Looking To Find Wine Importers In Australia?

Finding import partners in Australia to take on your wine brands means first understanding the Aussie market and then targeting the best companies to work with. With no distribution tier restrictions between supplier and retailer like those of the three-tier system, wine distribution in Australia is a lot less complicated than in the US market.  However, determining how to best approach the Aussie market means working closely with teams on the ground and optimizing your brand for success.

Here are a few tips on how to garner attention for your wine brand and forge a successful partnership with Australian wine importers.

Address the Aussie Market

  • Invest in a local design agency
  • Invest in Research (Roy Morgan, Survey Monkey & media readership/subscriber lists for what consumers are the target audience IRi Aztec &LMAA for sales data)
  • Enter your wines in Aussie competitions and trade shows
  • Use authentic branding to tell your story

Understand Australian Distribution System

  • Australia is a 2 tier system
  • Parallel Importing is legal
  • Approximately 14000 On-Premise and 9000 Off-Premise Licensed Retailers
  • Over 40,000 Non-traditional licensed venues (clubs, cafes, restaurants, etc.)
  • Excise as an indirect tax
  • understand COGS, margin and retail pricing to ensure competitive offering
  • Consider local consultant professional
  • Decide on route to market

Sales and Marketing

Offer your importers a detailed marketing plan that shows that you are willing to do everything it takes to make your brand successful in Australia.  This means you need to present a solid outline of the following:

  • social media
  • events, meet the Vintners, dinners, festivals, etc.
  • eNewsletter
  • marketing budget allotment to Australia
  • PR
  • point of sale
  • merchandise
  • Retailer and Distributor Programs (in-store tastings, Buy 10 get 1 free, discounts, samples etc.)

To get you started, here is a List of Australian Wine Importers and their company profiles so you can target the right potential partners.

Echelon Wine Partners
Echelon proudly presents a portfolio of dynamic and innovative wines from some of the world’s finest wine producing regions. Every wine in the portfolio is modern in approach and expresses its origin.

World Wine Estates
World Wine Estates (WWE) is a wine importer and distributor that was established in 1988 as the import and wholesale arm of the Ultimo Wine Centre, Sydney’s famous premier wine retailer. WWE specialised in imported wines, especially French. The current owner and director, James Johnston, joined WWE in 1999. In 2005 by a mutual amicable agreement, WWE became a separate company to Ultimo Wine Centre.

Elite Wine Importers
Elite Wine Importers is currently a small family run business. It first began in 1994 when it was seen that there was a lack of Portuguese liquor products available to those of Portuguese decent and also for those who had travelled to Portugal and were hoping to find a taste of their holiday back here in Australia.

Living Wines
Living Wines is a Wine Importer in Australia of organic, biodynamic and natural wines from small producers in Europe. The wines are always low in sulphur and have no other additives.

Eurocentric Wine Imports
The goal of Eurocentric Wine Imports is to bring Australian drinkers great wine from Europe and European-styled wines from other regions such as New Zealand and South Africa in as good condition as if you drank them at the winery. The company is run by Neville Yates, a former career journalist who succumbed to his passion, embracing a combination of his loves — wine, people and travel. He meets the winemakers in the vineyards and in the cellars, tastes at the source, negotiates good deals, chooses reliable refrigerated transport and delivers to Australia great wines at a reasonable cost through the retailers, restaurants and wine bars you know and trust.

Grand Millesime Wine
Grand Millesime are specialist importers of fine French Wine. They are a young and energetic company who specialize in high quality wines, in particular the wines of Burgundy in France. They have a blossoming portfolio of hand-selected wines, all tasted at the domaine and selected based on quality. They travel to France several times a year to taste and buy and actively search out new, small and exciting producers.

Barrique Fine Wines imports
Barrique Fine Wines imports premium wines from France, with a particular emphasis on Burgundy. It is shipped straight to climate-controlled storage from where they send it direct to our clients’ home, offices, restaurants and bars.

Andrew Guard Wine Imports
Andrew Guard Wine Imports is a specialist importer and merchant of fine wine and spirits. It is owned and operated by Andrew and Kirsten Guard. Based in Sydney, Australia, thay have many years experience in the wine, restaurant and retail trade. The vignerons they represent are amongst the best in the world, producing very fine wines with minimal intervention that are reflective of their origins.

Vintage and Wine
Vintage & Vine is a small specialist importer and wholesaler of wines and spirits based in Sydney and started by Kevin Facey and David Burkitt in 2000.  The producers represented by Vintage & Vine are all chosen on the basis of quality, typicity and value. Quite simply this selection of wines represents not only the wines we enjoy but those that we feel to be among the very best from each region.

Corkscrew Cellars
Corkscrew Cellars is a group of independently owned and operated liquor retailers across Sydney. Being independent means they can provide a more personal approach to servicing your needs.Each store is as individual as the customers they serve and the products and services they provide.

Enoteca Sydney
Enoteca is a Sydney based wine company who import Italian, Austrian, French, German and Hungarian wines. They also sell a select few Australian and New Zealand wines.

Negociants Australia
Negociants Australia has been an importer of the world’s finest wines since 1984 and are proud to represent outstanding family owned wineries from Australia and abroad. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of wine professionals is committed to the highest levels of customer service and quality representation of the wines that we are honoured to distribute. It is this combination of portfolio and people that makes Negociants Australia one of this country’s leading fine wine merchants.

Four Seasons Fine Wines
Four Seasons Fine Wines seeks to exceed the expectations of customers and principals with knowledge, integrity and service. They aspire to be an industry leading wine distribution company by representing and working with producers who articulate strong regional and quality excellence. These attributes combine to create a premium portfolio with diverse regional representation.

Looking for Aussie Importers?  Exhibit your brand at Australia Trade Tasting and get your brand in front of independent and chain buyers from leading retailers, importers and distributors.  Connect today at AuTT.

AuTT-WBM_620x200

What U.S. Wine Importers are Looking For

We are pleased to announce that Deborah M. Gray will be speaking at Australia Trade Tasting on ‘What U.S. Importers are Looking For & How To Keep Them Interested.’

deborah_gray_400

Deborah M. Gray, an Australian native and entrepreneur, founded her U.S. wine importing company, The Australian Wine Connection, in 1992 at a time when women wine business owners were scarce and knowledge of Australian wine was almost nonexistent in the U.S. Her first imports consisted of her family’s brand, The Cowra Estate, and a collection of small, family-owned vineyard brands. Deborah ultimately achieved broad national distribution with a diverse portfolio of iconic, highly rated Australian wines before selling her company in 2007.

Today, Deborah lives in Southern California where the emphasis in her company, Bluestone Wine Solutions, is on consulting and assisting others around the country with their importing needs and portfolios. Her second book, Wine Exporting to the U.S. – Strategies for Success, a comprehensive guide for the foreign wine supplier, will be published in 2015.

Come and Be Inspired by Deborah as she presents useful strategies and tips on “What U.S. Importers are Looking For & How To Keep Them Interested.”

REGISTER NOW

Don’t miss out on the remarkable content at Australia Trade Tasting this year. For More information on the great line-up of speakers at AuTT, please Click Here.

AuTT Header Dates

Australian Mead: There’s more than just Beer and Spirits in the Outback.

maxwell_mead_

Australia Trade Tasting looks at the history of mead in Australia, compiles a list of Australian mead producers and asks Australia’s largest mead producer, Maxwell Mead, about how Mead is made and marketed.

Whether it’s as a gift from the gods or as a bee loving monk’s favourite hobby, references to the origin of mead date back past our founding fathers and is, arguably, the oldest known alcoholic beverage to human kind. From Asia to Norway, there are well-documented references to early crafters (some say dating back to 7000BC in China) fermenting drinks deriving from honey with still other old annals delineating the thirsty humans consuming it.

With so much attention on craft breweries and micro-distilleries in today’s expanding market, sometimes it’s easy to forget to explore the other niche categories that have been a part of Australia’s storied beverage history since the beginning.  Early settlers might have been trading in rum and ginger beer might have been the odds on early consumer’s favourite, but you can bet your bottom dollar that mead was being produced somewhere. Much of Australia’s mead history is unwritten, stories of farmers and early pioneers fermenting honey in their search for a tasty night cap to warm themselves up at night under the southern cross, but we do know it goes beyond just another side-effect of European colonization in Australia.

Aboriginals were fermenting honey, as well as producing various other mild alcoholic drinks, generations before Cpt Arthur Phillip landed at Botany Bay.  From South Australia to Tasmania, weak alcoholic drinks were being produced by Aboriginals by fermenting honey with mixtures of various local plants and flowers.  Modern Australian meaderies also produce variations on traditional meads using many different ingredients, much like those same concoctions made by the aboriginals hundreds of years ago.

Australia Trade Tasting caught up with Jeremy Maxwell and asked him to ask him a few questions about Maxwell’s Mead, Australia’s largest producer of Mead.

1.  What is the process behind the production of Mead?   What ingredients do you use, what is the fermentation process like and is there any special equipment used.

Mead is a wine made by fermenting honey and water, with no grape juice added. We add a wine yeast to the honey/water mix and convert the honey sugars into alcohol. The mead is fermented in a stainless steel tank and the process takes about 6 weeks.

2.  When did Maxwelll Mead first start production?

In the 1950’s Ken Maxwell, intrigued by the storied history of Mead, started ferment trials to determine suitable honeys, yeast and nutrients . This grew into the commercial production of Maxwell Mead from 1968.

