Craft Beer Surge – Sunday Star Times – 12 July 2009

Letters To The Business Editor – Page D7

Craft Beer Surge - Sunday Star Times - 12 July 2009

Dear Tim

Re: Recession Bites Grog Sales – Sunday Star Times 28th June, 2009

I was surprised to read this article which does give the point of view
of the large brewers in this country and the commodity they sell
called beer. It is easy for consumers of this type of product to trade
down in tough economic times due to the fact that the flavour
difference between the so called “premium” international style lagers
and the budget NZ draught styles (which evolved during tough economic
times during WWII) is minimal.

There is a segment of the New Zealand beer market that is still
experiencing growth, the craft beers. Last week I was in Christchurch
for a meeting of NZ craft brewers looking at setting up an export
cooperative for the Australian market. We all talked about the growth
rate were are all experiencing even now of 50% – 100% across the
brewers at the table. We also discussed the issues we are currently
having getting funding to expand capacity in our breweries. This is
definitely something that the current economic situation if effecting
the 50 craft breweries of New Zealand

As a brewer myself of craft beer, I would be surprised to see my
customers trading down, as there is no comparative products that are
cheaper. As a craft brewer I am making beers full of flavour, and
don’t compromise of ingredients, as a result my beer cost
significantly more. But there is a growing market for these beers.

This month I am releasing a beer that could arguably be most
flavourful beer in New Zealand, Epic Armageddon IPA. This beer will be
selling in supermarkets for around $10 per 500ml bottle and I expect
to sell out within a few weeks.

Luke Nicholas
General Manager – Flying Brewer 😉
EPIC Brewing Company