The brewery opened on 10 May 1997 and was taken over in 2000 by Martin and Kim Peirson-Jones. The first impression of the brewery is that of a private house complete with a white picket fence. Impressions quickly change after entering where there is a cocktail lounge, a barbecue area and restaurant; plus the brewery.
Originating from a 200-Litre brewkit delivering four kegs at a time at the back of a Broome café and art gallery in 2000, Matso’s has grown from Australia’s most remote brewery to a production level of about $2 million litres a year, making it the third largest beer maker in the State.
The brewery produces a range of beer styles, many with quaint names such as Hit The Toad, Monsoonal Blonde, Smokey Bishop, Sow’s Ear. For variety, there is Mango Beer, Ginger Beer, Chilli Beer, Divers Porter and Staircase Cider. Most of these beers have won awards. Patrons can enjoy a meal and sample Matso’s beers while taking in the uninterrupted spectacular views of Roebuck Bay.
On June 18 2018 Matsos sold their brewery to Gage Roads Brewery Perth. There is always apprehension among Australian craft beer drinkers when a smaller brewer sells to a bigger proprietor. There are cries of a sell-out and an abandonment of the support base that has backed the brand over many years.
This transaction is a big different. Gage Roads isn’t a multi-national like Lion, Ab-InBev or Asahi. And, in effect, Gage Roads, another WA brewery that emerged from the 2000s, has been producing the vast majority of Matso’s beers for 11 years. That made the $16 million deal to buy Matso’s a logical step for Gage. And it was a must for Matso’s.
However, for Matso’s to continue to grow and compete in the fast-growing Australian craft brewing industry, owners Martin and Kim Peirson-Jones needed to inject considerable capital into the operation. Considering they didn’t own a brewhouse capable of raising supply the investment was going to be far greater than they wanted to take on.
So, the Peirson-Jones family knocked on the door of their mates at Gage Roads. They didn’t shop the business on the market. There was a feeling that if the business was to go into safe and careful hands, then Gage Roads was the natural successor.
And it gave Gage Roads the fruit brew options, such as Lychee Beer, Ginger Beer and Mango Beer, that were missing from its portfolio. Apart from the exchange of money and shares, it is business as normal for Gage Roads because all of Matso’s packaged products came from the Palmyra brewery any way.