3.  What are some modern ways that Mead is served

There are 3 varieties: Honey mead is served chilled as a dessert wine, or can be great in the kitchen ; Spiced Mead usually served hot, but can be very tasty blended with dry ginger ale and mint as a chilled summer drink. Liqueur Mead is drunk at room temperature like a port.

4.  What kind of market does Mead find?  Where is it most popular in Australia?

Maxwell Mead is very popular in the winter, especially at Thredbo. Lots of people use mead in cooking. Most is drunk across all age demographics, especially members of medieval societies.

5.  What do you think are some of the reasons Mead should be a staple in everybody’s home?

Mead should have a place in everyone’s home because it is so versatile. You can drink it straight, use it as a base for some amazing cocktails or as an excellent recipe ingredient.

Along with Maxwell Mead, there are numerous Meaderies in Australia producing some top quality products.  Here is a list of Australian Mead Producers:

A family run honey business, Bartholomews Meadery is a passionate team of people working to produce the best Honey, Mead and Ice Cream available. Visit them in Denmark to see a glass beehive where you can spot the queen and choose from many bee and honey related gifts, including toys, skin care and even hand knitted beanies.

T:08 9840 9349 F:08 9840 9349
ADDRESS 2620 South Coast Highway, DENMARK, WA, Australia 6333

Blackwood Meadery

Horst and Alex Bernhagen (Apiarists and Meadmakers) combine the latest wine making techniques with historical recipes at Blackwood Meadery to create unique mead in a style that is like no other.

Phone: 0897584335
Address: 78 Brockman Highway, Karridale, Western Australia 6290

Chateau Dorrien Meadery

Chateau Dorrien wines in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, enjoys the distinction of being among the few establishments in Australia to produce quality mead.  Chateau Dorrien produces five varieties of Mead.

Phone: (08) 8562 2850
Address: Cnr Barossa Valley Way & Seppeltsfield Road, Tanunda SA 5232

Daringa Cellars Pty Ltd

Dennis Wines (Daringa Cellars) produces mead.  Since its establishment Dennis Wines have collected over 200 medals at capital city and international wine shows, together with other trophies including The Dan Murphy and Bushing King awards (twice) for the best wine in the McLaren Vale Winemakers Exhibition.

Ph 08 8323 8665 Fax 08 8323 9121
Address: McLaren Vale, South Australia 5171

Maxwell Mead

Maxwell Mead is Australia’s famous and favourite honey wine. It is made in simple terms by fermenting pure South Australian honey, creating a beverage brimming with uniquely rich flavours and aromas. Introduced to Australia by Ken Maxwell (1915 – 2004), the Maxwell family is the largest and most successful producer of mead in the southern hemisphere.

Telephone: +61 8 8323 8200 Facsimile: +61 8 8323 8900
Address: PO Box 111, McLaren Vale, South Australia, 5171.

Walkabout Mead

Walkabout Apiary produces mead and is a great place to visit.  Producers of top quality honey, Walkabout Apiaries is one of Australia’s premiere locations to learn more about honey and mead.

Telephone: 03 5727 3468
Address: 1531 Snow Road, Milawa, VIC 3678

Top 10 Distribution Tips For Local and Imported Craft Breweries in Australia

10 Tips for Beer Distribution in Australia

Looking to find new distribution partners in Australia for your Craft Brewery?

Wondering if you should open your own Brew Pub retail store or partner with large wholesalers?

David Lipman, founder of Beer & Brewer magazine and Drinks Hub, outlines ten top tips for distributing your craft beer in Australia.

With 3000+ local and imported beers regularly available in Australia and room for only 150 beer SKUs in a bottleshop, or 30 in a pub, does a craft brewery open their own retail venue to guarantee distribution, but lack volume, or go for volume in the wholesale market with lower margin and fierce competition? Beer Distribution in Australia has a lot less barriers to entry in the supply chain compared to the 3-tier system in the USA. However, with a small population and high production costs per carton compared to imported beer, local craft brewers really need to do their business planning prior to start-up to ensure the route to market chosen suits the target retail price, category/style of beer, brand story and cash flow of the business.

Distribution and excise are two of the most underestimated items in the business of brewing by craft breweries. 

1.       Have a quality product and credible brand identity/story/packaging

  • Invest in a consultant brewer or appoint a head brewer for the recipe development
  • Invest in a design agency for the packaging (label, cluster or other, cartons, bottle, decal, tap handles)
  • Invest in research (Roy Morgan and Survey Monkey or media readership/subscriber lists for e.g.) on what consumers are the target audience and sales data (IRi Aztec and the LMAA) on what styles and categories your beers will sit in (i.e. what are the best-selling beers in the regions and categories you are positioning your brand in.)
  • Enter your beers in competitions to prove quality as some retail beer buyers will buy based on gold medals and trophy winners even though consumers will rarely buy craft beer based on awards.  Consumers tend to buy based on occasion, price and the brand story most of the time.
  • Ensure the brand story is authentic, original, credible, and you have brand notoriety in your local market to prove its popularity. The brewer is the rock star and consumers love meeting the brewer while the region the brand is from (or the history or circumstance the brand was established) is important to promote the story. Don’t just focus on selling the brand based on quality and awards.

Heat is a major contributor to aging the beer, particularly in transit from brewery to retailer as it’s expensive to transport beer in cold-freight. Pasteurization heats up the packaged beer for a short period of time, it is not affected by heat in transit as much as an un-pasteurized beer. Craft beer is all about flavour; it’s a selling point to be unfiltered and unpasteurized. Pasteurization is said to remove 30% of flavour, however it all depends on your distribution model and the style of beer.

If you have a brew pub then there is no need for pasteurization as there is no time period from beer being transported from the brewery to the retailer and very little time sitting on a shelf or in a keg. However for the wholesale market, flash or tunnel pasteurization should be considered to control quality rather than let heat affect the beer for extended periods of time. Given beer is very rarely cold-freighted all the way from brewery door to the retailer shelf, the beer is not being consumed as the brewer intended. This is particularly the case for lagers, which are fermented at colder temperatures and affected by heat more than ales. The cardboard smell of heat affected beers is particularly noticeable in lagers that have little aroma or full-flavoured taste to hide behind.

2.       Understand Australian distribution (on- and off-premise), regulations, excise, and parallel importing

When the brewer understands the challenges, pressures, margins and price points of the importer/distributor and retailer, it makes the relationship and sell-in professional and respectful.

There are approximately 14,000 on-premise and 9,000 off-premise licensed outlets nationally. However, there are a lot more licensed venues when you include Restaurants, Clubs and Cafes. In NSW (18,000+) and Vic (20,000+) alone there are 38,000+ non-traditional licensed venues. Restaurants are a great target for craft beer. Given the beer lists are small, it makes the chance of getting picked by the consumer much better. Restaurants are also more willing to pay the listed wholesale price because they can mark the beer up more than bottleshops. Craft beer is all about pairing great beer with great food and restaurants also give the consumer that ultimate experience.

Parallel importing is legal in Australia, meaning an imported beer can be imported via a wholesaler and not the brewery. Retailers can buy direct from breweries and exporters, there is no 3-tier system like the USA.

Tap and Fridge Contracts exist in the on-premise and, with the average number of taps per pub being 8, venues are very limited in what they can put on tap outside the contracted brands. The opportunities for third parties (not in a contract) are guest taps, approaching freehouses with no contracts, or hoping the hoteliers catch on that customers are demanding more variety than what the contracted breweries are offering. The last opportunity hinges on the hotelier having not contracted out 70-100% of their taps, and hoping for 50% or less.

Given tap contracts, alternative routes to market are using growlers or stand-alone draught beer systems which provide the venue another tap point for the bar or event/function room.

Excise is an indirect tax as a fixed cost to draught and bottled beer. It goes up every 6 months by CPI. Its payable in seven days of leaving the brewery or bond store, even though it’s not paid for, for up to 90 days by retailers which can create a cash flow crisis for many craft brewers. There is an excise rebate for local microbreweries, up to $30,000 per annum received in the following financial year. Microbreweries are able to apply with the ATO to pay excise in 30 days rather than seven days. Many distributors or brewers will use a bond store to postpone payment of the excise until the beer is ordered and dispatched from the bonded site to allow maximizing production runs as well as minimize costs per carton and help margins and profitability.

3.       Understand COGS, margins and retail pricing for the category your beer sits in – are you competitive? Do you start contract brewing first or own equipment?

Distributors work off around 30% margins and retailers will buy cartons around a 25% margin while making around 40% on 6-packs and more on single bottle sales.

Repeat business is crucial to run a sustainable business. If your price is too high you run the risk of your beer being ordered once by consumers looking to try it one time before they move back to their regular, more affordable craft beers (known as repertoire drinkers.) However if you have low COGs or low fixed operating costs and are happy with less profit dollars, then higher prices can work if you sell the volumes needed to cover your costs.

The average retail price for a carton of local craft beer (any style, any ABV) in Australia is $64.50, whereas for imported craft beer its 13% higher at $74 per carton (8 litres). As mentioned in a previous article on the AuTT blog, the average ex-excise brewer wholesale price for imported craft beer is $17.50 and local craft beer is more like $35. Being 100% higher, local craft brewers are faced with a lot of competition from imported beer. However with the AUD/USA drastically softening (end of 2014) this will help local craft brewers’ price competitiveness.

