With the Australian craft beer market growing 5% year on year and the trend predicted to continue in 2016, we’re seeing audiences grow and broaden, with an increasing appreciation for different styles and flavours from local brewers.
Staying competitive in a growing market, in my view, comes down to diversification in brewing – having the ability to develop and evolve new flavours that are backed by the technology to deliver a quality brew. The market is responding to small artisanal brewers and local craftsmen who are creating beer with more thoughtfulness – being conscientious of ingredient choice, processes, palates and market desires.
A great example of this is Kaiju! Beer who creates beers they love. They have invested in the technology and flavour development, and as a result of their commitment they have received a raft of awards. Kaiju! have created interesting ales using dry hopping, with 15 kilos of hop flower. This is a form of aggressive brewing that pushes the envelope and they have executed and achieved this by investing in their brewery and machinery to deliver the results.
Pikes has a long history of brewing since the late 1800s, which has been recreated using modern technology and is really breaking moulds with beers that each have their own distinct flavour characteristics including the Pilsener Lager, Stout, Sparkling Ale and their original Tonic Ale. Napoleone has also invested in equipment that allows them to produce a variety of brews including Hells Lager, Saison Duval and Breakneck Porter.
The current crop of craft brewers have travelled the world, they know what’s out there and they’ve successfully started putting a very firm Australian definition on that product.
For brewers to stay current by diversifying and experimenting in 2016 they need to look to technology, investing once and investing right, so they can keep up with the market as it continues to evolve at a rapid pace.