Beck’s To Be Brewed in New Zealand

Lion Nathan’s Canterbury Brewery will join an elite group of just 14 production sites around the world to produce Becks locally under licence.

The brewers at Canterbury Brewery have been working with ABInBev for over 9 months to successfully emulate and brew Beck’s beer locally. Emulation involved adhering to the German (Reinheitsgobot) purity law and the use of the best quality malt, Beck’s yeast, German hops, and of course Canterbury water.

In total 13 trial brews were completed, with three consecutive successful brews needed in order to match the Bremen produced Beck’s and meet the demanding ABInBev standards (both analytical and taste). At that point, emulation was considered successful.

Beck’s is the second of ABInBev’s beers to be produced by Lion in New Zealand; with Stella Artois having been produced in our Auckland brewery for some time. It also adds to the international portfolio of beers produced by Canterbury where we have been brewing both Kilkenny and Guinness for Diageo for the last 18 years.

The Becks brand has experienced solid growth in New Zealand in recent years and now plays an important role for our customers in the premium beer segment. The aim of this project was to supply the local market with the freshest beer without having to manage supply out of Germany with the inherent risk to freshness and product availability that can involve. Ultimately we are providing the best taste experience for the New Zealand market. Local production also gives us more flexibility around packaging formats.

Our locally brewed Beck’s will be packaged into kegs, 6 and 12 bottle packs, and will replace product currently being imported from Bremen, Germany. The launch date into the local market was 14th September 2009.

Lion Nathan to market and distribute Budweiser® and Staropramen® in New Zealand

Lion Nathan today announced that it had entered into an agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev to distribute and market the Budweiser® group of brands in Australia and New Zealand towards the end of the year.

Czech beer Staropramen® will also join Lion Nathan New Zealand’s portfolio of international premium beers, which currently includes Corona®, Stella Artois®, Kirin® and Beck’s®.

The long term agreement builds on the existing relationship between Lion Nathan and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

“We are pleased to be adding Staropramen® and the Budweiser® group of brands to our strong portfolio of international premium beers,” said Peter Kean, Managing Director, Lion Nathan New Zealand.

“These are fantastic brands with great heritage. The premium segment is in growth as drinkers trade up in quality. We look forward to working with Anheuser-Busch InBev to grow Staropramen® and Budweiser® in New Zealand,” said Peter.

“Lion Nathan has been a trusted partner to our business for more than 20 years,” said Ian Stephens, Vice President, Anheuser-Busch InBev International. “The company has a proven track record in building premium brands through an understanding of premium drinkers, engagement with customers and innovative marketing and in-market execution.”

Lion prepares to turn on new taps

The 16.7ha East Tamaki site on Ormiston Rd in South Auckland is the location of Lion’s new $250 million property base to replace its Newmarket home.

The development is known to staff as both Project Century, in reference to the manufacturing and warehousing property’s projected life span of about 100 years, or The Pride.

Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by 10 per cent once the move is completed. Rainwater will be harvested from the roofs of the East Tamaki site, flow into storage tanks and be re-used for toilet flushing and irrigating gardens.

“It won’t be used to make beer,” Read said.

Lion Nathan’s new plant has:
* New buildings: More than 5ha.
* Earthworks: 180,000 cubic metres.
* Pipelines: 15km laid, 1.5km to go.
* Concrete: 8500 cubic metres complete, 5500 to go.
* 2500 tonnes used on site.
* Recycled glass: 2100 cubic metres or 3.5 tonnes.

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Lion Nathan affected by competition, supermarket sales

But DB is a discounter. It has been selling Heineken at prices significantly lower than the comparable Heineken selling prices in Australia, the report said.

Also, de-regulation of the New Zealand liquor industry in 1999 allowed supermarkets to sell alcohol for the first time.

“This changed industry dynamics as it led to significantly more competition at the off-premise retail level,” the report said.

As a result off-premise sales increased at the expense of on-premise sales.

The combination of the impact of supermarkets, discounting and other minor factors had resulted in a 6 percent reduction in the real price of off-premise beer since 1999.

“Competition in New Zealand is expected to remain tough, with price discounting from DB Breweries and smaller participants expected to continue,” the report said.

“Supermarkets, which represent some 30 percent of all alcohol sales and 22 percent of beer sales, now hold significant buying power in what is already a very competitive market.”

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“I am really excited to win this title and the chance to go on and represent New Zealand in such a prestigious competition” says Avril, “I will be practicing a lot in the next three months to ensure I give it my absolute best against the bartenders from countries around the world.”

The Stella Artois Draught Masters competition has been running for 12 years and attracts around 36 different countries.

The judging panel this year included Kirsty McLean, New Zealand Stella Artois Draught Master of 2008, Nigel King, Stella Artois Marketing Manager, Geoff Griggs, Beer Critic, and Beverly Ward, Lion Nathan National Microbiologist. Judging from behind the bar were Laura Smith and Peter Krafft from Lion Nathan’s Quality Assurance team.

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Lion starts consultation on job losses

Lion Breweries kicks off consultation with employees today at Canterbury Breweries, where up to 24 jobs are on the line.

New Zealand’s largest brewer is building a $250 million beer manufacturing, contract bottling and warehousing plant at East Tamaki, Auckland, which will have an impact on what other production it needs around the country.

Canterbury Draught, Guinness, Steinlager Pure and some of the Mac’s range are brewed in Canterbury.

Speight’s in Dunedin was a regional exception, however, with a national and international reputation, and was produced in Dunedin and Auckland.

In Auckland, consultation had begun in April and up to 45 jobs out of 148 were likely to go at the Kyber Pass brewery as production was shifted over the next year to East Tamaki.

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Unpasteurised cheeses a step closer in NZ

Former beer baron Douglas Myers – currently resident in England, where he can snack on all the unpasteurised cheeses his $705 million fortune can buy – may soon find home a more palatable country.

Before he quit New Zealand, the former Lion Nation boss unsuccessfully fought bureaucrats over requirements for cheeses to only be made from pasteurised milk, saying raw milk cheese tasted better.

Now, a decade or so later, the nation’s food safety experts look like rolling over on the issue and allowing the sale of some locally-made unpasteurised milk cheeses.

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Lion Nathan warns of beer price rises

Brewer Lion Nathan is warning further price rises are likely this year to recover significant historic cost increases.

Reporting its half-year results today, the Australian-based company said a price increase in this country in March would only alleviate some of the cost pressures and partially restore beer margins.

Beer raw material costs, particularly aluminium, sugar, barley, glass, and energy, had risen significantly in recent years and well ahead of the consumer price index, Lion Nathan said.

The reasons for further price rises included the impact of exchange rate movements on foreign-priced input costs.

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Lion stays mum on pub chain collapse

Lion Nathan is keeping quiet about its exposure to the collapse of New Zealand’s biggest pub chain.

A group of companies under the CEA banner went into receivership last week.

CEA owns 20 bars and clubs in Wellington and the South Island, including the Shooters’ bars in Christchurch, Nelson and Wellington and the Holy Grail Sports Bar in central Christchurch.

It is 50% owned by Australian resident Jugeshinder Singh; the other half is split into three tranches, all of which are owned by companies associated with Australian private equity firm Investec Wentworth.

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