Most consumers are purchasing craft beer as 6-packs, mixed 6-packs, or by the bottle. If you are pricing your beer to be sold above these prices then volumes will come down. It’s a matter of summing your COGs, the fixed operating costs you need to recoup, and your distributor and retailer margins to arrive at a retail price that is competitive against the mainstream craft or smaller craft brewers.

To work out excise here is the calculation: You need to find out the excise per litre of alcohol for kegs (>49.5 L) which is 40% less than kegs/bottles (less than 49.5 L).

Formula: Volume in Litres of the package x (Alcohol strength – 1.15) x Per Litre Cost of Alcohol.

E.g. from excise prices in February 2014

·         Carton of 24 x 330mL 4.3% ABV = 7.92 x (4.3-1.15) x $46.30 = $11.55+GST.

·         50 L keg of the same beer 4.3% ABV = 50 x (4.3-1.15) x $32.60 = $51.35+GST.

If price is important then you could contract brew to begin with, then once beer volumes get large enough you can invest in brewing equipment. This option allows the capital to be invested in sales teams, recipe development, packaging, promotion, travel, events, etc, and not sitting in stainless steel.

4.       Decide on the route to market and volumes to be profitable – wholesale or retail?

For the most part, this comes down to how much capital you have or can raise (for items in point 1),  how much profit you wish to make for shareholders, and if you going to work in the business with long hours or hire staff. The retail route is very profitable from a production and sell price perspective, while high costs in rent, staff, loadings, and other overhead such as marketing, is needed to ensure enough daily patronage. From a production point of view, you can make decent returns from producing 100,000 litres a year. On the other hand, if you go the wholesale route, you need to produce around 1-1.5 million litres a year to be sustainable and decide on owning equipment or contract brewing.

5.       Retail Distribution – Fresh beer and recruiting or partnering with a hospitality and marketing team to ensuring daily patronage

As mentioned in point 4, this is the most profitable form of selling craft beer and requires a fraction of the beer to be produced to be sustainable, as long as the venue itself is run efficiently and marketed to the local community. There are approximately 70 brewpub/breweries with hotel operating hours out of the 200 breweries in Australia.

Craft Beer Distribution in Australia

6.       Wholesale Distribution – Pasteurization and deciding on whether you will have a sales team, use a warehouse/logistics company, or appoint a distributor/retailer

As mentioned in point 4, given the costs of packaging and the fact that excise is 40% higher in bottles (unless you focus on 50L kegs, which is stifled by tap contracts), you need to brew a lot more beer to make the business sustainable.  See point 1 regarding considering pasteurization for the wholesale market, it’s a necessity for export.

There are three clear options in deciding the route to market for wholesale and they depend on your capital raising and how much volume you plan or need to achieve to meet profit targets:

(i)      Have your own sales team

This is the most ideal scenario.  As you have your own employees representing only your brand(s) in a highly competitive market, you know your brand is #1 on the list and #1 priority. The biggest obstacles in being able to use this route are having enough beer sales to support the sales team and a retailer or distributor’s insecurity in ccommitting to such large volumes with no track record, unless you have some serious ATL and BTL marketing budgets. A logical plan would be to start with point (ii) or (iii) then aim to get to have your own sales team in the medium to long term.

(ii)    Use a warehouse/logistics company with brand ambassador(s)

Start-ups with little budget or small overheads, can do the sales themselves, and grow the distribution organically, albeit over a longer period than point (iii) below. The important part of this route is to ensure you have warehouses on the east and west coast (given the sheer size of Australia) to store product close to customers. The reason for both warehouses is so that you can provide customer service with a short turnaround time from order to delivery and you can provide metro freight costs, rather than interstate freight costs. You will need to do the sales yourself, or appoint brand ambassadors/sales reps to generate the orders, for the warehouse/logistics company to pick/pack the orders for you. Consider if you can find bonded stores to warehouse your stock on the east and west coast, to help paying excise later. See point 7 below for a company list.

(iii)   Appoint a distributor/retailer

More and more these days, retailers are time poor and getting bombarded by sales reps from individual brand owners. Retailers will see around 40 reps a week for existing supply, let alone new brands/SKUs. Retailers prefer to talk to distributors who they already deal with that represent a number of brands all handled by the one account manager. This step ensures your brand is sitting in a portfolio that has relationships already in place. There are a number of distributors to choose, such as wine only (where you beer brand is their exclusive beer brand), a drinks distributor, or a dedicated craft beer distributor. It’s important, for any of these, that you ensure your brand doesn’t sit in the portfolio. You need to be continuously communicating with all reps looking after your brand.  Inform them of the product, its USPs, sales data success in other markets, awards, festivals/dinners at which customers can meet the brand team, sales targets, incentives and promotional support (as mentioned in point 9 below).  It’s a matter of asking what they need and what you can afford, to ensure volumes are met so that both you and the distributor are making profit.

Another option is go direct to the retailer as they can act as importer / distributor / retailer. This can be achieved via offering your brand exclusively to the retailer (if they are large enough), certain SKUs exclusive to the retailer, or brewing specific SKUs under an exclusive brand name for the retailer.  The last option gives them a lot of rapport with the beer to sell it, as it’s their own beer and they make more margin.

7.       Warehouse/Logistics Companies in Australia

Elite Logistics NSW www.elitewinelogistics.com.au
Warehousing & Distribution Solutions NSW www.wads.com.au
Locke Logistics Vic www.lockelogistics.com.au

cropped-Australia_tastings_home_0922-1.jpg

8.       Distributors in Australia

Type Distributor/Logistics Company State Web site
Beer Artisans of Amber NSW www.artisansofamber.com
Beer Beer Importers & Distributors National www.bidbeer.com
Beer Experienceit / Birra Italiana NSW www.birraitaliana.com.au
Beer Hops and More NSW bradflowers@hotmail.com
Beer Nordic Beverages (Balmain) NSW http://nordicbevs.com/
Beer Micro Beer Club NT www.microbeerclub.com.au
Beer Australian Trade Partners Qld www.australiantradepartners.com.au
Beer Calibre Craft Beer Trading Co Qld www.calibrebeer.com
Beer Europacific Liquor Pty Ltd Qld www.europacificliquor.com.au
Beer Fluid Boutique Liquor Qld www.fluidboutiqueliquor.com.au
Beer Decant Beer SA http://decantbeer.com/
Beer Palais Imports SA www.palaisimports.com.au
Beer Beer Importers & Distributors Vic www.bidbeer.com
Beer Better Beer Imports Vic www.betterbeerimports.com
Beer Boutique Beverage Distributors Vic www.boutiquebev.com.au
Beer Kaya Group for Efes Pilsener Vic www.kayagr.com
Beer Northdown, Craft Beer Movement Vic www.northdown.com.au
Beer Trumer Australia Pty Ltd Vic www.trumer-australia.com
Beer Beverage Australia Pty Ltd WA www.beverageaustralia.com.au
Beer PDH Imports WA phdimports@bigpond.com
Beer Trumer Australia WA www.trumer-australia.com
Beer/Cider DrinkWorks NSW www.drinkworks.com.au
Beer/Cider Phoenix Beers WA www.phoenixbeers.com.au
Beer/Cider The Beer & Cider Company WA www.beerandcider.com.au
BWS Bevchain National www.bevchain.com.au
BWS Bacardi Lion NSW ww.bacardilion.com
BWS Beach Ave Wholesalers NSW www.baw.com.au
BWS D’Aquin Group (NILWA) NSW www.daquinogroup.com.au
BWS Diageo Australia NSW www.diageo.com.au
BWS G H Cole & Son NSW www.nilwa.com.au
BWS Granduer Brew NSW www.grandeurbrew.com.au
BWS Kollaras NSW www.kollarasgroup.com
BWS LION Co NSW www.lionco.com.au
BWS Peter Doyle Cellars NSW www.nilwa.com.au
BWS Pure Beverages Pty Ltd NSW www.purebeverages.com.au
BWS Suntory (Aust) Pty Ltd NSW www.suntory.com.au
BWS Liquid Specialty Beverages Qld www.liquidsb.com.au
BWS Rivercity Wholesale Liquor Qld www.rivercity.com.au
BWS Empire Liquor SA www.empireliquor.com.au
BWS VOK Beverages SA www.vok.com.au
BWS Polkadot Liquor Tas www.polkadotliquor.com
BWS BDS Marketing Vic www.bdsmarketing.com.au
BWS Beach Ave Wholesalers Vic www.baw.com.au
BWS Enoteca Sileno Vic www.enoteca.com.au
BWS HT Beverages Vic www.htbeverages.com.au
BWS FM Liquor WA www.fmliquor.com.au
BWS Liquid Mix WA www.liquidmixwa.com.au
BWS Food Combined Wines and Foods NSW www.combinedwines.com.au
BWS Food Blackwood Lane Vic www.blackwoodlane.com
BWS Food Festival City Food & Liquor Vic www.festivalcitywines.com.au
Chinese BWS Food ETTASON Pty Ltd NSW www.ettason.com.au
Distributor ALM Liquor National www.almliquor.com.au
Distributor Hotel Liquor Wholesalers National www.bottlemart.com.au
Distributor ILG Co-operative Ltd NSW www.ilg.com.au
Distributor Paramount Liquor Vic www.paramountliquor.com.au
Distributor Premium Beverages Vic www.premiumbeverages.com.au
Distributor S & P Liquor NSW peterpizanis@optusnet.com.au
European BWS Urban Beverage Imports NSW www.urbanpurveyor.com/urban_imports
Hospitality Stirling Global Services NSW www.gohospitality.com.au
Japanese BWS Food Japan Food Corp NSW www.jfcaustralia.com.au
Logistics/Warehousing Elite Logistics NSW www.elitewinelogistics.com.au
Logistics/Warehousing Warehousing & Distribution Solutions NSW www.wads.com.au
Logistics/Warehousing Locke Logistics Vic www.lockelogistics.com.au
On-premise NILWA National www.nilwa.com.au
IBEV GLOBAL P/L Vic www.ibev.com.au
RTS The Daiquiri Group Qld www.daiquirigroup.com
Spanish wine/cider/beer Broadway Liquor NSW www.broadwayliquor.com.au
Whisky barmania! NSW www.barmania.com.au
Wine Red & White National www.redandwhite.com.au
Wine Bacchus Wine Merchant NSW www.bacchuswinemerchant.com.au
Wine Vintners NSW www.vintnersmerchants.com.au
Wine Off the Vine Wine Merchants SA www.offthevinewines.com
Wine Samuel Smith & Son (Yalumba Wine Company) SA www.samsmith.com
Wine Vintners Vic www.vintnersmerchants.com.au
Wine Dave Mullen Wine Agency WA
Wine Lionel Samson WA www.lionelsamsonandson.com.au
Wine/Beer Wines of Chile Pty Ltd NSW www.winesofchile.com.au
Wine/Beer Arquilla NSW/Vic www.arquilla.com
Wine/Beer Arquilla Vic www.arquilla.com
Oz North Food & Liquor Wholesalers Pty Ltd NT www.ozfcws.com.au
G&S Wasseige – Belgian Imports QLD
Australasian Imports Pty Ltd SA www.aimportg.com.au

