Insights on beer marketing & PR by a beer-war vet

04 July

Crafty invasion by US brews

It looks like small American craft brewers have achieved what big US beer brands, like Bud and Miller, have consistently failed to do: secure a viable foothold in Australia. Why?

  1. Craft beers – both local and imported – offer new and different beer styles to a beer market increasingly looking for alternatives.
  2. These alternatives reflect the expanding ‘preference portfolio’ of Aussie beer consumers. Not all: but clearly an increasing number including many opinion leaders. They are cool with choosing a different beer at different times and occasions.

Part of the US line-up at Dan Murphy’s

Tasty more than crafty?
At the end of the day perhaps these US brews are being supported locally because they offer alternative tastes to a market thirsty for them. More to do with taste than being designated ‘craft’ perhaps?  And let’s not forget they are: —

  • NOT LAGER: many are not lagers. Australia has a solid line-up of domestic lagers and a burgeoning choice of European imports. We’re awash in lager!
  • YOU CAN TASTE THEM: historically mainstream US lagers have been of a lighter style and taste. Not in ABV, as urban myth promulgates: but certainly in taste. A product of post-Prohibition use of rice and corn in place of scarce malt.

Whatever the reason: Australian beer drinkers did not take to America’s big beer brand imports. But lately they seem quite partial to their craft brews.

Makes for an interesting dynamic in the Australian beer market. Bring it on!


  • You would have to think the strong Aussie dollar helps make this work for Dan’s as well. It is amazing that a six pack of American Craft beer is generally cheaper than a Aussie beer produced 6km up the road.

    I also hear the CUB are about to make a big splash for Miller in this market. (Looking for a Corona replacement maybe)

    • beerlines

      Thanks for the comment Leon. Yes I too wonder what price such beers are landed for: well for those like Dans. Certainly makes the consumer do a double take when it comes to the price point for mainstream brews like VB etc.

      CUB/SAB Miller will certainly need to replace some of the imported brands they’ve lost over the past six months. Hopefully they will do more with Matilda Bay, especially in light of LION taking up greater ownership of Little Creatures.

      Cheers: dP