News Wrap – August 2016

It’s news time. All the news you don’t even really need in one place. From Carlton Pale Ale to Skeletor. I have it all.

Gage Roads

They are buying their 25% ownership back from Woolworths. The best part is how many of the accepted definitions of “craft beer” or “craft breweries” include outside-ownership as a crucial stipulation. So under that rock-solid metric, Gage Roads now go from being not-craft to craft in one move.

In regards to the beer, I had their Little Dove recently (it won best beer at the Australian International Beer Awards) and honestly, it was pretty good. That is about the extent of my take on this.

Broo Beer

Broo are some company that has positioned themselves as a “battler” going up against evil big breweries. They were marketing the brand as being the only truly Australian owned beer company for ages and now, after years of heavy losses, Broo have decided to take their show on the road, over some oceans and all the way to China. China is a country famous for being easy for Western businesses to succeed.

To do so, they are raising money with a public float. I’m not sure who is in charge but right now, as I struggle to pay rent, even I can see that this is one of the most ridiculous business plans and investment opportunities ever created.

Anyway, for a well researched take, read this from James Atkinson:

Mountain Goat. 

While covering the Broo story, The Australian broke some crucial news about the ownership of our beloved Mountain Goat; while in the same breath calling Byron Bay Brewing an “ageing surfies’ favourite” and labelled it all as “Boutique”. Here’s the quote from journo Tim Boreham.

Boutique beer, by the way, is a loosely deployed term, in that many of the labels are owned by the foreign majors. Lion acquired the listed Fremantle-based Little Creatures in 2012 and in April bought ageing surfies’ fave Byron Bay Brewing. Melbourne’s inner city hipsters would splutter into their Ned Kelly beards if they knew that Japan’s Asahi has owned the locally brewed Mountain Goat for the past year.

Thanks for lifting the lid on the beer industry Tim. Dropping truth bombs on us clueless hipster boutiqueys.

4 Pines

Speaking of buyouts. Everyone had it on good authority that 4 Pines had sold to a major player. Instead 4 Pines denied it and came out with big announcements of new venues and barrel programs. Honestly, it’d be funnier if they had sold. I have no comments on the rollout.

Heineken 3

Spring is about to drop on us downunder folk. Blazing into our faces with an intensity that only global warming can bring. So naturally we are all ready to throw spring time parties, spring clean, and be generally optimistic about getting outside and celebrating the sun (honestly it’s pretty hard to be excited about warm weather when increasingly it signals our impending doom but stay with me).

The real tragedy here (other than global warming) is the fire Heineken lit under any sense  of a coherent beer release. The tagline for the beer is “Have It All” because according to their research, people want to have it all! As illustrated by these quotes from Heineken Lion Australia marketing manager Alessandro Manunta (From Apparently they conducted some consumer research and found…

Almost 50 per cent said they were planning to spend more time exercising and living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but at the same time, 70 per cent of the same group were saying this summer they’re planning to drink more alcohol and go out with their friends…

Skipping over just wtf Heineken Lion is (something between Lion and Heineken obvi, but I’m unsure what it means and omg don’t tell me I don’t care), I’m glad that Heineken have given us insight into what people want to do in summer. Exercising, living healthy, going out with friends and drinking? In summer? Fuck me I’m glad they researched that for us. I had no idea.

Meanwhile in AdNews he told us how it’s totally for chicks because chicks hate calories. So it’s gender neutral somehow. Dudes will be into it because it’s beer and Heineken have been tricking dudes into buying their skunky mess for years.

The starting point is the day time drinking occasion and female drinkers are looking for an easy drinking beer that is more palatable. From a market perspective we are also talking to them and male drinkers that it’s not just easy drinking, but has lower carbs, which we know is a relevant point for the female audience.

“In our media we are trying to be less male-centric and more gender neutral. Also the venues we are targeting for the product are appealing to male and females. While it’s important that it has low calories and low carbs, but the most important angle is it has a great taste.”

It’s funny because he got shat on by a lot of people for saying they were marketing beer to both males and females; the same craft segment that always shit on big breweries for only marketing to dudes.

Oh and because Spring is round the corner, the launch party was some sort of Winter themed affair. Associating your summer release with winter. How do some people even have jobs?

Carlton Pale Ale/Wild Yak

Two incredibly low key launches from our friends at CUB this month. Carlton Pale Ale has been spotted at places like Young and Jacksons (Melb) and the fancy bars at the footy. I’m legit surprised they are launching a pale under Carlton, but whatever. It’s their money.

They also released Wild Yak Pacific Ale, which had been telegraphed for months. While they announced it back during Good Beer Week (May), now that it’s finally launched they have literally made no mention to anyone about it. I wonder if it has anything to do with…

CUB/Union strikes

I’m not touching contract disputes, unions, bargaining agreements and anything related with a bargepole. I don’t know jack about all that stuff. Just google it.

Father’s Day

It’s about to happen so naturally we are being pumped full of “what do dads want” gift guides. Basically they all have:

  • Fancy moisturiser he’ll use once
  • Entry level Scotch
  • Something to do with barbecue
  • Something made out of leather that has the word “vintage”
  • Beer
  • Fancy beer snacks
  • A recipe book with “man”, “fire” or meat” in the title
  • A book about sports or some other ghost-written pile of garbage which will have a couple of chuckle-worthy insights into how the guys love to play pranks in the locker-room. Haha, those guys.

I also just saw one article that had monogrammed pyjamas as a suggestion. Fuck that is a weird thing to get your dad. What sort of relationship do you have with your father where that’s something you would consider buying as a gift?

Brewer Job?

These are 12 for 10c these days, but this one in Brews News caught my eye. Apparently they want you to be a bit of a looker as well as a brewer?

Marketing budget available to push this start up so you need to be comfortable in having your picture taken, you need to be team player and above all you need to be able to make quality beer!

A copywriter should also be high on their list. “Marketing budget available to…”? That’s not how you start a sentence. Even I know that, in-spite of my questionable grasp of grammar rules. Anyway, super weird that they stipulate that in the ad. Like, most people in day-to-day employment expect photos to happen at some point. The fact that it’s listed in the ad is pretty damn weird. Right? A more cynical writer might just suspect this brewery will have all the style and substance of a Father’s Day gift guide. Not me though, I expect them to make a genuine attempt at creating great, thoughtful and unique beer.

Sydney, amirite?


There is heaps more news but we are over 1300 words so I don’t think anyone is still reading. If you do, the code-word is “bananas”. Mention that next time you see me.



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2 Responses

  1. Glen says:

    Bananas – I say it now because I’m sure to forget to by the times GABS 2017 rolls around

  2. Keith says:

    Ahahaha this is in the Broo document for releasing shares.

    “Broo Premium Lager may be unable to compete with established brands on pricing or quality”

    Fills you with confidence!

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