9.       Promotion and Marketing

Support the distributor/retailer with social media, events, eNewsletter, marketing dollars, PR, point of sale, merchandise, in-store tastings, meet the brewer, dinners, festivals, samples, Buy 10 get 1 free, etc.

Join and support the industry associations (the retail association members are your prospective customers and helps you understand their challenges and opportunities). Some industry associations are: ALSA, CBIA, ARCBA, AHA, LMAA. Also see the retail associations for their member lists for retailer banner groups and retailers to target as sales prospects.

10.   Growing Pains/Customer Service – What contingencies are in place to cope with excess demand?

When the great thing happens of demand exceeding supply, what plans do you have for access to more capital for more fermenters and bright beer tanks. Rather than buying equipment, you could contract brew your excess demand. Don’t forget to go over all considerations for ensuring you don’t miss out on any sales and you can provide good customer service to existing and future customers.


 

By David Lipman, Founder Beer & Brewer Magazine and Drinks Hub.

Drinks_Hub

David Lipman Bio:

David’s passion for beer began in 2002 as a Cellarman at The Whitehorse on Parson’s Green and The Porterhouse Covent Garden, two institutions for great local and imported beer in London. In 2007 David founded Beer & Brewer magazine and www.beerandbrewer.com, and finished up as Publisher/Editor in May 2014. David has published as Editor-in-Chief five books on beer, including Ultimate Beer Guide Australia & NZ (2011), Craft Beer Trade Buyers Guide (2012), Breweries of Australia: A History 2nd Edn (2012), Best 100 Beers Australia (2013) and Beer Buyers’ Guide Australia & NZ (2013) www.beerbuyersguide.com.au. David has also published booklets on beer & food matching for Beer & Brewer magazine and BBQ School. David has launched three beer events including Beer & Brewer Expo (2009, Melbourne), Beer & Brewer Awards (2010, Sydney) and Beer & Brewer Conference (2012, Melbourne). These days David continues his passion hosting corporate tastings (including at the Sydney Opera House and Taste Festivals Australia). David has also just launched Drinks Hub, an exporter of Australian premium drinks, including craft beer, cider, spirits.

How can you Sell your Wine, Beer, and Spirits in the USA? Here’s A Brief Overview of the 3-Tier System.

USA_Market_Overview

Are you looking for a guide on what it means for your Australian brewery, winery, or distillery to do business in the three-tier sales system in the USA?

The three-tier system was put into place after the abolition of Prohibition to control and regulate the distribution of adult beverages in the USA.  Production, importation, packaging and marketing are all federally regulated. Once federally approved for sale within the USA, further compliance with state distribution laws is necessary for market-entry anywhere in the USA.

The following article examines industry terminology used by suppliers, importers, wholesale distributors and retailers and outlines the role of each tier in the three tier system.

Here are some frequently used terms & abbreviations and their meanings for breweries, wineries and distilleries ready to start contacting importers, distributors and retailers in the USA:

FOB Price– Freight on Board: Supplier’s price (per case). The amount producers will get paid per case for their products. When talking about distributing their brand in their state, suppliers need to be ready by saying, “Its $54 per case FOB (New Jersey) / $4.50 per bottle.” When talking to a potential importer who plans to import their product, the FOB would be quoted as $36 per case FOB (Sydney) / $3 per bottle. If a supplier is picking the international freight tab they can quote $40 FOB (New York Port) to the importer.

On-Premise Retail: Bars, Clubs, Tasting Rooms, Brew Pubs, etc.  Any retail location where beverages are sold for consumption on premise.

Off-Premise Retail: Liquor Store, Chain Store, Box Store, etc.  Any retail location where beverages are sold for consumption off premise.

Call Frequency – How often a distributor rep visits a retail account

Control State – A state where sales are controlled directly by state-run establishments

SRP – Suggested Retail Price: Suggested final offer price to consumers in on-premise and off-premise accounts calculated using assumed mark-up percentages, as determined by market research by the supplier.

PTC – Price to Consumer.

PTD – Price to Distributor.

Margin – Based on sale price, this is usually reported as a profit percentage.

Markup – Based on cost, this is usually reported as a profit percentage.

Dry Shelf:  Retailer shelf that is not refrigerated

DTC – Direct to Consumer:  Any sale of beverage directly from the producer to the consumer.  Typically, this is done by local producers through internet sales, tasting rooms, fan clubs, events, etc.

FET – Federal Exercise Tax

Hand-Selling: The act of promoting and selling your beverage face-to-face.

Programming: Tastings, bottle-necks, marketing campaigns, etc.  Any promotional material you can provide to help market your beverage.

DI – Days Inventory: How many more days of inventory left of a certain product at a distributor warehouse.

Incentives: Coupons, discounts, free cases, give-backs, etc.  Any programs given to help promote sales in the three-tier system.

BTG – By The Glass: Price for beverage, offered by the glass at on-premise accounts.

Frontline Price: Highest listed retail price

Street Price: Lowest listed retail price

Retail Price:  Price listed by retailers to consumers.

 

An Overview of the 3-Tier Sales and Distribution System.

 

Supplier Sales

In this sales tier, the supplier (winery, brewery, distillery, producer, or importer) sets the distributor’s FOB, which is the only price that the supplier has any direct control over.  Suppliers can influence the PTC through give-backs, discounts and promotions, but ultimately the price offered by distributors to retailers (wholesale price) and the PTC is in the hands of the distributor and retailer. Depending on the FOB paid, distributors have a good understanding of what SRP will be for retail accounts and will go-to-market accordingly.

Australian wineries, distilleries and breweries are required by federal law to enlist the services of a registered importer.  Once the product has cleared customs and is state side, the importer and supplier begin marketing the product to distributors.

Instead of soliciting distributors directly, Australian suppliers often engage an agent or consultant company to broker sales and provide marketing support to distributors.  Often, the firm will have importers and distributors that they work with to establish a solid market-entry strategy for new beverages.  These representatives must be fully licensed in the states you are planning on entering.

Even if you plan on selling ‘out-of-state,’ compliance with state laws is a must when working with state importers, brokers, distributors and retailers.   The costs and complexities of compliance vary considerably from state-to-state, so plan market-entry accordingly.

 

Distributor Sales

Once purchased, the distributor warehouses supply until further delivery to retail partners.  Freight, storage, and operating costs, as well as mark-up, will all be added to the wholesale price (note that some states have regulatory mark-up margins).

Even though the supplier does not have overall control of the price offered to retailers, often they are expected to provide incentive programs (tastings, promotional campaigns, etc.) in target markets to help build customer recognition, create a competitive offering and ultimately deplete stock at retail accounts. Both Distributors and consultancy firms will have reps working to help sales for your beverage, but you will need to provide incentive programs to really encourage them to concentrate on your brand.  Beyond incentives for your distribution tier reps, in order for successful market entry you will personally need to employ a team dedicated to support programs at retail accounts.

Some distributors are ‘multi-state’ or ‘national,’ which means their distribution network spans across various states and each branch of their company specializes in compliance for the state they operate in. Depending on the state, some wholesale distributors can also hold import licenses.

Working with national distributors or wholesale distributors with import licenses can sometimes simplify the import process in the three tier system, but it does not mean you will not be required to provide incentive programs, support programs and marketing campaigns to go along with those provided by your distributor reps. No matter what state you enter and with what import and distribution partners, be prepared to build a healthy market for your beverages.

 

Retail Sales

Retail sales are separated into two main account types – on-premise and off-premise. Retailers will buy stock from distributors at the wholesale price where-upon the product will be distributed to the retail store for further sale to the consumer.  Each state regulates retail sales and each set of laws, licenses and taxes, for both on-premise and off-premise accounts, varies from state-to-state considerably.

