing the boundaries of innovation or exploring new flavours unique to their local area.”

The company offers over 25 different domestic and wild yeast strains, mixed fermentation and laboratory services.

Mogwai Labs took over the taps at Reub Goldberg Brewing Machine at their launch party on Saturday and featured more than 13 unique beers and cider. Each beer was brewed with Mogwai Labs yeast by local Illawarra breweries including Reub Goldberg Brewing Machine, Principle Brewing and Five Barrel Brewing.

Anna Suthers and Billy Barneston, owners of Reub Goldberg Brew Machine, a local brewery in Tarrawanna, share Mogwai Lab’s passion for creating community and quality products. They’ve been early adopters of Mogwai yeast products, using them for a variety of unique beer flavours.

“We’ve been really impressed with the yeast’s performance in our beers and the yeast banking service has been a revelation,” Anna and Billy said.

“It’s so good for the NSW craft beer industry to have local access to a high-quality yeast lab as well as having expert advice on hand with Josh. It’s been a great experience all round and we look forward to continuing our relationship as well as continually improving and innovating our beers and processes.”

Joshua graduated from UOW with a degree in biological sciences and has more than 10 years of medical research experience primarily in neuroscience and cancer cell replication biology. His professional career then diversified into engineering and professional brewing industries.

The early-stage start-up of Mogwai Labs is associated with UOW’s iAccelerate program.

iAccelerate is a unique business accelerator and incubator program run by UOW. It’s a thriving community of like-minded entrepreneurs with vision, purpose and passion, growing their impact through exceptional education, mentoring and support among inspiring surrounds.

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