The brewers kept asking; have you met Matty & Harley? You have to, they’re absolute champions! This kept on repeating until I started thinking people were having me on. How can someone be that liked when they’ve only met a few times.
Then when I met the milk farmers from Kempsey I instantly understood why. There was no conspiracy. These guys are a bundle of energetic joy and they’ll make you perk up as soon as you see them. The type of people you meet for the first time but you get along with like you’re old mates. And they’re most definitely part of the community we love.Matty and his mate Harley are certified organic dairy farmers from Kempsey who drive a 12 hour round trip to Brookvale up to twice a week to collect our spent grain. When conditions are right they wouldn’t need our spent grain, but unfortunately the weather is becoming more and more unpredictable. So when they had a full week of downpour in June this year they lost 3 months of winter feed. They were left with no choice but to spend thousands feeding from their stockpile or buying in feed (which often puts dairy farmers like Matt into a cycle of debt).
The grain helped them through this hard period and is for the moment just an aperitif for the cows, but when times get tough again, it will be there to help them pull through it.
Matt &Harley return bins scrubbed to brand new condition and is endlessly grateful for his takings in spent grain, saying he would be “stuffed without it” given the huge cost of feed. We get thorough updates about each trip, photos to share with our Brew Team and message updates from the farm throughout the week. Even the veggie drop offs to the brewery have escalated into a trollies worth of fresh produce at a tie. It is safe to say we feel pretty chuffed to have had the opportunity to build such a valuable relationship with these legends. We just want to do what we can to help when our mates and community need us most.
We got the opportunity to go and visit the farm and we can vouch for the fact that these guys love their animals. All their cows have names and the guys are happy to introduce all of them.
Wally wouldn’t stop following us around for a scratch behind the ear. Hugs & Kisses are two cows that will hug Matty & Harley as soon as they walk into the paddock. All the cows have amazing personalities. We don’t have many cows roaming around the Northern Beaches so we’re pretty psyched to now have cow friends.
Matt and his neighbours grow lots of produce and share the pickings amongst themselves. And we get fruit and veggie drop offs to the brewery. There’s usually enough to go around with lots of fresh fruit & veg, eggs and milk.
Matt doesn’t eat meat. In fact, he’s sometimes been known to go to auctions and rescue male cows that aren’t sold. Then sneaking them into his neighbours property where they can at least be happy for a few years. The neighbour will notice and give Matt a kick up the bum, but always with a cheeky smile. She understands Matts passion for the animals.
We can’t wait for the next trip to the farm!