Chain and box stores often receive the best pricing and volume deals (incentives) from wholesalers while independent retailers work hard to market their offerings (variety, POP, POS, support programs, etc.)  Depending on what type of distributor you are working with, you will need to be able to service the type of retail partners they work with.

Independent retailers typically need to price their offerings higher (approximately 25%-50% margin) because they are unable to sell at the volume that Chain and Box stores (20%-45% margin) can.

Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries and Suppliers often have a SRP that they want to see as a final listing price at the retail level, but they seldom have any direct control over the final PTC.  Depending on any discounts, incentives, % mark-up, compliance factors, programming, marketing, and promotional campaigns that has gone into getting the product to market, the retail price can be dramatically different from that of a supplier’s initial SRP.

On-premise retail accounts are usually limited to selling to consumers by-the-glass, or by the bottle, and for consumption at their establishment only. Some states allow on-premise accounts to sell to consumers for off-premise consumption and some even allow securely sealed, opened bottles to leave the premise.  Support programs (promotional give-aways, merchandising, etc.) are also highly encouraged to build customer bases at important on-premise locations.

Depending on state laws, some wineries, breweries , distilleries and suppliers can sell direct-to-consumer (DTC).  This is often limited to producers selling directly to consumers at tasting rooms and brew pubs or at events, but DTC internet clubs directly associated with the producer are very popular in states where it is permitted.

For a good pricing overview for the USA market, please read Three Tier System and Pricing Overview for USA Market 

AuTT-WBM_620x200

Are you a winery, brewery or distillery looking to export your beverages to the USA?  Come network at Australia Trade Tasting and grow your brand.

Looking For A Beer Importer in USA? Be Prepared For These 7 Questions.

Craft Beer Importers

Our recent interview with Jon Reynolds who has been working in the american beer industry for more than 30 years helps us craft the ‘The 7 most important questions that will help you find a US beer importer partner‘.

The Three Tier Distribution Model is a difficult system to navigate, especially for international brands new to the compliance restrictions and regulations present in each individual state. Finding the right importer whose company profile fit’s your brewery’s needs is the first step towards getting your beers into retail stores across the USA. This means developing strong sales pitches, support programs and freight networks so that your import partners can establish healthy relationships between your brand and their distribution and retail accounts.

Finding the right import partner and getting your international beers into stores across the USA.

1 – What are the most important steps and sales tools that the Australian brand owner could take before they begin importing and selling?

The Australian brand owner should prepare, at minimum, the following Marketing Presentation of their Imported beer brand:

  • Marketing Story
    Main points of difference vs. the competition already available on the market.
  • The Brewery and the Source
    Unique place, landmarks, water, minerals, elevation, country’s lifestyle, culture, tap room and unique hops and grains
  • Brand Portfolio
    Sell sheets, photos and packaging/SKU’s are very important.
  • Distribution Secured
    What countries, states and markets, annual sales plus excess capacity are available?
  • Brewing Awards Won
    Include a full list of Domestic and International Brewing Awards and Competitions.
  • Marketing support elements on all Media platforms
    Detail your, POS, website, video, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest, etc.) sampling programs, trade samples, incentives, merchandising/display enhancers, and truck decals.
  • Sales support elements
    Outline all U.S. sales agents, tasting groups, media agencies, brand managers, and feet-on-street availble to support importer.
  • Samples
    Samples can be expensive if shipped from overseas, so the brand owner should attempt to get its importer in place before too many samples are sent FEDEX or DHL.

2 – What are the target price points for your Aussie beer brand?

  • First, research the market and develop an Aussie brand to target the U.S. market you are expanding into (East Coast, West Coast, Midwest).
  • Establish an F.O.B. in Australia that covers your full cost of goods and provides margin for your Brewery.
  • Estimated landed costs for containers into the U.S.; should include inland freight to Aussie Port, Export Duties, Sea Freight to the US. Port, Import Duties, Federal Excise Taxes, Importer Fees/Margin, Inland Freight to U.S. destination, State Excise Taxes, Distributor Margin (30% normal), Sales Rep Commission and Retailer Margin (25-30% normal).
  • This should lead the brand owner to Recommended PTR’s/PTC’s for each SKU.

Please find All 7 Questions You Will be Asked by US Beer Importers here: http://beveragetradenetwork.com/en/btn-academy/ready-to-export-your-craft-beer-to-usa-here-are-the-7-questions-you-will-be-asked-by-us-beer-importers–389.htm

If you are looking to export your craft beer brand to USA, we encourage you to attend US export conference on Sept 2. Check out the speakers here http://australiatradetasting.com/en/conference-26.htm

 

Australia Trade Tasting

A View from Behind the Bar: 2015 Trends from Jenna Hemsworth

Jenna_Hemsworth_Australia_Trade_Tasting

Suggestions of trending Wine, Beer and Spirits from One of Australia’s Top 5 Bartenders, Jenna Hemsworth.

Across all categories, Australia is producing some of the world’s most exciting adult beverage brands. Whether it’s Tasmanian whisky, Victorian wine, or craft beer from Byron Bay, you are sure to find stellar local offerings from wineries, distilleries and breweries around the country.

As Australians search for their favourite new independent libations, bartenders offer some of the most in depth insight into the industry. They are tasting, experimenting and serving up new flavours developed to delight the palette and kindle the spirit. If you are lucky enough to call one of our country’s great bartenders your friend, then you are likely tasting something truly special on a daily basis.

We are excited to have had the oppurtunity to talk with Jenna Hemsworth – what better source to get updated on what’s going on in the Australian Industry than from one of Australia’s most loved bartenders?

Australia Trade Tasting gets exclusive tasting notes from Jenna Hemsworth, Diageo Reserve World Class Top 100 Bartenders (Top 5 in Australia), on some of Australia’s most exciting distilleries, breweries and wineries.

Mr Black

Mr Black is an interesting Coffee liqueur from Erina, NSW.

Cold drip coffee liqueur. Retains the taste of fresh espresso, rather than sweetening it up with vanillas and caramels, great for coffee lovers as it tastes closer to coffee than a liqueur. Not overly bitter, well-rounded liqueur.

Four Pillars:

Four Pillars is a Australian staple gin coming out the Yarra Valley, VIC. They have three gins on the market (their original gin, a barrel-aged gin and a navy strength gin).

Original gin utilises whole oranges in the distillation process, leaving a superbly fresh, light and vibrant distillate. Pepperberry leaf and lemon myrtle are wonderful native ingredients used to add a touch of Australian influence and modernity.

Aged gin is rested in ex-Chardonnay French oak barrels, mellowing the gin so it can be sipped over ice or neat and chilled.

Navy strength adds finger limes into the distillate and cuts the percentage of oranges in the distillate, raises the abv to 58.8% for an intense, citrusy and lively gin that goes perfectly into a fresh lime gimlet (my favourite with this gin!).

Overeem:

Overeem Whisky is from Old Hobart Distillery.

There are two  main offerings of Overeem: Sherry and port matured whiskeys aged in 100L ex-port French oak barrels (quarter cask) and Sherry-matured whiskey in ex-sherry French oak barrels, also quarter cask/100L. Both come in 43% and cask strength variances. Superbly balanced, rich and complex whiskeys- a great example of Australian whiskey production and one of my go-to Aussie whisky brands.

Belgrove:

Belgrove Whisky is a great Tasmanian Offering.

Peter Bignell creates his own biodiesel on site in order to grow and process his own rye to create his whiskey on site. They have a white rye (unaged) and aged rye, as well as two rare releases of an oat whiskey and peated rye. I can honestly say all four of these products are exceptional- I am a massive fan of rye whiskey and it can easily stand up to the American brands! It is a different taste however, in a category of its own.

Belgrove is a sustainable distillery and his spent mash is fed to his animals on his farm, which is pretty cool. Great balance of sweet/savoury/spice throughout the range, with the aged rye developing this superb complexity through the barrel ageing process.

Edge Brewing Project:

Edge Brewing is From North Melbourne, VIC.
There Cool Hops stands out. It is the most prevalent variety I have seen out and about.  It’s Sessionable, hop-forward and a true to style pilsner.
They also offer ‘Addiction’ (english pale ale), Angel of Zest (saison/farmhouse style), Angry Pirate (american pale ale), Ashes to Mashes Wattleseed stout (Export stout), Cool hops (german pilsner), Cryonic hops (American double/imperial pilsner), Southern Hemisphere IPA (american double/imperial IPA).  All of which trying are a bit harder to find, but worthy of a try when you get the chance.

Killer Sprocket:

Killer Sprocket was founded in 2012- from Cavalier brewing (West of Melbourne, VIC).

‘Bandit’ is style peated pale ale which has 10% peated malt in it. It’s a very interesting brew worth keeping your eye out for. Another one of their interesting offerings is an experimental American Pale Ale which they add juniper berries to. Their ‘Hey Juniper.’   has a distinctly piney taste.

Holgate Brew House

Holgate Brew House is located in Woodend, regional VIC.

Their Mt Macedon Pale Ale is a broadly appealing, easy drinking Pale Ale worthy of any summer day.

Road Trip is their American IPA) and is a really sessionable, super hoppy offering.
ESB (extra special bitter) is a classic, earthy, English bitter and is a good ‘pub beer.’
Temptress is thier chocolate porter and is INCREDIBLE. My favourite, it’s infused with Dutch cocoa and whole vanilla beans.
Pilsner is their german style lager. Light bodied, massive flavour, is an easy drinker. In fact it’s easy to get through the case.

