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"Kerry Tyack says that's partly because Kiwis have finally got the hang of matching beer to food."

"What people are saying is, 'all right, if we're going to a classy do, we'll take a classy beer'.

...Industry experts say that has had a knock-on effect for local craft brewers.

...around 500 different beers now on the New Zealand market.

.....And for god's sake, don't fill the bath with beer and let it sit out in the open. Within half an hour of being in direct sunlight.

Anyone able to quantify any of this articles statements?


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The marketer has been more influential than the brewer for 40 years. I'd like to think that in this age of awareness it's swinging back to some extent. New Zealand is slow on the uptake though, we are truly a nation of sheep. Apathetic, reserved, strong but silent, unwilling to be unique and stick your head up for fear of having it chopped off.

I can seek out and find good beer (and I do) but for everyday drinkers I pretty much _have_ to brew my own. It would be far too expensive to keep me in a daily pint if I didn't. It'd be great if even 50% of pubs in this country had one or two decent 4%-ish session ales on tap - kegged would be fine as long as it's served not too cold, not too fizzy and I can taste malt and hops. 99.9% of all drinking establishments and booze outlets are void of such an every day beer at any price. Of course I'm happier with a 6pack of Epic than an 18pack of Tui and I choose Epic every time, but what about when I want more than 6? It doesn't happen often but it does happen, especially when I want my guests to try one.

Worth noting too that branding doesn't buy new drinkers, it merely sways them from one brand to another. Look at Tui, it's screaming rise in the north half of the North Island has been almost entirely at the expense of Lion Red. Tui have spent a fortune, Lion Red has languished with LN not spending a penny. That's the hard part, to get the punter to drink Epic you have to steer them away from something else that has the marketing budget the size of Graeme Hart's real estate portfolio. Not an easy thing to do. That's where the battle of the supermarket shelves is waged, not in the relatively few educated people sharing their quality beer with friends and neighbors, but with massive reprehensible above-the-line spend, begetting mistruths and outright lies.

That said, I'm with you all the way Luke, I'll be singing the praises of Epic until there's no more breath in my lungs.
While I have to agree that Kiwis do generally exhibit the sheep mentality, I've had different and more heartening experiences. I regularly turn up to parties with a selection of good flavoursome beers, and ensure that I have enough spare for friends to try. Response is never negative. There's always one or two who won't like one or other of the beers but almost without fail the response is "wow, beer can taste like this???" - it's been great. People can change, and will, as long as it's their choice, and they don't feel railroaded.

Advertising. Yeswell. I am an extreme cynic when it comes to marketing. In my opinion, it perverts the natural order of the free market, by confusing the message passing between consumer and producer, leading to the biggest marketing budget dominating instead of the best product. Frustrating as all hell, but there's nothing I can do about it beyond continuing to educate anyone keen to listen. Yes, that does make me boring at parties, but you're almost guaranteed to get a free beer! ;)

Suggestion: Next time, start with Pilsner Urquell. It's still a familiar lager, but wow, what a lager it is. If they can hack the firm bitterness present there, they will be ready for an Epic experience. If not, they probably don't really like beer anyway, so leave them with their dirty brown water.

Just out of interest where does this brewery and the beers it produces fit into the grand scheme of things. I have only a vague recollection of trying any Good Bastards.
"Its main competitors in the New Zealand beer markets are Lion Nathan and Dominion Breweries."

I think that probably sums it up.


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