Hopinator is their Double American IPA and something really special.  I used to drink this on tap regularly at a beer hall I used to work in…. massive, MASSIVE hops, big bold and bitter, all about flavour.

Stone and Wood Brewery

Stone and Wood Brewery is from Byron Bay, NSW.
They have three staples that should be a part of any beer lover’s rotation.  The first is Stone and Wood Pacific Ale which is easy to drink, very fruity with passion fruit aromas and crisp taste.
The Stone and Wood Lager is a great representation of a classic lager and can be drank at any time and with any food
Stone and Wood Jasper Ale is a mash-up of German alt, American Amber ale and English brown ale.  It’s a big winter beer, with a spicy bitterness.

Feral Brewing Company:

Feral Brewery is from the Swan Valley, near Perth, WA.
Feral white is a witbeer made in the traditional Belgium style of 50% wheat, 50% barley and with a Belgium yeast strain.
Hop Hog is an American IPA that I love and certainly worth an order. Aggressively bitter, pine notes. It’s one for a real beer lover.
Golden Ace Golden Ale has a distinct citrus flavor and is brewed with Japanese bred Sorachi Ace hops providing for an interesting variation.

Gapstead Wines:

Gapstead Wines are From King Alpine Valleys, VIC.

A very interesting winery dabbling in a large selection of varietals: Cab sauv, Durif, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc, Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, Dolcetto syrah, Moscato, Rosa moscato, Pinot grigio, Sauv blanc, Saperavi, Tempranillo, Barbera, Petit Manseng, Fiano.

They have won over 100 different medals and trophies for their wines and their
Victorian alps winery has a restaurant boasting great food and wine pairings. They use local produce to match their cool climate wines and offer an amazing menu.

About Jenna Hemsworth

Jenna is a well-respected bartender in the Australian hospitality scene. uShe has worked in esteemed Melbourne venues such as Eau De Vie Melbourne, Cookie, Kodiak Club and Bad Frankie.  She placed in the Top 5 in Australia in the World Class bartending competition 2014, held by Diageo, and Top 8 in Australia in the Australian Bartender of the Year competition 2014 held by Australian Bartender Magazine. She is also a regular competitor on a national stage, having achieved placing positions in various national competitions.
Jenna has worked closely with, and developed an adept knowledge of Australian spirits in her position at Bad Frankie bar, who solely stock local spirits from around Australia. She has a strong knowledge of spirits from around the world, cocktails, beer and wine.Jenna was a judge for the 2014 Melbourne International Spirits Competition.

AuTT-WBM_620x200

Are you an Australian beer, wine or spirits distributor looking to source new products for your portfolio?  Get Involved at Australia Trade Tasting and network with trending wineries, breweries and distilleries in 2015.

Australian Brewery – National Pride and Canned Craft Beer

Australian_Brewery

Australia Trade Tasting Profiles Craft Beer exhibitor Australian Brewery.

Founded in 2010, Australian Brewery is a state of the art facility full of clean, sleek stainless steal.  The brew room is quite impressive and makes you wonder if it was built to reflect their dedication to canning, a signature characteristic of Australian Brewery.

Australian quickly gained market traction as their line-up of unique canned beers won multiple awards and their dedication to building a fan base of die-hard consumers won them support around the country. From it’s canning line to it’s front office, the brewery is purpose built to produce some of Australia’s choice beers and ciders.

We had the chance to talk with Australian Brewery owner Marcello Colisimo on the rapid rise of Australian Brewery and his plans for it’s future.

Why is it that Australian Brewery strictly cans their beer and cider line-up?

It was an easy decision really, as a craft Brewer you are always
looking for the ways to ensure your beer remains as fresh as possible
for as long as possible. I mean in an ideal world everybody would be
drinking straight from our tanks, but after extensive research the next
best option was to package in cans. Zero light (preventing UV light
breaking down the delicate flavours.) Less oxygen pickup during
packaging than bottles and no oxygen leaks once inside (unlike bottles.)
Not applicable to taste but important to us as a company is the
environmental benefit, cans are lighter so leave a smaller carbon
footprint and have a higher recycling rate than bottles. So all-in-all,
cans were an easy choice for protecting our award winning beers.

Tell us more about the Canbassador competition, what was the overall response from your audience?  It looks like you guys really boosted your brand recognition with the program.

Canbassador for us was about educating consumers on the benefits of
cans and connecting to a key target demographic of a young, creative,
socially engaged craft beer drinker. In a cluttered Australian craft
beer market it had an overwhelming response, converting casual drinkers
into passionate supporters of our beers and brand.

Australian Brewery takes part in a lot of local and national events.  What message do you guys try and get out into the world when you are exhibiting?

Part of being a micro – craft brewery is about getting in consumers
faces and having them taste our beers. We have one of the highest medal
rates of any brewery in the country with champions trophies, and many
best in class awards; including two this year for our Pale Ale (Best in
class Australian Pale Ale CBIA / AIBA.) So we know customers will love
it, we just need to let them taste it. And the easiest way of getting in
front of a lot of people at once is trade shows and exhibitions. It also
helps that consumers at these events are already engaged.

You also spend a lot of time doing tasting at retail accounts – what do you find works best building support in your distribution channels?

As a small producer we don’t have the ability to provide rebates to
lock in stockists and tap share like the big multi nationals. So we have
to get pretty creative with our accounts. Tastings are very important
and we run them weekly, but we also offer staff incentives etc. However
what works best, and what we love to do the most is to bring the venues
staff out to the Brewery for lunch, a brewery tour and of course beers
with our head brewer. This gives the staff the confidence to sell our
products. In our experience if the staff love it, they will pass that on
to consumers.

How are you planning on taking advantage of your presence at Australia Trade Tasting?

We have begun exporting our beers to Japan with quite a lot of success.

The next stage of our distribution is to take this further with an eye
to meet distributors for other Asian countries and America. We are also
looking to boost our national distribution in Australia. AuTT looks to
be a great place to connect with a variety of industry leaders in the
distribution game.

Australian Brewery has built a successful national brand over the course of a few years. As they continue to grow and build markets around the world, they will be spreading their passion for their namesake country.  They’ve put themselves in an exciting position to represent both Australia and craft beer together and are poised to be a bright spot in the industry for decades to come.

AuTT_Banner_Wine_MagAre you a beer distributor looking to source new and innovative Australian craft beers? Get Involved at Australia Trade Tasting.

In Depth Data Analysis on the Craft Beer Industry in Australia from David Lipman, Founder/Director of Drinks Hub

 David_Lipman_SpeakerDrinks_Hub

Australia Trade Tasting gets in-depth insight into the Australian Craft Beer and Cider Industry from David Lipman, Founder of Beer and Brewer Magazine and Drinks Hub.

The Craft Beer and Cider Industry has seen steady growth in Australia over the past decade.  With it’s increased popularity, more and more offerings are popping up as novice and pro brewers take their passion to the marketplace.  While excited consumers rejoice because of the extra options in bars and retail stores across the country, trade professionals question the industry’s capacity and wonder if the market is saturated.  We caught up with one of the industry’s leading professionals, David Lipman, to get his perspective.

Here is our Q & A with David and his interpretation of the most recent Australian craft beer and cider industry data available today.

What Craft trends are appearing in Australia? 

1. On-premise, premiumisation, drinking less, spending more
Barscan who report on around 3% of on-premise sales trends across Australia, said in the three months to March 2014, 45% of pubs in the BarScan sample set had a craft beer available on tap with the growth from the previous three months to December 2013 being 20%.

In the three months to October 2014 56% of pubs in the BarScan sample set had a craft beer available on tap with the growth from the three months to March 2014 being 24% (representing a 6-month growth period).

With this growing trend of craft beer on tap, Barscan says “Craft Beer is the fastest growing beer segment in pubs, largely due to the growth in taps, and being sold at a price premium”. March figures from BarScan reported Volume of beer in pubs was -2.2%, while value was +1.6%. Dramatically in the UK volumes were -6.5% year on year), interestingly in the USA volumes were +1% (over a 10 year period 2002-2012). Looking at share of draught beer versus total beer, in the USA draught is only 10% (cans being 65%), whereas in Australia and the UK it’s more like 48% draught.

I am seeing more venues open being dedicated (themed) to craft beer, more craft beer events such as Tap Takeovers, Festivals, Dinners and Meet the Brewer Tastings. Some craft beers are being packaged only in kegs, being exclusively available in pubs, so as to provide pubs a point of difference to the off-premise, and allowing brewers to collaborate with venues on recipe development (e.g. Bridge Road Brewers, Beechworth Vic). Also in pubs I see the growth of House Beers, where an individual pub will work with a brewer to produce their own brand of beer, with the style to meet their customer’s tastes and provide more margin to the pub. E.g. Opera Bar (Sydney NSW) Organic Ale by Redoak, NSW and Sail & Anchor Hotel (Fremantle WA) from Feral Brewing, WA. Pubs are also improving their food/bistro offering to pair with the diverse spectrum of flavour in craft beer, which is helping attract more customers and increase spend per customer.

Looking at growth in pubs having a craft beer and/or cider on tap, according to BarScan, craft beer is growing twice as fast as cider in pubs, with 24% growth for craft beer versus 12% for cider, in the three months to October 2014.

2. On-premise Consumer Insights, from Drinks Hub survey of Beer & Brewer magazine readership in March 2014

Consumers demand four different craft beer brands per month in pubs
That’s up to 50 different beers per year – if only one tap dedicated to craft, then it needs to be rotated weekly. According to Barscan, the average sell through of a keg of craft beer per week is 75% of a keg, which needs to be 100% to allow for one keg sold per week, to ensure beer freshness, quality and paying its way. Some specialty craft beer venues are selling 300-500 different beers per year.

80% want to try a new craft beer when they visit the pub
The challenge is only 33% of craft beer drinkers visit the pub weekly – therefore pubs need to offer at least two different craft beers per month to appease the craft beer drinkers’ repertoire and keep them coming back to their venue.
100% of respondents want craft beer on tap
At least one craft beer tap in every pub, as respondents are spread all over Australia. Venues have on average 8 taps, and if one needs to be craft beer, it’s up to the publican to ensure their tap contracts or suppliers have the selection to appease their customer’s current tastes and preferences and entice new customers with updates to the tap bank seasonally or by occasions.

60% want craft beer to be more affordable on-premise
Excise on beer packaged in kegs (49.5 litres) is 40% less than beer packaged in kegs or bottles (less than 49.5 litres). However with high labour costs and rent, craft beer on tap is too expensive in the eyes of 60% of respondents. Craft beer prices are competitive from the large brands; however it’s the smaller craft brands that are not able to be price competitive due to much smaller production volumes. The trend of consumers drinking less and spending more (on craft beer and premium imported brands), comes down to do the top 20-30 craft brands on-premise receiving most of the volume growth, as they have the tap space. It’s one thing for a small craft beer to gain a tap, however the higher wholesale price leads to the consumer paying more, drinking less, and then that tap not selling as much as other taps and making the publican need to try other craft beers, or essentially keep that tap rotating to appease the consumers that want to taste 2-4 different brands a month in pubs.

3. Limited retail space and the importance of distributor relationships
With 3,000 plus local and imported beers available in Australia, and retail space to accommodate these beers being limited in on-premise to on average eight taps and 30 bottles, and in off-premise 150 bottles, it means the market is highly competitive and retailers wanting to deal more and more with distributors that represent a portfolio of craft beer, rather than the individual brand owners themselves. Local breweries entering the wholesale market that need to hit around 1.5 million litres a year to generate decent profits, need to consider their distribution model to maximize volumes, be that via a distributor, wholesaler, direct via their own sales force, or direct with retailers. Brewpubs or cellar doors are of course a guaranteed distribution channel, albeit a high capital investment.

The strong Australian dollar and growth in consumer repertoire drinkers has greatly attributed to the high number of imported beers available in Australia, not to mention the ease of access from parallel importing.

themonktastingpaddle_5188

Is Cider going to continue to be a popular category in Australia?

IRI-Aztec, who are Australia’s leaders in off-premise sales stats, state on the popularity of the Cider category, “Whilst we are seeing volume declines in Total Liquor in the Australian off-premise we are still seeing value growth as shoppers consume less, but are willing to pay more. Cider continues to be the stand out with strong growth of the last few years. Although this growth is not as high as it has been it appears to be holding at a very healthy rate (double digit). In the last 12 months we have seen 11% value growth in the category. We have seen recently that volume growth has overtaken value growth as the key driver within Cider”.

BarScan, who lead the industry in on-premise sales stats in Australia, state that a pub is more likely to have a cider on tap than a craft beer. In the three months to March 2014, 67% of pubs in their sample set had a cider available on tap, compared to 45% for craft beer. Now in the three months to October 2014, 75% of pubs having a cider on tap. The trend here is showing cider is getting closer to 100% of venues having a cider on tap, and hence still a popular category in Australia.

Cider will continue its growth, however it should be mentioned that cider can take many forms, based in the amount of juice or concentrate used in the base cider, and as a generalization the huge growth in cider, particularly off-premise, is thanks to Rekordelig and the Swedish ciders. Given Barscan’s stats it appears cider may be slowing its growth, albeit off a large base.

2. Where do you see potential for budding craft companies?

Distribution
Local craft brewers and distributors of imported beers alike, may like to focus on non-traditional liquor retailers, such as restaurants, clubs and hotels – which represent a far bigger number of licensed venues (38,000 in NSW and Vic alone for example) compared to the traditional liquor store or hotel licenses, with approx. 23,000 across Australia.

I believe craft brewers should focus on restaurants, as their beer lists are small, meaning the chances of getting picked are much better than in a bottleshop or pub, plus once you’re on the list, and the beer is selling each week, why would the restaurant change? More chefs and sommeliers are realizing that beer has a much broader spectrum of flavour than wine, and hence is an excellent match to any food on any menu, be that to complement, cleanse or contrast the food flavours.

Alternative routes to market for craft brewers are standalone draught beer systems that can operate on bars, in function rooms, and so on. These also work for non-traditional liquor outlets such as cafes and restaurants that done have any taps installed, nor the space or budget.

It’s interesting also the new Dan Murphy’s connections online platform that allows suppliers to sell their complete portfolio, rather than only what Dan’s could fit on the physical store floor. Drop shipping is a scenario many online retailers offer to share the risk of retail sales with suppliers.

Styles of beer and packaging
As at July 2014 sales data, IRI-Aztec, who gain sales data from most independent and banner group off-premise retailers nationally, say, “we are seeing Mid-strength, Premium Imported brands and Craft the real drivers of growth in Beer with the other segments in decline”. “We have seen a number of new multipack SKUs being introduced recently ncluding 10, 12 and 18 packs. It is very early days, so we don’t have any reliable performance information, however consumers are becoming more and more driven by convenience and occasion based purchasing, which would suggest an opportunity for new pack formats that cater to this”.

Diversifying
There is a trend of craft brewers branching out to craft distilling, plus distillers not just focusing on whisky or gin, or vodka, but producing all three. If it’s hard enough maintaining retailer relationships and distribution, then craft brewers look at offering their loyal customers another craft product from their company. E.g. Young Henrys in Newtown NSW.

Social Media, Online Marketing
Doing the online basics well is very cost effective for budding craft companies – such as having the social media handles as the same name as the brand across all the social media channels, ensuring the brand has a regular eNewsletter and/or blog, plus keeps their web site up to date with events, new releases and awards. Some venues have an App when and what new beer is going on tap, when bottled beer menu changes, events dates, etc. which is excellent marketing. E.g. The Wheatsheaf Hotel in Adelaide SA.

cropped-Australia_tastings_home_0922-1.jpg

Is there encouraging data in on-premise channels, tastings, etc.?

Yes there is very encouraging sales data in on-premise, as mentioned above. However there may be only 20-30 brands that see the sales from this data.

Yes tastings are the way to build a brand, and have a direct positive impact on sales. Dan Murphy’s seem to be the champions of in-store tastings, and while previously brands were said to be built on-premise, it’s now a case of any venue, either on- or off-premise that engages new customers with products via tastings, will see a positive impact on brand awareness and sales.

3. Is Craft Beer finding new retail homes easily as competition increases with the number of brewery offerings continuing to grow?

Australia is already saturated with 200 breweries (approximately 290 beer brands), from a per capita perspective, compared to 3000 breweries in the USA for example. This number isn’t too high, however when imports are factored in, as mentioned previously, the number of beers grows to 3,000+, making the competition fierce and the ability for individual brands to grow very challenging.

As mentioned above, given craft beer on tap in pubs is growing at 24% during the three months to October 2014, it may seem craft beer is finding new homes easily, however I believe this is very much only enjoyed by the top 20-30 selling craft beers, given most pubs only have eight taps, these beer brands have the ability to supply large volumes at competitive prices and are willing to promote their products with pubs (i.e. offer contracts, rebates, equipment, point of sale, promotional dollars, etc.). I believe craft beer as a generalization for all sizes of craft brewers are finding new retail homes in pubs relatively easy in selling 1-2 kegs, or a pallet of kegs for one month on a guest tap. The problem is once that keg sells or that month is over, the brewer loses that tap and they are left needing to find another venue, meaning growing draught beer volumes is very difficult.

Specialty Beer off-premise venues are proving great retail homes for craft beer, from large fridge space, growlers and events, such as Warners at the Bay (NSW), Plonk (ACT) and Mane Liquor (WA) however these are few and far between when you pool them with the 9,000 off-premise shops nationally.

There is a lot going for imported beer in Australia, given the economies of scale, and consumer willingness to pay more for international beer.

Imported beer in Australia is a good profit margin for importers and distributors; given the average retail (off-premise, looking at random online retail prices for an 8 litre carton of craft beer) price incl. GST for international craft beer of $74 is 13% higher than local craft beer at $64.50. Importers are buying imported craft beer at an average $17.50 (Drinks Hub wholesaler research) per carton (24x330mL) when the average ex-works local craft beer carton is approximately $30 ex excise, representing imported craft beer as a 42% saving. When you add the International craft retail price premium of 13% (approx. $6.50) to the 42% wholesale price saving (approx. $12.50), that means distributors of imported craft beers are approx. $19 per carton better off, not taking into account customs, warehousing and freight, etc. costs.

Craft_Beer_data_Australia

Given Australia is only 1% of global beer consumption, local craft brewers will never be able to compete with imported craft beer as imported beer being brewed in the USA, Asia and the EU/UK is able to be brewed at much larger annual volumes to gain brewing efficiencies where the cost per carton will always be better than local craft beer wholesale prices. And it doesn’t cost much to freight beer ambient around the world. The largest fixed cost apart from the liquid, for local brewers in Australia is excise (it’s drastically less in the USA for example).

If Government excise on craft brewers in Australia wasn’t so high, it would help local craft brewers’ profit margins and ideally they pass on those savings to retailers, thereby becoming more price competitive (if they scale down their wholesale prices that is) – then as volumes grow, the local craft brewer gains brewing efficiencies and perhaps the Government charges a higher rate of excise. The flip side is, this may encourage even more entrants to the local brewing scene, and craft brewers don’t pass on the savings in excise.

Australia is already saturated with breweries per capita, when compared to the USA. We need the existing beer brands selling more, so they are more sustainable, and if more price competitive to imports this will help, particularly when 60% of consumers from the Drinks Hub research of Beer & Brewer magazine readers in March 2014 want craft beer to be more affordable at the pub.

This case study justifies why so many small craft brewers and associations in Australia lobby the Government for excise tax reform. It comes down to will the Government ever see a net benefit from excise tax reform? Surely there can be, just like income tax-free thresholds, why not have a volumetric tax system based on annual production volumes with rebates (more like $300,000 not the current $30,000) for local brewers (and free trade agreement country members)?

I strongly advise budding entrants to the craft beer space to do their due diligence in business planning on deciding on the retail or wholesale market for sales. If wholesale to budget in tough competition from tap contracts, parallel importing, high excise and the growing retail liquor home brands, all competing for shelf space.

4. What resources do breweries that are looking to export have at their disposal?

Brewers have Government agencies Austrade and DFAT, and brewing associations (ARCBA and CBIA) as industry resources to help them with preparations for export and join in Embassy and Trade tastings/shows abroad. I have recently launched Drinks Hub, which is an Exporter of Australian Premium Drinks, being craft beer, cider, gin, whisky, wine sachets.

It’s important to mention that many Australian beer brands have tried/dabbled in export, and don’t seem to pursue it, as the initial orders don’t turn into repeat orders – mainly due to price as mentioned above. I recommend only largely produced craft beers consider exporting as they can be most price competitive and gain enough volume to fill up containers and make it worth their while. Drinks Hub can help brands export who don’t plan on exporting a great deal, or large craft brands export and assist growing their local brewing volumes to improve local wholesale pricing and profit margins.

5. Where do you see the craft industry in five years?

With distribution growing on- and off-premise giving consumers access to more craft beer and consumer tastes being more and more educated, the craft beer industry in Australia in five years will be higher than what it is today, and if I take a guess I think approx. 6% of total volume (or at least value). I hope in five years every pub in Australia has at least one craft beer available on tap (guest/rotating or regular), as craft beer drinkers are all over regional and metro Australia and pubs wouldn’t want to be alienating prospective customers. I hope the number of local beer brands stays around 300, so that the increase in volume benefits the existing, and allows them to be more price competitive and profitable.

Many of the Australian Whisky brands cannot keep up with demand both locally and export, and therefore with the growth in craft distilling, I see a lot of excess demand being available for these new entrants as the existing brands struggle to fulfill existing demand.

—————————————————

David Lipman, Bio

David’s passion for beer began in 2002 as a Cellarman at The Whitehorse on Parson’s Green and The Porterhouse Covent Garden, two institutions for great local and imported beer in London. In 2007 David founded Beer & Brewer magazine and www.beerandbrewer.com, and finished up as Publisher/Editor in May 2014. David has published as Editor-in-Chief five books on beer, including Ultimate Beer Guide Australia & NZ (2011), Craft Beer Trade Buyers Guide (2012), Breweries of Australia: A History 2nd Edn (2012), Best 100 Beers Australia (2013) and Beer Buyers’ Guide Australia & NZ (2013) www.beerbuyersguide.com.au. David has also published booklets on beer & food matching for Beer & Brewer magazine and BBQ School. David has launched three beer events including Beer & Brewer Expo (2009, Melbourne), Beer & Brewer Awards (2010, Sydney) and Beer & Brewer Conference (2012, Melbourne). These days David continues his passion hosting corporate tastings (including at the Sydney Opera House and Taste Festivals Australia). David has also just launched Drinks Hub, an exporter of Australian premium drinks, including craft beer, cider, spirits.

AuTT-WBM_620x200

Are you a craft beer or cider brand looking to expand your distribution and grow brand recognition?  Get involved and network with top industry buyers and media  at Australia Trade Tasting.

Paracombe Wines, A Boutique Adelaide Hills Winery Built on the Grounds of a Generation Past.

paracombe_wines_autt

Australia Trade Tasting profiles Paracombe Wines, a boutique Australian winery from a storied region.

Since they bought their land in 1983, Paracombe founders Paul and Kathy have been hard at work making their dream of owning a winery come true. Today, they have grown what was once their idyllic garage project into a full-fledged operating winery. Expanding from 100 cases to a facility capable of crushing 2000 tonnes of fruit in just over twenty years, Paul and Kathy have built Paracombe into a premium wine label through dedication and honest hard work.

As you open a bottle of The Reuben – A Paracombe family blend named after Reuben Chapman who was a great community man that was revered for giving a lot to the district in the early days of Paracombe – one can only wonder how the wine making process has changed since his time. Anticipating the subtle taste of chocolate and tobacco swirling in your mouth, a great whisp of blackberries and strawberries meet your nose and you are reminded of what a great adventure these new pioneers are truly on.

After twenty years perfecting their craft, Kathy and Paul are sharing the fruits of their labour with the rest of the world. Today, Paracombe Wines are exported to United Kingdom, Canada, Europe and Asia.

We caught up with Kathy Drogemuller and she gave us some great insight into how we can all live the Paracombe way of life – It’s one of those unique stories that seems right out of a fairytale.

Tell us about your family winery – where does the name come from and what’s the story behind the brand?

Paracombe is the name of the small rural township where we are located in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Just a half an hour drive from Adelaide CBD and with vineyards and orchards laced through the district,  it is a truly beautiful part of the world.  Our remarkable story started in 1983 when Paul and I bought a burnt out, old dairy farm after the devastating Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983. With no background in growing grapes or making wine, we planted vineyards. Then we discovered there was a history of grape growing and winemaking in the region dating back to the mid 1800’s which had died out. So began our passion and vision to revive Paracombe as a premium wine producing area. We started making wine in our tin shed with a home built basket press, second hand milk tanks and crusher. With just 100 cases of three wines we launched Paracombe Wines in 1992.

Today we have 14 wines in the range, have expanded our vineyards, designed and built a winery with facility to crush to crush up to 2000 tonnes of fruit, underground cellars and stunning cellar door.

Paracombe wines are made, bottled, packaged on site and distributed direct from the winery. This soft environmental footprint and authentic style of management has helped Paracombe Wines harness an identity and reputation for producing ecologically crafted wines with finesse and style. Our son Ben has joined the family business and we have an amazing team who all contribute to making Paracombe a successful, award winning winery. It is a wonderful, inspiring success story.

Are your wines produced exclusively from grapes from your vineyards?

Our Paracombe range includes some stunning single vineyard wines from our family vineyard at Paracombe like our Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc  and Cabernet Sauvignon. We also have some superb single vineyard wines from our Paracombe growers such as the Malbec and Shiraz Viognier. Then there is the wonderful five varietal wine – The Reuben is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec Cabernet Franc and Shiraz harvested from our family block as well as grapes from three local growers.

In addition to our own home vineyard, we also source grapes from local specialist family growers with whom we work very closely to ensure our high standards are met. All vines are hand pruned with minimal irrigation to keep yields low, contributing a strong influence in our premium wine style.

Paracombe has won numerous awards.  Tell us about the ones that mean the most to you and why.

Our very first Trophy, for our 1997 Sauvignon Blanc, at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show will always be memorable. And then when our 2012 Sauvignon Blanc won Trophy for Best White Wine in Shanghai in China in the SIAL Wine Awards, was up against 320 winery exhibitors from 11 countries including China, France, Spain, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Tunisia, Portugal, and Italy that was very awesome.

Recently picking up awards for our Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz just makes a fantastic statement about how very special Paracombe is proud to represent Adelaide Hills wine region, which is producing world class award winning wines across a range of varieties and wineries.

What are you planning on highlighting at Australia Trade Tasting?

We’re excited to show our wines, tell our story and realise new opportunities for Paracombe throughout Australia and meet trade and media attendees. We have an incredible offering: Pinot Noir; Chardonnay Sparkling with parcels of back vintages over 22 years; crisp aromatic whites – Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris;  point of difference reds like Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and a cool climate Shiraz with great generousity of fruit.

We want to grow by supporting our partner distributors in Victoria and New South Wales and gaining more momentum in the trade by finding new partners in states like Queensland. South Australia is incredibly strong for Paracombe, and we want to find partners ready to achieve and realize our vision for a national Paracombe.
Paracombe wines represents Australian ideals that mimic those of a long and storied history of wine making throughout the world, but their open philosophy to the modern wine industry has given them the exposure they need to succeed. The family winery offers a unique look back at what the Paracombe wine region once was, while also representing the potential of what it will be in the future. Looking out over the Paracombe vineyards, it’s easy see why Kathy and Paul were so enchanted by the land and eager to make Paracombe Wines a national story.

Australia Trade Tasting

Are you a wine importer, wholesaler or distributor looking to source with Australian Wine Labels?  Get Involved and connect with leading Aussie brands at Australia Trade Tasting.